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Essay about HEROISM IN THE ILIAD

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In the Iliad there are many characters that could be considered heroic. But the two main characters that stand out as heroes to me are swift-footed Achilles and flashing-helmet Hector. Numerous times throughout the epic they display qualities and traits that are unsurpassed by anyone on their side. Many times throughout the epic Achilles and Hector are tested for their strength, and will to win in battle, which for both warriors always ends up positive because they always win their battles. Although both fighters are among the elite status in the armies, they each show human and god-like qualities that help them be as a fierce and feared as possible.
As soon as we are exposed to Achilles in battle, it is obvious why he is the hero of the Achaeans. He is very devoted, and even the heat of battle does not faze him, as he mows down rows and rows of his opponents. His devotion in battle is suitably shown when he is talking of battle:
“I have no taste for food- what I really crave is slaughter and blood and the choking groans of men” (Homer Book 19 line 255)
Although this quote is very gory, it shows his taste for fighting and how badly he wants to be great. When Achilles was young he was given the choice from his Mother, Thetis Goddess of the Sea, he could either be a great warrior, have a ton of glory, be remembered for ever but would have to die young, or Achilles could live a normal life, not be a great warrior, or be remembered, but he would live to a ripe old age. This is yet another example of Achilles heroicness because he decides to become a warrior, and help his country.
In battle Achilles knows his strength and because of that he is very cocky, and wants things done his way. In light of the fact that his mother is a g...


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...ho is almost gone insane on being fixated with destroying this body. Since we leave the story with this vision of Achilles we have no other chance to see the good side of him, and we assume he is a disgusting warrior.
The epic started with an amazingly strong warrior, Achilles, who is extremely feared, and another powerful man, Hector, who was not nearly as celebrated as Achilles. But, by the close of the story we end up with a noble man Hector, and another, Achilles, to be looked down upon because of his unnecessary, and over the top actions. Although, both men, Hector, and Achilles are considered heroes Hector stands out at the conclusion of the novel because of his respectable act by attempting to fight Achilles. All in all both men are fierce leaders who both continuously showed what they are capable of, and what they were able to do with what they were given.


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