The Idea Of A Hero In The Iliad By Homer

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The term hero means different things in different cultures or contexts. The Iliad by Homer was one of the first to place the notion of heroism on a pedestal. The term hero in ancient Greek standards is not as many would expect. In the Greek culture, a hero displays his excellence through his actions especially in war. Greeks believe that it is not possible to separate leadership from excellence because having exceptional expertise is a natural manifestation of leadership. Each man was ranked according to his excellence and this made excellence an ideal of self-realization or self-fulfillment. In Homer, a noble hero is indicated by his skill and expertise as a soldier in war and also as an athlete in peace. War is an occasion for displaying heroism and the winning glory. It is one of the understandings why Greeks went to Troy and why the aristocrats compete among themselves to be superior to others and to be the best. In order to do well in battle, one was to become famous. It was important during the Dark Ages in the Greek…show more content…
The distaste towards his cowardice is indicated by Hector’s towards fleeing Paris during the battle. Hector insults his brother and calls him a mocker in the eyes of their enemies. He not only angry of Paris but also ashamed of him. He feels that his actions bring shame to him, the family and all the people of Troy. There is an emphasis on individuals. The purpose of war is to gain individual excellence and there does not exist a notion of community success. The idea of being a hero was an important aspect of any warrior society. What a hero is represented in the Greek society during Homeric times is different from today’s definition of hero. The definition of heroism has evolved along with the society over time. There was a time when a hero was seen in black and white terms. The hero was a good guy and was an enemy of the bad

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