Sunday, July 16, 2017

Ancient Greek Hero ; mythos


       The ancient Greek hero was not always a warrior. Though the mythos suggested that most men were brave men at arms, and most women were lovely and generous, it is in my opinion that the writers as the philosophers were the same kind of human beings as we. It is with clarity that I can say that those are the reasons why most heroes have flaws. The Greek intellectuals wish to write them as we are, fallible. Related to us in a way that we can look to the heroes for inspiration.
Hector, for example. Homer lets the reader know that Hector is known not only for his courage but also for his noble and courtly nature. Peace-loving, thoughtful, and bold. A great son, husband and father, and without darker motives.  When the Trojans are disputing whether the omens are favorable, he retorts: “One omen is best: defending the fatherland.”  What was his downfall? Pride. He killed Patroclus, Achilles' cousin, his protege. Hector knew the dangers of war, he knew that people die. He of all people should have never stepped out to battle Achilles in single combat.

“Alas! The gods have lured me onto my destruction, death is now indeed exceedingly near at hand and there is no way out of it – for so Zeus and his son Apollo the far-darter have willed it, though heretofore they have been ever ready to protect me. My doom has come upon me; let me not then die ingloriously and without a struggle, but let me first do some great thing that shall be told among men hereafter.” - spoken by Hector when facing Achilles, after a missed spear-throw. The Iliad, lines 299-305.

Pride is the downfall of great men. The Greek mythos put it there for a reason. What would we as humans do with not understanding to be too prideful is in error? The question that really could be answered from one hundred different people with one hundred different answers.

The Greek writers were writers like today. They told a story, and in that story they hoped to give people encouragement and ideals to live by. Though thousands of years have passed since the ancient Greeks and modern times. It's said that history repeats itself, and though it may be true in a sense, I do not personally believe it. History is there to learn from, to look at for guidance. To dwell, and figure out what you could do better, is not meant for our minds. We are meant to be present and now in our decision making capabilities. The Greeks had many free thinkers, many philosophers who paved the way for modern ways of thinking, processing, perspective, and ideology. It is now in our hands and minds to continue the road, to not go down a path that will lead to our end.

There's a Greek hero in all of us. Even if it's just an idea. Use it, and make your world a better place.
In closing, live your life as if your story was being written. Be the hero. Make your dreams as amazing and wonderful as you could imagine.

Originally published in October of 2013

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