The Iliad

Length: 6 Pages 1574 Words

Heroic Code Throughout The Iliad, the heroic characters make decisions based on an precise set of principles, which are looked upon as the "heroic code” The heroic code that Homer presents in "The Iliad" is a basic cause for the events that take place, but many of the characters have various perceptions of how highly and to what value the code should be looked up. Many of the characters in the Iliad present the code of honor in different ways. In my opinion, a heroic person is not necessarily a godly person, however they do many great things for their people, are great fighters, friends and men. The Heroic Code can be defined as “unwritten rules that guide the conduct of the Homeric Heroes.” For the Heroic Code, success means survival and greater honor; failure means death and removal from the struggle for honor. What the Heroic code is saying is that honor is more important than life itself. It is obvious throughout the books that the characters of high honor are the ones that ignore warnings to stay away from danger, battles, etc. Courage, physical abilities, and social status are also important contributions to the Heroic code. Many readers have found the Homeric code brutal and cruel, but on Continue...

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The reason why the Trojan war began was because Paris kidnapped Menelaus' wife, Helen. The warriors believe that the most dishonorable thing someone can do is refrain from fighting with his fellow soldiers, whereas Achilleus disagrees. "...yet I would feel deep shame before the Trojans, and the Trojan women with trailing garments, if like a coward I were to shrink aside from the fighting. Sarpedon lives up to the Heroic code by wanting to protect his ally, the Trojans. He is there for the Achaians, and supports them through anecdotes, wisdom, and knowledge. Diomedes follows the heroic code, finding glory and nobility on a battlefield and does so modestly while caring for his people. Nestor is unable to fight for honor because of his age, however, he has a special gift to give advice. If Paris had fought it out in book three, perhaps all these unnecessary deaths could have been avoided. His dedication and strict belief in the code of honor is illustrated many times throughout the course of The Iliad. Diomedes says, "...know that I will not fight against any god of the heaven. This speech persuades nine of the Achaian's to volunteer, showing Nestor's power to influence the warriors to stick to the heroic code. In conclusion honor is gained through various ways. Great sorrow comes on the land of Achaia...even I entreat you to give over your bittnerness against Achilleus, he who stands as a great bulwark, of battle over all the Achaians. Hektor then tells Andromache that the thought of her being dragged off by the Achains troubles him.


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