Readers see more of themselves in Hektor, the family man who cares about his commitments. In terms of motive, Hektor is once again more understandable.
Homer shows the need for both. He tends to represent passion and emotion.
Like so many great epic heroes, he is ultimately not understandable. Homer develops his comparison between the value systems of these two warriors.
In each case, Achilles achieves a reconciliation that allows him to be reintegrated into both his the heroic community and the larger community of humanity. Achilles will meet an early end as well, although not within the pages of The Iliad. Hektor, the societal hero, makes decisions based on reason, and, in fact, his reason and sense of duty can overcome the emotions of fear and panic.
Achilles cannot reconcile his desire to fight honorably with his companions with his justifiable, but increasingly petulant, anger at Agamemnon. Paris ignores the conduct of a fair fight, and runs away every chance he gets. The glory of men does not live on in their constructions, institutions, or cities.
However, it also reflects the grim outlook of The Iliad, its interest in the relentlessness of fate and the impermanence of human life. His return, and knowing that he will die in the war, makes him not only a hero but also a hero touched with tragedy.
Interestingly, the first great hero of Western Literature is also the first modern hero of Western Literature. This more elemental strife could lead to evil.
There are no clear winners in The Iliad.
This flexibility comes from the intervention of the lesser gods, and the actions of mortal men. Achilles debates returning home to live in ease with his aging father, but he remains at Troy to win glory by killing Hector and avenging Patroclus. As a result of his inner conflict, his alienation from his society, and his inability to resolve this conflict, Achilles sends his companion Patroklos into battle as an alter ego.
When Achilles determines to fight, the outcome for himself and for others is secondary to his goal. The poem thus emphasizes the ephemeral nature of human beings and their world, suggesting that mortals should try to live their lives as honorably as possible, so that they will be remembered well.
To try to avoid strife was to avoid life. During the last few books of the Iliad, Achilles becomes more and more aware of his own impending death. Only through the recognition of his own kinship with both the living and the dead is he able to finally resolve the conflict and strife that has motivated his rage.
A good life could be achieved by reconciling the factors that produced strife.
He impresses the same obligation on Paris. Honor and Glory Themes and Colors LitCharts assigns a color and icon to each theme in The Iliad, which you can use to track the themes throughout the work. Diomedes and Odysseus, two respected Greek warriors, sneak into a sleeping Trojan camp and kill many unarmed, dreaming Trojans.
Honor for the Greeks, and specifically heroes, as readers have seen, existed on different levels.Iliad study guide contains a biography of Homer, literature essays, a complete e-text, quiz questions, major themes, characters, and a full summary and analysis.
Struggling with the themes of Homer's The Iliad? We've got the quick and easy lowdown on them here. Use a list of the major themes of Homer's Iliad to understand the epic poem: anger and hatred, betrayal, fate and chance, honor, love, patriotism, shame, revenge, war, glory, mortality, and loyalty.
A summary of Themes in Homer's The Iliad. Learn exactly what happened in this chapter, scene, or section of The Iliad and what it means. Perfect for acing essays, tests, and quizzes, as well as for writing lesson plans.
LitCharts assigns a color and icon to each theme in The Iliad, which you can use to track the themes throughout the work. The gods in Homer often take an active interest in the lives of mortals, who are sometimes their children by blood. The Iliad: Theme Analysis, Free Study Guides and book notes including comprehensive chapter analysis, complete summary analysis, author biography information, character profiles, theme analysis, metaphor analysis, and top ten quotes on classic literature.Download