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The Heart of Achilles: Characterization and Personal Ethics in the Iliad Paperback – December 1, 1996
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Trojans! Lycians! Dardan fighters hand-to-hand!
Fight like men, my friends, call up your battle fury-
make for the hollow ships! I see with my own eyes
how Zeus has blocked their finest archers arrows.
Easy see what help Zeus lends to mortals,
either to those he gives surpassing glory
or those he saps and wastes, refuses to defend,
just as he wastes the archives' power but backs us now.
So fight by the ships, all together. And that comrade
who meets his death and destiny, spirit or stabbed,
let him die! He dies fighting for fatherland-
no dishonor there!
He'll leave behind him wife and sons unscathed,
his house and estate unharmed-once these Argives
sail for home, the fatherland they love." (Fagles, 15. 565 -- 579)
The goal of their action is honor. And we can see in the same battle the Achean captains exhort their men with the flip side:
"Shame, you Argives! All or nothing now-
die, or live and drive defeat from the ships!
You want this flashing Hector to take the fleet
then each man walk the waves to regain his native land?
Can't you hear him calling his armies on, full force,
this Hector, wild to gut our hulls with fire?
He's not inviting them to a dance, believe me-
he commands them into battle! No better tactics now
than to fight them hand-to-hand with all our fury.Read more ›