Heroes Among Heroes: Aristotle, Homer, Term Paper

Excerpt from Term Paper :

Hector's own human vulnerabilities that account for our sympathy for him as a character (and likely his creator Homer's special authorial sympathy for him as well) also contain within them the early seeds of the conditions of possibility for his later tactical failures: including Hector's defeat in battle at the hands of his Greek enemy and (arguably) alter-ego, Achilles, and his brave, sacrificial, and premature death at Achilles' hands.

In The Practice of Everyday Life (1984), Certeau, in his explanation and definition of human 'tactics' in operation, describes defensive "tricks" and "ruses" (pp. xix) employed by everyday human beings "making do" (Certeau, pp. 29-42) against societal and/or other strategists (politicians; bosses) that set the agendas of private and public life others then must follow. Further, Certeau dedicates The Practice of Everyday Life: "To the ordinary man... To the common hero... [n.p.] This and is not Hector; reluctant strategist eventually and inevitable turned dying tactician; public prince-patriot who yearns, more than anything, to quit the battlefield and again be a private parent, and Andromache's loving, loyal, and devoted husband within a settled and peaceful royal household, in the calm of peacetime.

Certeau's so-called 'strategies' and 'tactics' of everyday life, are in fact military references, thereby implicitly underscoring, even further, the importance of hierarchy, and the metaphorical slipping between the hierarchal cracks that occurs in every tactical maneuvers of the less-than-powerful., rather than typical cultural or sociological ones. Within that mutually exclusive yet stiffly entwined worlds inhabited by strategists and tacticians, respectively and (in an inherently tense and uncomfortable way trans-hierarchically The domino-fall of decisions that eventually create the conditions of possibility for Hector's brutal; fatal, and inevitable clash with Achilles is the gods' (that is, the super-strategists' of the Greek universe) decision of Hector's fate, and to that he submits.

As the article "Further Greek Literature II: Aristotle's Poetics" also observes, of Hector:

In book 6, Andromache asks him to stay with her on the city wall... he refuses, as he must - it is his duty to fight. In book 14 Polydamas advises against an assault on the Greek camp; Hector overrules him. In book 18

Polydamas (knowing that Achilles will rejoin the fighting the next day) argues that the Trojans should withdraw inside the city and defend the walls; Hector again overrules him. In the next day's fighting the Trojans suffer a heavy defeat. They retreat inside the city; Hector is the last man left outside the walls; his parents, on top of the walls, beg him to come inside; but conscious that the disaster was due to his own misjudgement [sic], he feels obliged to stay outside and face Achilles. He too, then, falls into misfortune as a result of an error - the rejection of Polydamas' advice in book 18...

In this essay, I have suggested that Hector of the Iliad, as his creator Homer conceives him, is a hero perhaps shaped by Homer's own self: forthright; plain spoken; one who views the world through the eyes of a detached but interested observer, accepts the environment, and respects the gods and fate. Hector is Homer's hand-created legendary hero: a strategist by birth; a tactician by gods' and artists' design.

In the Aristotlean sense; and Aristotle admired the works of Homer, especially the Iliad, despite his considering this work an "incomplete" tragedy, unlike, say, Sophocles' Oedipus Rex (See "Further Greek Literature II::Aristotle's Poetics).

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references, thereby implicitly underscoring, even further, the importance of hierarchy, and the metaphorical slipping between the hierarchal cracks that occurs in every tactical maneuvers of the less-than-powerful., rather than typical cultural or sociological ones. Within that mutually exclusive yet stiffly entwined worlds inhabited by strategists and tacticians, respectively and (in an inherently tense and uncomfortable way trans-hierarchically The domino-fall of decisions that eventually create the conditions of possibility for Hector's brutal; fatal, and inevitable clash with Achilles is the gods' (that is, the super-strategists' of the Greek universe) decision of Hector's fate, and to that he submits.

As the article "Further Greek Literature II: Aristotle's Poetics" also observes, of Hector:

In book 6, Andromache asks him to stay with her on the city wall... he refuses, as he must - it is his duty to fight. In book 14 Polydamas advises against an assault on the Greek camp; Hector overrules him. In book 18

Polydamas (knowing that Achilles will rejoin the fighting the next day) argues that the Trojans should withdraw inside the city and defend the walls; Hector again overrules him. In the next day's fighting the Trojans suffer a heavy defeat. They retreat inside the city; Hector is the last man left outside the walls; his parents, on top of the walls, beg him to come inside; but conscious that the disaster was due to his own misjudgement [sic], he feels obliged to stay outside and face Achilles. He too, then, falls into misfortune as a result of an error - the rejection of Polydamas' advice in book 18...

In this essay, I have suggested that Hector of the Iliad, as his creator Homer conceives him, is a hero perhaps shaped by Homer's own self: forthright; plain spoken; one who views the world through the eyes of a detached but interested observer, accepts the environment, and respects the gods and fate. Hector is Homer's hand-created legendary hero: a strategist by birth; a tactician by gods' and artists' design.

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