War: A Quest for Glory?

War is often referred to as being despicable, atrocious, and appalling, but the opposite appears to be true throughout Homer's epic poem, The Iliad. Though Homer does not attempt to portray war as magnificent, he does challenge his readers to carefully consider whether or not it is possible for glory to be present in the midst of battle. Physical combat brings out the best in many of the warriors in this particular poem. The characters discover unknown strengths, immense courage, and a great deal of loyalty. On the other hand, the battles fought in The Iliad leave many dead men, countless broken families, and infuriated gods and goddesses. Homer does an excellent job of exposing both the glory and horror of war.

What, exactly, is glory? The Merriam Webster Dictionary defines glory as "praise, honor, or distinction extended by common consent." The goal of the majority of the warriors in the epic poem The Iliad is to gain glory for themselves. The central conflict of The Iliad is presented in the first book of the epic poem and deals with nothing more than the pursuit for glory of two mortal men. The actions and words of Agamemnon prove that he is an extremely proud man who wants nothing more than to see himself put...

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