The Influence of the Iliad on Individuals The classical hero is a timeless description of human beings all around the world. Not only is it part of some human’s nature; it is used as a source of entertainment for people as well. The classical hero is seen both in the Iliad, as we have discussed, and in today’s world every day and in most cases everywhere. Heroes are seen today in TV shows, novels, movies, sports, in politics, and on the news, etc. As an audience, we love to study the classical hero whether we’re watching something or reading a novel or story about one.
It always seems to be exhilarating because it’s part of our nature. The story of the hero motivates individuals to want to be like that person and strive to help others as well, and you see that more and more in today’s world than 20 or 30 years ago. The classical hero is such an amazing thing to study and at any time period, the concepts of the hero in the Iliad influenced the heroes of today’s world in a very impactful way. In today’s world, media has a huge influence on public belief and most households in the United States have at least one television.
Now when watching television if you focus on the points of many of the shows on various channels, they all have aspects of the classical hero in them. For example, you see T. V. shows that involve super heroes like superman in Smallville, which is a newer version of what we watched in class, or even shows like CSI or Law and Order have aspects of classical heroes in them. In a lot of shows that depict real life situations, you see people who act like heroes by saving someone or making the ethical situation that betters the community they are apart of.
Now in those types of shows like CSI or Law and Order you don’t get all of the facets of the classical hero like an unusual birth or special parents because in most circumstances you have no way of knowing that but you get the aspect of them saving someone which I see as a civil hero. Along with television shows that bring out heroes, you see daily stories on the news whether it’s NBC or CBS or any of them, some of their stories include details of a citizen saving someone’s life or people’s lives.
A classic example is if a child falls down on subway tracks and a human being jumps down and saves them before the train comes. That is an example of a hero but only part of what the Iliad demonstrates and influenced. Something else we watch are sports. In the events of sports, the same type of feature of the hero is demonstrated. All sports fans love to see their team win and it is always an awesome thing to watch when their favorite player makes a play at the end of the game to win it for the team. The same part of the hero Achilles when the army counted on him is depicted in today’s sports world.
People depend on the team’s best player to make the vital plays needed in order to win. You see it in every sport whether its football, basketball, baseball, soccer, lacrosse every one. Now when your watching your not thinking about the Iliad or how it influenced sports or in what ways it is similar but if you sit and think about it there are many similarities. In a basketball sense, the way Miami Heat fans depended on Lebron James to make the winning plays in the fourth quarter is like how they wanted and needed Achilles to come and help out their nation in a time of war.
You see the aspect of the redeemer hero in both examples because in basketball Lebron can make a bad play but then come back and make up for he did wrong and win the game. Achilles left and then redeemed himself by coming back to the war and helping them with his unbelievable skill. For children around the world there have been comic books and cartoons for years. They love watching the cartoons of Spiderman or Batman when they become a redeemer hero by saving the city from the evils or criminals that are trying to destroy the city.
It is in human nature for us to want to see triumph of good over evil in any aspect of life and the influence of the Iliad can be seen at even such a young age. That influence carries on through life and as much as people don’t realize when they’re adults and get put in a situation, they subconsciously use tactics or strategies they have seen before like in a Spiderman or Batman cartoon to act as a hero. These actions spur from the influence of Homer’s Iliad.
It is amazing how much something so minute as a cartoon can later influence a human being in life like that. Another example similar to cartoons is comic books. In comic books throughout the years there have been many different super heroes that have not become cartoons for children to watch but they can still read these comics and learn some of the same aspects of the cartoons. Comic book’s various heroes have many different situations where they have to save the city or different people and the difference is some of them describe the upbringing of the hero.
Some of them describe the heroes’ characteristics like unusual birth, special parents, raised in obscurity, or even one or more special tutors or guides and they show how they came from those circumstances and became the hero they are at the end of the comic. Comic books in my opinion are a better example to study if you want to look at a redeemer hero because it not only shows the heroic actions but also shows the background of the hero and shows some of the true reasons why these people are considered heroes.
They don’t base the hero on actions; they take their traits into account. Comic books and cartoons both portray the facets of a hero we all know and love and the influence of the Iliad is evident and starts even at the young age of being a child. The most hidden example of the hero is seen in politics. What I mean by hidden is when you think of a hero you don’t think about a politician or the president but in essence they have the potential to be one. People like George Washington and Abraham Lincoln who were heroes for so many reasons were presidents involved in politics.
George Washington was a hero because not only was he a commander in the army and helped lead the victory in the American Revolutionary war but also he made so many precedents that helped build our nation today and put us in a position to achieve greatness. Abraham Lincoln can be seen as a hero as well. As a politician for most of his political career he was seen as a failure because he couldn’t win a political race for so long. Eventually he made a name for himself and redeemed his career, became president, and when he was president he made so many positive changes that can be seen as heroic actions.
The slaves can see Abraham Lincoln as being a hero who saved their lives from a cruel and punished life and gave them chances to make their lives something they never dreamed it could be. Political heroes don’t just stop at presidents. People like Benjamin Franklin and Alexander Hamilton made changes that in some aspects can be seen as heroic that set our nation on a better path then we thought possible. Being heroic doesn’t always mean saving lives it can also mean doing something ethical to help an extreme amount of people and bettering people’s lives.
The most impactful study of the hero in my opinion can be seen through books and books that become movies. Books like the Harry Potter series, which show the upbringing of Harry Potter and show his heroic characteristics, later show his actions as a hero when he saves Hogwarts several times from the evil Lord Volte mort. Many of the heroic traits displayed in the Iliad can be seen through Harry Potter including but not limited to special parents, almost dies at infancy, raised in obscurity, one r more special tutors or guides, achieves great victory, suffers major tragedy, etc. just to name a few. Now as much as this is fiction it is a great opportunity to study the classical hero. Not only can human beings read about Harry Potter’s heroism through the eight books which are very well-written, they can watch the eight movies that show visually the heroism that Harry Potter displays and how much his redeemer hero qualities can affect the people around him and the people he is affiliated with.
Again just like Achilles was desired by the rest of the army and needed for a victory, Hogwarts morale was really low when Harry Potter was gone and they needed him there to not only win but encourage others to do their best when fighting the evil wizards. Another example would be comic books that turn into movies as well. A modern example would be Spiderman. The comic books and movies do a good job of explaining how this hero got his power and the different heroic traits he develops throughout his life.
Just like Harry Potter when Peter Parker decides to throw out the Spiderman suit and be a normal citizen for a short period of time the effects are detrimental as crime goes up and the city goes into mayhem. When he get the suit back and redeems himself, the love and support are still there from the people in the city and he brings the city back to where it was initially when he was acting like the hero: controlled and stable. Homer’s Iliad is a great model as a book of extreme influence in many ways especially in the way of the classical hero.
As we study Achilles in the Iliad, different types of people in the world display his heroic traits today whether they are fiction or not. In human nature, we enjoy seeing something we love triumph in greatness and that’s why the classical hero is desired at such a high level. Heroes are palpable in today’s society through many different methods. In television there are ordinary situations like Law and Order where apparent heroes lock up criminals, and help the good triumph. In the news we see citizens around the country and world perform heroic actions that sometimes affect individuals which is an amazing thing to see.
In sports, we see all the time there are players that put the team on their back and make the crucial play to win the game and be the hero. Comic books and cartoons are a fictional example of the classical hero but still aid in teaching and motivating the children around the world to know what being a hero is like and for kids to strive to be just like the heroes they idolize. In politics, many people, presidents or not, make changes and decisions that are in the benefit of the people they represent that can be seen as heroic in different ways.
The most useful study of the classical hero is through reading novels and watching the movies they turn into which can show the life of a hero from the beginning to the end and give us as the audience different perspectives of how much impact the hero himself or herself has on a community. More and more people daily display the traits of a hero and perform heroic actions, and this not only helps our world grow, but also positions us as a whole for opportunities for greatness and it all started with the influence of Homer’s Iliad.