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Essay about Honor as the Theme in Homer’s The Iliad

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There are different forms and examples of exemplary and classic literature which have been deemed as significant works that are highly esteemed worldwide. These examples of literature would awe the world with how much literary skill they entailed when they were composed and written: attention to details as to formation of characters, the most crafty of plots, the most eloquent speeches and lines, the most astounding of twists of scenes, and most of all, the most universal and meaningful of themes. The theme of any literary work is what makes it great as it should be able to encompass the immense diversity of the world and as it would be able to transcend the boundaries of religion, age, race, gender, etc. Two examples of this great and classic literature are the epics of Homer which are quite well known around the world even if, ironically, they were never written and were first composed in Ancient Greek—The Iliad and Odyssey. Both epics are famous for the literariness therein, but more than that is the theme that spins around the two epics—the importance of honor. In The Iliad, this is shown more than ever, and amidst the thousands of deaths, the murder and betrayal, the wrath of the gods and goddesses, the beautiful queen which caused the war, and the mythical and mystical of creatures is the pervading atmosphere and perception of the valiant heroes that above all else, it is honor which they exalt and fight for.
A brief summary of the epic The Iliad would be nearly impossible and complicated as it would encompass years of war and before that, years of grief, prophecies, and turbulence. In the version of Jaroslav Hulak, the epic begins in the ninth year of the Trojan War; that is, a war between the Trojans and the Greeks (o...


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...ught in the name of honor—even if he met a sad death. The greatest thing about the epic is not the artistic merit it employs but the fact that it chronicles one very important thing which is lost in today’s contemporary times—that is, honor is one virtue which is worth fighting for and even worth starting a war for.


Works Cited

Buck, Jr. The Tradition of the Trojan War in Homer and the Epic Cycle. Baltimore. 2001.  Print

Dunkle, Roger.  Philosophical Background of the Fifth Century B.C.  CTCWeb, AbleOne Education Network.  28 Feb. 2014


Edwards, Mark W., and G.S. Kirk, eds. The Iliad: A Commentary: Volume 4. Cambridge:
Cambridge University Press, 1991. Print.

Latacz, Joachim. Troy and Homer: Towards a Solution of an Old Mystery. Translated by Kevin Windle and Rosh Ireland. Oxford: Oxford University Press. 2004. Print



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