Do you think that the Iliad offers good examples for admirable behavior? Why or why not?

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wordprof | College Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

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Of course, “admirable behavior” is open to interpretation, but as in any epic, the bravery and strength of the characters, especially the heroes, is admirable all by itself. Having said that, however, we can almost pair up “good” and “bad” behavior in this epic. For example, the abduction of Helen by Paris can be seen as a theft or as a touching love story. The bravado of the warriors is a good behavior, but the dragging of Hector’s body (in fact the using of Myrmidons itself) is definitely bad behavior (like over-celebrating after a touchdown). The pouting of Achilles, his pride and rage and his refusal to go into battle is “bad behavior” but Odysseus’ cleverness at thinking up the Trojan Horse idea can be seen as good behavior. The Greeks’ persistence at the gates of Troy can be seen as both wasteful and fruitful, etc. Throughout the epic, admirable stories are told, of friendships, loyalties, vows kept, etc., along with reprehensible, even lustful, cowardly, vengeful behavior. The regal behavior of Priam is admirable, and so is Hector’s bravery.
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