The Heroic Hero In Homer's The Iliad

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Heroism is a concept that has, in many fictional works, had to adapt and change to suit the culture, society and time where said fictional works were produced. Ideals of society change over time, and the hero, an epitome of what it is to be a good and admiral person, changes with it, according to the qualities people in society see as being 'heroic '. By comparing ancient and modern heroes, we can see how the heroic character has changed through the ages, drawing similarities and differences. Homer, the Greek poet, created characters in his epic poems that were seen as heroes such as Odysseus (the Roman Ulysses) and Achilles, the protagonist and main hero of the epic poem, 'The Iliad '. Moving forward to Roman times, Virgil wrote of a hero …show more content…
The culmination of his personality traits, his valiance, his pride and his furor sets him out to be very separate from the rest of the characters in The Iliad. He acts on his own accord, calls out Agamemnon for taking a backseat in Greek affairs while reaping the rewards, resides in his tent and, after finally leaving, kills Hector himself in single combat. Achilles is aware that the Greek army will suffer without him and that he would potentially die on the battlefield. While his selfishness may not extend to his friend Patroclus, it certainly does for the rest of the Argives. The self-importance, from our standards, makes him a bad person, however, it is in human nature to be individualistic and by setting this out to be an important part of his character, Homer makes Achilles human. He also fears his own demise, seen in book 9 where Achilles says 'Mother tells me, the immortal goddess Thetis with her glistening feet, that two fates bear me on to the day of death… If I voyage back to the fatherland I love, my pride, my glory dies '. He puts utmost importance in his own life, rather than dying for his own people and for his homeland, he rejects his fate because it suits himself as a person

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