The Importance of Honor in the Iliad Essay Example

In The Iliad the importance of honor is the main theme throughout the story. The Trojans and Greeks show many ways honor is important to them through examples throughout the story. 3 characters that play a big role in showing how honor is important to them are Agamemnon, Hector, and Achilles. Honor has many different definitions, there is always the dictionary definition which is “good name or public esteem : reputation”. In my opinion honor means being respected and well known by his/her people.

The first character Agamemnon exploits his importance of honor mostly through his words and actions. Agamemnon is explaining how if he has to give Chryseis back to her father he just wants another prize so he isn't left out and excluded. He is the type of character to always be dramatic. He claims he loves Chryseis but he is wanting another prize in place of her. He is focused on his honor and pride way more than he is to “the love of his life”.“Just give me another prize so that I am not the only noble Greek without this symbol of my rank and honor, for it is not appropriate for a person of my stature to have his prize of honor taken from him” (Homer 49).

The 2nd character Hector is a ideal warrior from Troy. He has a well know family and a admirable life/personality. Hector fits my definition of honor, he is respected and well-known by his people. The way he projects his honor is in a positive way. He is very respectful towards his soldiers and family. While Hector is trying to get Paris back on the battlefield to fight he isn’t just thinking about his side losing, or about his family back home. Hector is thinking about everyone, and how people need to come together and unite to get through the hard times of war. “ Try to make Paris move quickly so that he will be able to overtake me. Meanwhile, I shall go home to see my dearest wife and baby,perhaps for the last time” (Homer 56). Hector could've been selfish and just deserted the war, letting his team be defeated. He took responsibility of his actions and had another man go in his place to finish some important business he had to encounter ,which in my eyes is very honorable. He is a selfless man and during that time of war not to many people had that distinctive quality.


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