Honor In The Iliad

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Honor: Then and Now
Homer’s Iliad begins during the final year of the Trojan War. One of the most significant themes promoted in the Iliad and the works of Homer has to do with the concept of honor. It has been observed over the years that during times of serious conflict in communities, certain goals and codes of behavior become unitarily desired and understood. Throughout time, the progression and development of mankind is evident in all areas including reactions to crises.
Specifically in times of war, these goals and codes of behavior directly coincide with honor and heroic status above all else including life. The times and, most importantly, the circumstances have a way of shaping the connotations of these virtues.
For example, by the end of the 12th century, “samurai” were known to be the most noble
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Today, people may see this as a very cruel and unusual practice, but this was the norm back then.
This day and age, a grey fog has enveloped the virtues and morals that once were so communally condoned. With so many parties protesting every day, things have changed. No two individuals can agree on everything, but what is problematic today is the sense of entitlement that comes with individualistic beliefs. It is a walk on eggshells everyday. All objections aside, some ideas can still be salvaged. Most of what one sees in films and television shows can be pieced together to resemble moral standards. In relation to honor, the leading theme puts more emphasis on what one does in life. Honor is more notably distinguished due to actions in the

lifetime of a person. The end does not necessarily justify the means in this case. It is more about how one lives his life rather than how one ends it.
One interesting analysis about one’s recognition of honor is the priority one makes to achieve it. Back then, the quest for honor was a selfish one. One wanted everlasting fame, so
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The driving force of all this is pride. Depending on what is important at the time, the purpose of life will change. Depending on what the purpose is, selfishness will be used to fuel different actions. Achieving honor is not the main purpose of life anymore thus it has become something selfless in today’s culture.
A close analysis of the concept of honor outlined in the writings of Homer uncovers a slight contradiction in and of itself from today’s westernized perspective. The end justifies the means in this case. The ultimate goal is to receive some sort of social bestowment of significance, and for word of this to be passed down from generation to generation. Granted, it is obviously better for a warrior to defeat his enemy, come home, and rot in spoils of his victory.
Granted furthermore, death itself is not what is desired, but the circumstances of one’s death.
Looking specifically at the recourse of death, some interesting analyses can be made from today’s point of view. One has to nearly lose his own life in order to gain eternal life. One has to die now in order to live later. The only discrepancy in that logic is the value of life or

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