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War, Love, and Glory

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Submitted By tabizzle
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Rahat Hasan

War, Love, and Glory
“And his loving father laughed, his mother laughed as well, and glorious Hector, quickly lifting the helmet from his head, set it down on the ground, fiery in the sunlight, and raising his son he kissed him, tossed him in his arms, lifting a prayer to Zeus, all you immortals! Grant this boy, my son, may be like me, first in glory among the Trojans, strong and brave like me, and rule all Troy in power” (6.562-69)
In Book 6 of The Iliad, Homer describes the highly acclaimed Trojan warrior, Hector, returning from the battlefield to the city of Troy, where he meets his wife Andromache, and his infant son Astyanax. The excerpt displayed above describes the meeting of Hector with his family and serves an important purpose in The Iliad because it humanizes and reveals the positive traits of the great warrior; the audience can relate to Hector as he returns from war and suddenly embraces Astyanax upon seeing him. Homer is able to achieve a great level of emotional depth in this excerpt because he employs imagery that vividly conveys Hector’s return to his family. When Hector hastily removes his helmet upon seeing how it frightens Astyanax, Homer writes a series of clauses containing thoughts, feelings, and emotions which make the audience realize that Hector, who previously affirmed his devotion to the war, has a tender and loving side as well. Hector’s sudden display of emotion may seem questionable to the audience at first, because in previous chapters of the epic, he is a rather serious and stern figure who is bound to Troy’s war effort. Reading this excerpt, the audience may question why Hector would momentarily acquiesce to his emotions. An answer to this question may be that Homer wants to express his condemnation of war by juxtaposing Hector’s emotional personality with his serious, militaristic personality. By giving…...

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