The Illiad and Self Sufficiency

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Edirin Abada
English 212-Section 007-World Literature
Professor Augustine Okereke
February 21, 2012

Aristotle said the man who is incapable of working in common or who in his self sufficiency has no need for others, is no part of the community like a beast or a dog. According to Merriam-Webster Dictionary, Self Sufficiency is defined as; able to maintain oneself or itself without outside aid, Capable of providing for one’s own need. Self Sufficiency is also defined as having an extreme confidence in one’s own ability or worth. The character Achilles from the poem “The Iliad” by Homer is the perfect example of the above saying by Aristotle. Achilles has such a great deal of confidence in him that he feels no need for anyone with the exception of a woman, which eventually led to his downfall.

In my perspective, Achilles whom is portrayed as a hero in the Epic poem “The Iliad” is far from a heroic figure. To be a hero one must be able to sacrifice, have determination, stay loyal, have fortitude have courage and be dedicated to a cause, Achilles lacks majority of the qualities mentioned, so therefore I see Achilles in a different light that most people might see him.

A hero sometimes works by himself but always remember that he/she is part of a community, and his actions plays a major role in the progress of the community, we all are humans and we all are flawed. Heroes are human being and do not possess super-human strength but they should be persistent with their character. To my understanding Heroes should be brave, unselfish, caring and never give up no matter how tough it might get. In general Aristotle described Achilles in his saying because Achilles’ actions show how his Self Sufficiency deprived him from working with his community and let his pride take over him.

Achilles who is the lead fighter in a war, knows that his people and community needs him because he is the “hero” and without him they might get defeated but he looked down on his...
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