Greek Literature and Its Downfalls Essay

Submitted By lenoranicole
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Fatal Character Flaws in Greek Literature

Although many some Greek Literature characters seem like heroes, they also all have several character flaws that lead to downfalls on their character! Here we will read about some of the downfalls Achilles and Hector had in The Iliad and also Medea and Jason in Medea!! Achilles was blessed by the Gods with many gifts. He was destined to be a hero and was taught all the art of war and it is said in some accounts given the gift of immortality by his mother accept for his heel which was left unprotected. He was generous and brave and considered the most handsome of all the Greeks. He was born of a union between the king of Thessaly, and the Nereid Thetis, who was a nymph of the ocean. His mother tried to give him immortality and protected all his body but his heel. He possessed greatness, and bravery, and skill on the battlefield. However, he was undone by pride and rage. He was intemperate. When the battle was at its most brutal he turned his back on his fellow soldiers and “friends” to sulk in his tent as his pride had been wounded. When his friend enters the battle to encourage the men dressed as Achilles and is killed, then Achilles returned to the battlefield. Yet his return to the battlefield was filled with rage. He was not motivated by heroic attributes, but rage and pride. He wanted glory for himself and vengeance for his friend.
Hector is a tragic hero. He is not looking for glory in the fight with the Greeks, but instead is seeking to protect his homeland and family. He shows great concern about his family especially his wife and son and treats Helen with respect. In many ways he is the more heroic than Achilles as he is motivated by unselfish attributes. However, the Gods are against him, especially Zeus. Also as the war moves forward he becomes more consumed with pride and the desire for glory on the battlefield. When he kills Patroclus he takes his armor that is rightfully the armor of Achilles. He is filled with the desire for glory on the battlefield and because of that pride and quest for glory is deceived by the gods. He fails to see that he is not a match for the wrathful Achilles as Hector’s own pride gets in the way. His character flaws occur because of the situation he is pushed into rather than them being a constant part of his character in comparison to Achilles. However, when he fails to recognize this pride and desire for glory at all costs and fights Achilles he is doomed to die.
Medea’s fatal flaws are not balanced out by heroic attributes. She is in many