Abuse Of Power In The Iliad

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The Iliad demonstrates how a free individual caught within the machinery and power of war may be transformed into merely his shadow. In the interval of time between when a soldier realizes his imminent death and the sword strikes, his persona is already petrified, reduced to a state incapable of thought or hope. Even those supplicants spared by the enemy, such as Priam at the feet of Achilles, spend their lives not in celebration, but at anguish in recalling the force of death that once hung over their head. The result is the permanent deformation of their psyche such that they become “a compromise between a man and corpse” (Weil). The existence in purgatory undermines the oft-referenced heroic death, for simply, even the wisest of heroes tremble…show more content…
The so-called heroic balance, the careful equilibrium between greatness and modesty proves to be inexistent within warriors. Aidos, or disgrace, does not govern the response of heroes, but rather the faculty of power, prohibiting any sort of balance to exist and encouraging the erring of a noble warrior. Amongst the constant shift of momentum within the brief two-week period, Patroclus presses his fortune of power unto his own destruction at the hands of Hector; Following the inevitable shift of force from Patroclus to the Trojans, Hector chooses to reject Polydamas’ wise counsel, instead opting to pursue “glory at the ships” (12.252). Thus at the precise moment when force bestows success to its victims, it gives birth to irresistible hubris within its characters that invariably results in their destruction. Each man appears immortal at the time, unable to see the potential for retribution. “Nemesis”, as known in Aeschylus’ tragedies, presents the Greek thought of continual balance, such that an automatic rigor, or force, is given to penalize the

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