The Importance Of Death In Homer's The Iliad

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Across the world, there are many different steps that go into play during the loss of a person, whether that be a loved one or a friend. For example, Chinese funeral customs are quite different than how others do burials of the dead. One's social status is what determines their burial rites. They mourn for ninety days and have different ceremonies during the period of those ninety days. These practices have evolved over time and some practices are still in effect that have been around for thousands of years. In Homer's The Iliad, Hector, captain of the Trojan forces, is brutally killed by Achilles, the greatest Greek warrior in the Trojan war, in vengeance for the death of his brother Patroclus. It was in the fate of the gods that Achilles …show more content…
On the eleventh day, when the fire had almost died all the way back down, the people of Troy put out the rest of the fire with their wine. His brothers and friends then collected his bones and wrapped them in soft purple robes. Colors have a great power in stories like this. Purple is a color that means power, and royalty, which is a great example of who Hector was and what he fought for. After they do this, they put the bones into a casket that is golden with color and put the casket into the grave. They do not then cover his bones with dirt to fill in the grave, but with stones all over, "A mantle of stones."(Iliad Book XXIV: 290) This did not have much of an impact of the story but seemed very interesting, why cover a casket in stones? These stones stacked on the casket was temporary until the tomb was to be completed, and then his bones in the gold casket would be placed there rather than under these stones. They then created the tomb, and after the tomb was finished, moved the casket into the tomb. After Hector was placed into the tomb, a feast was held in Priam's palace. After the feast, the eleven days of the funeral were over and the Trojans went back into battle with the Greeks. This is surprising, considering Hector was one of Troy's greatest warrior and is the son of Priam, their king. One would think that the funeral ceremony may be a bit

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