World Lit 1
March 25, 2013
Hubris vs. Peace
Every epic has a theme for which it’s known by. In Homer’s epic, The Iliad, the theme is what is most important. The characters are made up of Greek gods, warriors, the warriors’ wives, and, many others, which Homer includes, and the events that follow amongst them are what make up the theme. As we learned in class, hubris is excessive pride or confidence in oneself. Hubris is what causes people to make decisions based off of their own ego. Homer’s The Iliad is a Greek war epic that wasn’t simply written to display interesting characters for us to read about. This epic will actually allow us to understand how hubris is the basis for war and conflict while on the other hand, metaphorically speaking, marriage and farming is the foundational building block for the arts of peace.
“Rage: Sing; Goddess, Achilles’ rage, Black and murderous, that cost the Greeks Incalculable pain, pitched countless souls Of heroes into Hades’ dark, And left their bodies to rot as feasts For dogs and birds, as Zeus’ will was done.” (page 107) The Iliad, in lines 1-8, begins its story with the word “rage.” Rage in this epic was the cause of pain to many Greeks and the reason why souls of heroes were sent to Hades. Now notice how the end of the quote says, “[…] as Zeus’ will was done.” It was specifically Achilles rage that caused this conflict. By reading the whole statement, we do understand by reading the end of it that it was Zeus’ will that the rage would result in the death of many Greeks and the reason why heroes were sent to Hades which means that when hubris arises, what results or in this case what Zeus’ will was that the people would break out in war and much conflict.
In The Iliad, Hector, a great warrior from the Trojan army, set out to fight against Achaean army. But before he set out to fight, his wife had told him, “Possessed is what you are, Hector. Your courage is going to kill...
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