Pride in the Iliad

In: English and Literature

Submitted By crazystuff25
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Although it is quite true that each person is uniquely different when considered as an individual, the reality is that people all have the same general personality traits. One such characteristic that all humans tend to have in common is pride. Everyone is motivated in some way by considerations of their social standing or by their sense of self-importance, which is why people, at times, are driven to act in a selfish manner at the cost of someone else’s own self-interest. While it is important for one to have self-respect and dignity, it is wrong to let those feelings get in the way and cause unnecessary problems. In the Ancient Greek epic The Iliad by the poet Homer, the actions of nearly all of the characters are influenced by their sense of pride. In the story, arrogance is the main reason behind all of the conflicts that take place, and throughout the entire epic, pride is depicted as a destructive force. Pride is the cause of the war, the source of sub-conflicts between the characters, and the motive behind the actions taken by Achilles throughout the story. The entire epic of The Iliad occurs in the middle of a ten-year conflict in the city of Troy between the Trojans and Achaeans. As is the case with most wars, the cause of the Trojan War is arguably quite pointless because it stems from nothing more than wounded egos. The clash of the egos begins when Paris “launches the war” (Homer 14. 33) when he offends Athena and Hera by choosing Aphrodite in a beauty contest between the goddesses. The two who lose the contest feel dishonored, and as a result they take the side of the Achaeans in the war, which causes the Trojans to have a huge disadvantage on the battlefield. Paris continues on his path to starting the war when he insults King Menelaus by charming his wife, Helen, and taking her back with him to Troy. Menelaus, who is offended by his wife running…...

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