The Iliad By Homer

He Wore Honor on His Sleeve The poem The Iliad written by Homer is the story of the tenth year of the Trojan War. It depicts the nobility and honor given to a slayer in warfare and the humanity that warriors show to the slain. It also illustrates the Greek code of ethics, that was in that time honor. Warriors fought for honor to insure a reputation that would outlive them. Honor is given to the great warriors through gifts, rank, and valor. Ultimately, a hero’s honor depended not upon how he saw himself but on how the world saw him. Achilleus, being the important warrior that he was, lived his life only for glory as he tried to portray the hero mentality, as did all the other warriors. He has a need to be accredited as the best warrior. Through out the poem honor is shown and speaks about in different situations. The beginning is a good example of Achilleus’ need to be recognized and rewarded as the best. Near the beginning of the poem Agamemnon speaks to Achilleus and tells him that if, the Achaians do not give him another prize that he will take one: Either the greathearted Achaian shall give me a new prize chosen according to my desire to atone for the lost girl, or elseI myself shall take her, your own prize, or that of Aias, or that of Odysseus(Homer, 339). This angers Achilleus. Furious, Achilleus calls Agamemnon selfish. He claims that he fights more and yet still Agamemnon gets the greater prizes. In this scene, Achilleus shows jealousy mixed with anger because he feels dishonored. Stripping Achilleus of his prize is like stripping him of a medal and, in turn, threatens his identity as the greatest warrior. He wants to be remembered by having gotten the biggest prize. Achilleus’ complaint that his prize should be the same or greater than Agamemnon’s reveals his desire for power. Rather than accept his status as inferior in power, Achilleus withdraws from the war and tells Agamemnom: Now I a…

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