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By now the Greek hero has emerged as a distinct figure, almost unrecognizable to our own notions of heroism. Only by achieving Kleos will the hero “make it into the poem.” And only by making it into the poem will the hero ensure the survival of his own memories, as well as the memories of his family and of his city. In this way, the hero may carve out a place within the collective memory of all humankind, so that “all these moments” will not “be lost in time, like tears in rain.” To achieve this is no small feat.
Of all the men who fought outside Troy, two heroes above all achieved the goal of kleos aphthiton: 1. God-like Achilles, whose “rage” (menis) captivated the poet from his opening line, and 2. Hector, “breaker of horses,” whose kleos arguably won the last line (Bk. 24, ll.) But which of these two heroes was the greater?
In a thoughtful, well supported essay of 800-1000 words:
Describe the nature of the hero in a specifically Greek context and explore how the Greek conception of a hero might differ from our own popular notions of heroism.
Then, based on the evidence of Books 1-6, 9, 16, 18, 21-22, and 24 of the Iliad, argue for whom you believe to be the greater hero within the context of Homeric song culture: Hector or Achilles.
Be sure to incorporate such relevant terms, such as Hora, mēnis, kudos, timé, kleos, arête, aristeia, philos (and philtatos), therapon, etc.
For all citations of the text, use inline parenthetical citations: Book #, line #, page # (in the Lombardo translation.) For example: “Achilles displayed the superhuman characteristics of a daimon (Bk. 22, l. 245, p. 467).”
Reference this grading rubric to know what is expected from you. There are general expectations such as grammar and organization of the essay and specific expectations such as number of quotes and style of citations.