The Role Of Honor And Honor In Homer's Iliad

Improved Essays
Honor is an essential part of the Greek hero archetype as demonstrated in Homer’s Iliad. Achilleus, Agamemnon, and Hektor all demonstrate varying levels of honor and glory throughout the first six books. Honor in Greek tradition is something that is won by fighting in battles or leading an army, but true honor is how a person uses that privilege to reveal their morals and virtue. Through these three character’s actions, Homer demonstrates how one can be honorable but not have true honor. In Greek times, honor was awarded when men won battles, and Agamemnon has earned honor and glory through his mighty fighting as a leader of the Achaean army. He clearly has honor bestowed to him through Greek culture, but it is demonstrated …show more content…
He shows this true honor in the first six books because not only is he a fierce warrior, he uses this honor to positively affect others. He is the mightiest of the Trojan fighters, so he is full of the traditional Greek honor, but he upholds true honor by his loyalty to his brother, Paris, even when he makes mistakes in running the Trojan army. Hektor convinces Paris to fight in the war alongside his army by using his war given honor, but never abuses this power because he is kind and loving to his brother despite his errors. He also shows his true honor by never giving up on the war no matter the circumstances, unlike Achilles did when Agamemnon took his woman. Hektor truly is a man of high moral standards because of his feeling of liability and fidelity towards his city-state, Troy, and his continued humbleness through his victories. Achilleus and Agamemnon both become increasingly arrogant when they are bestowed traditional Greek honor, but Hektor continually shows gratitude and grace no matter the amount of honor he receives because of his fierce and noble fighting.
All three of the characters Homer’s Iliad show honor, but all show differing levels of true honor. Anyone can have honor, but only those who are truly virtuous and continually demonstrate the extent of their ethics can attain true

Related Documents

  • Improved Essays

    Achilles is portrayed as the central Hero and warrior in Homer’s epic the Iliad. Glory is a great motivation for Achilles. Their are many instances through the Iliad where it is evident that Achilles is influenced by his want for the fame of Kleos. When the opportunity to go fight against the trojans is presented he joins the war. A great warrior like Achilles can earn his Kleos through his courage and prowess in battle.…

    • 1122 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Superior Essays

    Cassidy Droney Mrs. Mathews Myth and Legends 19 October 2016 The Iliad Honor and glory is an important part of all Myth and Legend characters. They are so valued that honor and glory triggered the reason for this great war between Hector and Achilles; taking many great lives. Homer 's The Iliad primarily focuses on the theme of honor, which is exhibited by both the Trojans and the Achaeans. Honor and glory define a hero, and therefore are the foundations for everything that happens in The Iliad. The idea of honor and glory is key to understanding the motivation of the heroes in the myth.…

    • 860 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Superior Essays
  • Improved Essays

    The Epic Hero Achilles Son of Peleus and Thetis was the future talented hero named Achilles. Hector was the son of King Priam and Queen Hecuba. These two heroes Achilles of Greece and Hector of Troy became great warriors and were admired by almost everyone in their region. Both of them have epic hero characteristics, however Achilles is a greater epic hero because he is glorified by the Greeks, he has superior fighting skills compared to the average warrior, he is also a responsible leader. One of Achilles’ most important traits would his superior fighting skills.…

    • 538 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    Kleos In The Iliad

    • 788 Words
    • 4 Pages

    Warriors of ancient Greece were considered heroes by following the Heroic Code of excellence. The achieved this by establishing their fame and glory or kleos. It was not an easy task to become a Grecian hero. Building and maintaining kleos meant that a warrior must be strong, face and kill his enemies, and most of all value his honor over his life. The most important act of honor for the warrior was to die in battle.…

    • 788 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    Cid Vs Beowulf Essay

    • 683 Words
    • 3 Pages

    But all of these battles that Beowulf and Cid fight in are to be honored by their king. Warriors were ranked very high on the social scale if they were worthy warriors. Warriors were very dedicated and confident to earn their rulers respect. Cid was fighting to regain respect because he had everything taken away from him. Beowulf had to impress his uncle when he was at the time king because one day he knew he may be the new ruler.…

    • 683 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    Achilles possesses immense skill and bravery in battle and Odysseus has cunning that even the goddess of wisdom, Athena, admires. Both respect the gods to a degree and use their admired attributes to gain glory. Achilles gains glory and honor through his renowned dexterity in battle. According to book sixteen of The Iliad, just the sight of Achilles’ armor was enough to terrify the enemy, even if Achilles was not actually the one wearing it. This emphasizes the honor he earned with occasional aid from varying gods.…

    • 794 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    The ancient Greeks were known for their strong warriors, who would courageously fight in the violent wars and loyally stand for their city-state. The work The Iliad written by Homer is a lengthy epic poem about the great Trojan War, which many Greek soldiers went to battle in. Throughout this story many brave soldiers dedicated their lives through honor and bravery for this tragic battle between Troy and the Achaeans, which was highly looked upon by many Greeks. The Iliad shows how the ancient Greeks revered warriors, through figurative language, being honorable, and having courage. The Greeks praised the fact that their warriors had courage and were never cowardly.…

    • 1124 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    His presence in the poem gave great depth to the character especially in the army, enemy’s battlefield and even in the Trojans war. His character has the warrior in the poem reflects great importance of the Greek position in the battlefield. His strong personality and great strength made the enemy hesitate to counter his attacks, yet even ease to praise them too. In this regard, the comments of the Hector towards the Achilles such as his hands are like fire and his heart like the burnished steel reflect Achilles capacity as the warrior. On the other hand, Hector as a great man of his own also indicated that Achilles was far greater than him and was not hesitate to praise in front of him too.…

    • 1170 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    He is the prince of Troy who is a dedicated warrior. In fact, Hector is the most heroic character in the poem, because he has all the traits of a Homeric hero. He is also very loyal to his country, and the readers can tell that by these lines: “Honour, for in my heart and soul I know / a day will come when ancient Ilium will perish” (J 6, L161-162). He demonstrates an aspect of heroism when his wife, Andromache, tells him not to go out of the walls of Troy to fight Achilles,…

    • 1025 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Superior Essays

    In this speech he used words like arbiters, which shows higher vocabulary. He uses formal language in discussing a pact with Achilles In conclusion, Hector is not an epic Hero. He has the physical strength being Troy’s greatest warrior, and the knowledge to strategies and try to deceive people with his words. However he lacks in having a heart to fight for good and justice, which is something all epic heroes need. Beowulf Beowulf was someone people trusted and was well respected, who became the king.…

    • 816 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Superior Essays