Ransom: Hero and Achilles

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Ransom
Qualities of the ‘epic’ hero:
Heroes embody the values of their civilisation
* Wisdom
* Humility
* Compassion
* Endurance
* Honour
* Integrity
* Bravery
Key Quotes:
Mortality: “a hero’s death out there in full sunlight under the gaze of gods and men, for which the hardened self, the hardened body, had to be daily exercised and prepared” Hero: “to break free of the obligation of being always the hero…to take on the lighter bond of simply being man” Human condition: “To be seen as a man like other men, humans as we are …would have suggested that I was impermanent and weak” “We are mortals, not gods. We die. Death is in our nature” Frailty (Hecuba and Priam): “two children holding hands in the dark” Achilles Quotes:

* “earth is his element”
* “with the pious resignation of the old man he will never become” * “he felt his soul change colour”
* “like a man obeying the needs of some other darker agency” * “the gods continue to defy him”
* “the tears he brings fall inwardly, his cheeks are dry” * “All this….is for you…but it is never enough”
* “swiftness of foot is his special distinction….Achilles the runner” * “his runner spirit has deserted him”
* “only Achilles among mortal men could manage it alone” * “boldest, most ferocious and most unpredictable of the Greeks” Wisdom:
* “with the pious resignation of the old man he will never become” * “What he feels in himself as a perfect order o f body, heart, occasion, is the enactment, under the stars, in the very breath of the gods, of the true Achilles, the one he has come all this way to find.” Compassion:

-“He offers the man, who seems too weak to get up, his hand” * “All this….is for you…but it is never enough” * “wept without restraint”
Endurance:
* “swiftness of foot is his special distinction….Achilles the runner” * “earth is his element”

Humility:
* “with a cry he falls on one knee and leans out to clasp his father’s robe” * “he offers the man who seems suddenly too weak to get up without assistance his hand” Integrity/ Honour:
* “Call on me, Priam, when the walls of Troy are falling around you, and I will come to your aid.” Bravery:
Journey: “I came as a man of sorrow…I come as he hero of the deed that till now was never attempted” Priam:
* “a ceremonial figurehead”
* “you are not any man”
* “he represents their living map”
* “to stand still at the centre, both actual and symbolic…experience those two states dually as one” * “the thing needed to cut this not we are all tied in…something impossible, something new” * “what seems foolish is just what is most sensible sometimes” * “All that belongs to the outward view. But there is also an inward view” * “I’ve played my part and tried to let nothing peep out of the real man” * “I have now to be ransomed a second time – to ransom myself” * “One of the chief concerns of a good king is the image other men will keep of him when he is gone. That is what I am concerned with” * “The image I mean to leave is a living one. Of something so new” * “go humbly as a father and as a man to his son’s killer” * “lest the honour of all men be trampled in the dust” * “if the last thing that happens to me…shamelessly stripped and humiliated, so be it” * Wisdom:

* “what seems foolish is just what is most sensible sometimes” * “the thing needed to cut this not we are all tied in…something impossible, something new” * “But as he sat now with the golden taste of the pancake in his mouth and another drop of wine on his lips, he saw that what was new could also be pleasurable” *

* Compassion:
* “if the phrase he had taken up so easily that he knew what it was like to lose a son really did mean the same to him” * “was in any way comparable to what this man felt who was after all neither a prince nor a warrior, just a...
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