Hubris the Curse in Ancient Greece Essay

988 Words 4 Pages
Early Greece, a period that began 1000 B.C.E was a transition into one of the most successful periods in human civilization. The Greeks transformed art, sculptures, theater and wars. They established the stepping-stones for the future civilizations of the world. The first known “writer” for the Greeks introduced the Heroic Age with the “Iliad and the Odyssey”. During this time period Homer displayed the great tragic flaw in heroes, which was hubris. Hubris is defined during the time period as excessive pride toward or defiance of the gods, leading to nemesis (Collins). In most Greek tragedies hubris causes the disastrous ending for many of the main characters. During the birth of early Greece each city-state had a …show more content…
If I stay here and fight, I shall lose my safe homecoming but I will have a glory that is unwitting: whereas if I go home my glory will die, but it will be a long time before the outcome of death shall take me." (Gutchess, Iliad 9.410)
The quest for honor makes characters such as Achilles and Hector choose living a short life rather than returning with the people they love. The Iliad tells the story of the fall of the city of Troy, and how hubris rules the misfortunes of some characters. The plot of Troy begins with the apple discord which Eris goddess of discord initiates for not being invited to the wedding of Thetis and Peleus, her pride is so severely affected that she brought a golden “to the fairest one” that began the judgment of Paris. The three goddesses Hera, Hermes, and Aphrodite competed to be chosen; and Paris chose Aphrodite after she granted him the love of any woman he wanted and he selected; Helen. The extreme hubris in Achilles marked his downfall; his desire for remembrance and eternal cognizance ensured his destiny as a semi-mortal. When Agamemnon took Briseis away from Achilles his pride was ravaged and he turned into a beast. Achilles believed he was above everything and everyone to the point that Homer described: “His spirit racing…drawing his huge blade from its sheath.” (1.227-228) Achilles behaved like an animal, a savage and brute, that is willing to raise his sword

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