Iliad Paper

Submitted By BigDog1333
Words: 1152
Pages: 5

Corey Craig
Mosaics II
Professor Neff
21 March 2013
Guts and Glory Throughout our lives we see millions of different faces; some we will remember, very few will affect us, but most of them will just be a passing image in our minds never to be thought of again. Then you have the exception; that extremely rare scenario that a person comes along and has an impact on not just the people they meet or the communities they are a part of, but rather on an entire culture. People like Bob Marley, Elvis Presley, Martin Luther King Jr., and Kurt Cobain are all people that have cemented their legacy in history; their life’s work has not only passed the test of time but has achieved a status of immortality. This is what Achilles has achieved through his trials in the Trojan War. Homer writes in the Iliad the story of Achilles and how he led the Greeks with his sword to a victory over Troy. Achilles’ path to immortality contains one glaring difference from that of Dr. King, Bob Marley, and the other “heroes” we’ve learned about and grown to love over the years: he had a choice. Prior to his trip to Troy, Achilles mother, Thetis, warns him that if he goes to Troy he will have glory, but he won’t return home. We idle the people that have attained this larger-than-life presence among us; does this mean our strongest desire is to be glorified by our fellow man? Does living a long, good life prove to be less rewarding than achieving immortality? What defines glory varies from person to person. It could mean being an Oscar-winning actor, recording an album that goes platinum, or being a world champion athlete. However, these achievements aren’t the only factor when discussing what constitutes glory. If that were the case, than you could argue that Bernard Piece, ex-Temple running back and new Super Bowl champion, is more glorified than Dan Marino, who is considered by many to be the best quarterback to never win a Super Bowl. So if not achievements, what does one have to accomplish to provoke glorification? Mahatma Gandhi was once quoted as saying, “Glory lies in the attempt to reach one’s goal and not in reaching it.” I think this phrase applies to Achilles situation all too perfect. There were tons of Greek soldiers that accomplished the goal of defeating the Trojans; the reason we remember Achilles is the way in which he went about doing it. While other soldiers followed orders and fought alongside Agamemnon, Achilles defied him. He went against orders, defaced statues of the gods, and blazed his own trail; all while at the same time single-handedly decimating the Trojan population with every swing of his sword. The same actions that made him hated by kings and gods back then provoke applause and praise from us now. He was unstoppable, inspiring, and relentless; these are the traits that have given him his immortality. Glory cannot be obtained through accomplishing a mission or fulfilling a goal; rather glory is acquired through displaying qualities, such as the ones Achilles possess, and exemplifying them so flawlessly that you inspire others to develop them. The question still remains, is achieving this larger-than-life immortalization indeed the strongest desire of our species? We all share similar present day desires. We all want a ton of money, the hottest girls, and to be loved and adorned by millions of people. When we see the glorified athletes and movie stars with all these things, in excess none the less, it’s easy to say to yes to the question at hand. What we forget to ask ourselves most of the time however, is “At what cost?” Think about starting a new job, going to a new school, or even something as simple and routine as meeting a new person. The one thing that makes all of these encounters both exciting and nerve-racking is the idea of a “fresh-start”. When no one knows anything about who you are you have some sort of control over your first impression. If Achilles were to walk into a room full of soldiers during the