The Iliad Essay

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In the following excerpt, Gray looks in the Iliad for clues to Homer's attitude toward the epic hero and the Greek heroic code. Gray suggests that in the character of Achilles, Homer has created a new and different type of epic hero' one who breaks rules and promises, and even feels compassion for his enemies.

The Iliad is not about the Trojan War; that war lasted ten years and the central actions of the poem occupy only a few weeks. War brutalizes men and women, wounds their bodies and minds, enslaves and kills them. This is Homer's message as he focuses on one hero, Achilleus, to demonstrate wrath's destruction of self and others. Achilleus' moral journey in the Iliad brings him face to face with his own humanity, leading him to a startling and essentially unheroic act of generosity toward his enemy. When he gives Priam the dead...

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This section contains 4,352 words
(approx. 11 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy The Iliad Study Guide
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Epics for Students
The Iliad from Epics for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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