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Where are the heros

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Where are the heros

Where are the Heroes?

As we read Homers epic tale of war, death, and enthralling characters, we find great warriors each on a different pathway. Looking closer at three of these characters, Akhilleus, Agamemnon, and Hektor, we find that each of these warriors displays many heroic qualities and deeds, yet none ever achieves becoming a true hero.

What does it mean to achieve the status of a true hero? Many books and papers have been written on this subject but for the purpose of my argument let me condense it. For Akhilleus, Agamemnon, or Hektor to become a true hero they must have completed the Quest Cycle.

The basic aspects of the Hero Quest Cycle are, first the separation or departure. In this part of the cycle the hero must leave the comforts of home or the known world and begin on their journey into the unknown world. Then comes the initiation phase where our hero must face trials and overcome great challenges. Finally the hero quest is completed in the return cycle. In this completion stage the hero has his ultimate boon and return, usually a triumphant return.

In evaluating Agamemnon we find an impressive warlord, as Akhilleus states: "?first in rank of all the Akhaians." (Pp. 27 ll. 105.) Agamemnon has left his known world on a quest of honor, to fight for his brother Menelaus, who has had his wife and treasures stolen by a guest. In coming to a place of trials Agamemnon hastily shows us that he is in serious lack of hero qualities. Agamemnon has taken a girl as a war prize, when her father, a priest of the God Apollo, comes humbly seeking to pay a fair ransom for her return Agamemnon is harsh and unyielding. Even after his fellow comrades try compelling him to take the father's fair offer Agamemnon refuses, showing his vain selfish non-hero traits. In doing so Agamemnon angers the God Apollo and causes great death and destruction to his army as stated in the Iliad: "So he made a burning wind of plague rise in the army: rank and file sickened and died for the ill their chief had done." (Pp. 25 ll. 12-13)

When Agamemnon was made aware of his disastrous choice rather than face it like a great hero and suffer a loss for his actions he turned on his greatest warrior Akhilleus and took his war prize. Throughout the Iliad Agamemnon's actions never rise to the level of a hero and he fails miserably in the quest cycle, never defeating his trials or completing his journey.

With the great Akhilleus we find a similar beginning, he too leaves the comforts of home to fight for the honor of Menelaus. Akhilleus comes much closer to fulfilling the hero image. He is the child of an immortal mother, on a quest for glory and greatness.

Akhilleus has the greatest military prowess of any of the Achaean ranks and has the greatest fighting ability of all the warriors, Trojan or Achaean. He shows these qualities when ...

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