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Homer


             Homer’s Iliad is laden with messages and ideals that people of ancient Greece once .
             valued and to some extent we still value today. There are recurrent themes throughout the epic .
             that support Homer’s main message which was learning life lessons and growing as an .
             individual. The main themes of the Iliad are heroes’ code of conduct, honor and rage, .
             hospitality/community, greed and power, the definition of a hero, and social systems between .
             Greeks and Trojans. Homer gets his message across through the acts of hubris committed by .
             characters and the consequences that are ultimately paid by committing this hubris. .
             Homer uses Achilles as an example of a character that commits hubris through the entire .
             epic quite consistently. The Iliad begins with Achilles’ selfish and childish acts of rage. Achilles .
             allows for his emotions to overpower him throughout the epic. First when he prays to Thetis for .
             his comrades to be killed so that Agamemnon will beg him to return to fight the Trojans. .
             Achilles continues to act like a child and less of a hero until Patroclus’ death.
             Homer has a way of making the reader have a love and hate relationship with the hero .
             Achilles. There are times when his acts are so inhuman that he must be hated but towards the end .
             you realize that he can be human. In the last few books Achilles really show his aresteia. He’s an .
             excellent fighter and Homer makes it clear that is what is valued in their society and it’s what .
             will bring the hero the greatest honor and glory. Achilles at one time pondered the reasons for .
             remaining at Troy and fighting the Trojans. It is a human thing to question your own existence. .
             He actually considered for a brief moment living a long and dull life rather than a short and .
             glorious one. Books 23 and 24 of the Iliad show how Achilles becomes human again by .
             participating in the social system of the Greeks.


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