Honor In The Iliad

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Throughout the twenty-four books of Homer’s timeless epic poem The Iliad, a variety of recurring issues and themes are explored. While battling in the Trojan War, the central characters on both the Achaian and Trojan sides are faced with the necessity to fulfill obligations, the question of fate versus free will and the concept of mortality, and the desire to place the acquisition of glory and honor above all. The affairs of Hector, Paris, Glaukos and Diomedes in book 6 of The Iliad best preserve these central concerns; consequently, making book 6 one of high importance. The main events of this book include a run in between Glaukos of the Trojans, and Diomedes of the Achaians, and Hector’s visit to see his lovely wife Andromache, and son Astyanax,…show more content…
This is demonstrated in The Iliad and, frankly, is what keeps a majority of the men fighting simultaneously, serving as a foundation for all of their actions. The acquisition of honor and glory is above everything and the actions of Hector are great examples of this. In book 6 he leaves the battle to visit his wife Andromache. His visit with Andromache makes Hector appear much more human than the other main characters. As Hector reunites with Andromache and his son, Astyanax, it is made obvious that Hector cares deeply for them and it hurts him to make them go through such pain while he is at battle. Andromache begs Hector to refrain from returning to the war, “Dearest your own great strength will be your death, and you have no pity on your little son, nor on me, ill-starred, who soon must be your widow; for presently the Achaians, gathering together, will set upon you and kill you; and for me it would be far better to sink into the earth when I have lost you, for there is no other consolation for me after you have gone to your destiny—only grief; since I have no father, no honored mother.” (Lattimore, lines 406-413, p. 182). Despite the humanizing characteristics Homer had given Hector, he still returns to war despite the pleading of the woman he loves. Hector chooses to fight in hopes of returning from the Trojan War victorious, with honor and glory from all. Many of the Achaians and Trojans display the…show more content…
While Homer included these concepts in all twenty-four books, they are specifically prominent in book 6. The promise of friendship made between Glaukos and Diomedes, along with Hector urging Paris to return to battle emphasis the necessity to fulfill obligations. The desire for honor above all is shown when Hector continues to fight in the war despite Andromache’s wishes, and fate and mortality are presented through the conversation in which Hector attempts to console Andromache. Through the characters’ actions and dialogues in book 6 of The Iliad, Homer preserves the importance of obligation, honor, fate, and mortality as it is throughout the entirety of this epic

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