Thu 2 Feb 2006
1. Although a superior fighter and strategist, one can deem Achilles’ actions no greater than barbaric, for his vanity and pride manifest themselves internally, generating and sustaining the conflict with which he suffers throughout Homer’s epic tale. His quarrel with destiny consumes him, and consequently, indirectly leads to the demise of his most loyal and cherished comrades, Patroclus in particular. He is blinded by his own glory, and portrayed as impulsive and quick-tempered. He is driven towards glory for himself alone. However, he does possess qualities of a Homeric hero- strength, skill, and bravery.
Paris, Helen’s destined companion, is portrayed as weak and foolish. His brother Hector, the champion of the Trojans, embodies honor, loyalty (to one’s duty and country), and selflessness. Suffering from external constraints, from the nation and his family, he is driven towards glory by others. He too is courageous as well as a revered soldier. In comparison, Odysseus is also a fine combatant, intelligent, as well as level-headed, approaching matters daringly yet premeditated.
2. Both Andromache and Helen prove strong female figures, as women of power and esteem. However, I would not classify them as typical Homeric heroes, or rather, heroines. Despite Helen’s controversial position, she is seemingly adored by the masses, for her beauty and presence. Andromache serves as devoted wife, mother, and servant of Troy.