Virtue In Homer's 'Arête In The Iliad'

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Why was arête (‘virtue’) an important theme in Homer’s Iliad? Select two characters with which to make your points.

Virtue or arête was an important quality in Homeric society and one which features very heavily in the Iliad. Arête is achieved by one’s actions, generally in battle and is a combination of qualities such as courage, honour (‘time’) and sacrifice.([good] Homeric heroes possessed these qualities and they were recognised by the audience of the epics.( Outwardly, the heroes of the Iliad and the ones who possess arête in the greatest quantities are Achilles and Hector, equal heroes on each side of the Trojan war. In equal measure, although slightly less predominantly, is the arête displayed by Nestor and Priam, King of Troy.(

Achilles was born to an immortal goddess and his fate determined that his was to be a short,
…show more content…
Priam believes in the gods and believes that what the gods have said will be done. He is a faithful and religious man and has provided many sacrifices to the gods, particularly to the god Apollo who favours the Trojans. Priam takes the advice of the messenger and gathers items with which he can bargain for Hector. This example is a symbol of the arête which is possessed by Priam. This is further shown when Priam goes to the tent of Achilles and instead of speaking to him as one would an enemy, Priam converses with Achilles with respect and dignity and almost as one would speak to a son. Priam even goes so far as to describe what he is going through to what Achilles ' own father would experience should Achilles perish. This experience shows Priam 's qualities at their very best.[I agree that this scene shows both men at their very best but ‘arete’ is not one of those qualities on show here; more like humility and courage on the part of Priam and maturity and compassion on the part of Achilles

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