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Essay on Diomedes, the True Hero of Homer’s Iliad

Diomedes, the True Hero of The Iliad

In The Iliad, written in a 3rd person omniscient point of view, Homer gives a very serious account of the tenth and last year of the Trojan War. It was in Homer’s account that the very idea of becoming a legendary hero reached its pinnacle; the choice of the better hero was not decided on the events they participated in, but rather by their characteristics. The ancient Greeks had strict criteria for individuals to follow if they were to be seen as heroes. Above all, a man needed to be a skilled warrior, but this was not the only requirement. To be a hero, a warrior had to respect authority, both governmental and religious. The Greeks gave heroes no room for pride. These men were to be modest, not only giving credit to their culture and the gods for any great deeds they had done, but also accepting everything that happened as Fate, not scenarios they had created for themselves. In other words, they did not make themselves what they were; rather, they had been predestined to become it. The final requirement of being a hero was coolness. Heroes were not permitted to be blinded by rage or have mood swings. In The Iliad, two Greeks are presented to the reader as heroes. They are Achilles and Diomedes. Although they are both good contenders for the title of hero, Diomedes is by far the better of the two. Diomedes is one of the finest and bravest of the Greek warriors. He is respectful to all authority figures and has little or no pride. Always wise and reasonable, he may be the vision of the perfect nobleman.

Both Achilles and Diomedes easily meet the first requirement, that a hero must have skill on the battlefield. Throughout The Iliad, Homer tells of their incredible (though usually go…

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…kill in battle, respect for authority, humility, and coolness under fire. Not many men met all requirements, including Achilles, but they were still viewed as heroes. Between Achilles and Diomedes, Diomedes was the better choice for the title of hero. He was one of the finest Greek soldiers. Diomedes was respectful of authority, humble about his successes, and was very levelheaded. Achilles had great fighting skill as well; however, he had trouble respecting authority and keeping his cool, both results of his excessive pride. If Achilles had not been so prideful, he could have been a much greater warrior and hero, perhaps achieving status equal to the gods. He simply had too much pride. Diomedes was humble; therefore, it was easier for him to respect authority and keep a level head.

Works Cited:

Fagles, Robert, trans. The Iliad. New York: Penguin Books, 1990.

Comparing Fear in Miller’s Crucible and Hawthorne’s Young Goodman Brown comparison compare contrast essays

Fear in The Crucible and Young Goodman Brown There are so many strange things that can trigger fear in one’s mind. Things that first enter a reader’s subconscious before striking thoughts of fright straight into the heart, causing adrenaline to rush and muscles to tense. Evil can be distributed in so many different ways. In the story “Young Goodman Brown”, by Nathaniel Hawthorne, fear takes the shape as lies seeping through an eerie black forest late in the night. But in The Crucible, fear is disclosed not only in lies, but in false accusations. In “Young Goodman Brown”, Goodman Brown finds himself leaving his wife, Faith, to meet someone at the edge of the forest late at night. At first, he is not quite sure why he feels uneasy. It may partly be because of the strange man with a cane which seems to writhe with a serpent-like appearance, or it may be because of the ominous woods he is trecking through. But the thing that makes Goodman Brown frightened the most is when he realizes that evil has penetrated its way into the only good he knows; his friends and acquaintances. He has also “lost his Faith”, a double-meaning quote that was undoubtedly purposefully layed there by Hawthorne. This loss engraves in Goodman Brown a foreboding sense of lonliness. In The Crucible, lies take the shape of their container. Abagail Williams is undoubtedly the mastermind behind the fearful images imbedded in the minds of the ignorant townspeople. John Proctor, who committed adultry with Abagail, makes himself an easy target for Abagail’s lies and torment, because he has that secret he cannot bear to let out. And soon, people are fearing, once again, for their lives. Afraid of being hanged by the very Puritan beliefs they worship. They begin to act paranoid toward one another and a crazed atmosphere inhibits the entire town. Fear takes so many forms. It can prey on a typical thing that most people are scared of, or create a perilous, threatening sense in the subconscious of a single being; the kind that makes the hair on the back of the neck stand at attention. Sometimes you do not even know why you feel frightened. Quickening your pace, hugging your stomach and darting glaces from side to side, are all instinct telling you you are in danger. These two stories make both fictional and non-fictional fear jump out of the page and into the turning wheels of the mind.

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