The Values Of The Heroic Code In The Iliad

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In the epic poem, the Iliad written by Homer, several characters taking part in the warfare between the Achaeans and the Trojans are portrayed as embodying the heroic code of courage, physical strength, leadership, arete of value of honour, and the acceptance of fate. The heroic code is illustrated by the actions of the Trojan prince, Hector and the Achaeans strongest warrior, Achilles. Both of these characters display the Greek’s image of a hero, and can also let the reader discern what the society admires, looks up to and aspires to in its heroes. There are also characters who fail to be heroic, such as the Trojan “vivid and beautiful” prince, Paris. These characters in the Iliad illustrate the qualities that Ancient Greek society values. …show more content…
You will eat your heart out, raging with remote for this dishonour done by you to the rarest of Achaeans (A 289-295)
In this speech, it shows how much Achilles values honour and the amount of hatred he had towards Agamemnon who dishonoured him. This was caused due to Agamemnon who took Briseis, his symbol of pride. Because his symbol of pride was taken away, Achilles grew in rage and did not participate in the war. Overall, personal honour and excellence plays a main role in the warrior’s motivations, like Hector who fights to fulfill his duty and to fight for his family. On the other hand, Achilles who fights for fame and glory.

Another trait of the heroic code is leadership, courage and physical strength. These three traits are closely linked to reputation and honour. The two characters, Achilles and Hector, both have these three traits and perform in battle with responsibility and courage: …I grow impatient now to lend a hand to Trojans in the field who feel a gap when I am gone (J
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You now no man dispatches me into thee under gloom against my fate; no mortal, either can escape his fate, coward of brave man, once he comes to be (J 205-210)
In this speech Hector, is trying to comfort his wife Andromache, because of his upcoming fate of death. This is when he truly accepts the possibility of death. Furthermore, his acceptance of fate brings courage and strength to his heart, and gives a feeling to fullfill his duty as a Trojan prince and as a warrior. Achilles also accepts his fate: Now I must go to look for the destroyer of my great friend. I shall confront the dark dear spirit of death at any hour Zeus and the other gods may wish to make an end (Q 65-68).
Here, Achilles shows fearlessness and audacity in his acceptance of death. However, he accepted his fate, to avenge the killer of his friend Patroclus. How these two character faces their fate, can be considered heroic. Accepting fate is very hard and cannot be done without a strong heart. This is shown by the two characters, one who accepts with and the other with fury.In addition, accepting fate is seen as very courageous in the society and can show the characters strong and fearless

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