Heroic Code

Heroic code represents a system of rules and principles that, in case they are followed, will ensure meaning to person’s life surrounded by a world, which is ruled by the capricious gods’ violence. One so as to meet the heroic code requirements has to perform an ennobling deed that possesses such a great challenge and magnitude that very few, indeed, maybe only one person out of a nation, may ever become a hero in the true sense of the word.  The hero should perform such a kind of deed, which the society considers to be necessary and meaningful, and usually, it occurs in warfare, in which death is an inevitable fact of life, from which only few escape.  Only by playing the heroic code game may one raise himself to heroic stature.

In the literature one of the bright examples of heroes that fulfill the heroic code principles is Achilles in the Iliad. He is there the hero who fights for pure heroics, which is why to the mind of a modern person he may seem to be selfish, cruel and hateful. Hector and Diomedes pose perfect contrasts to Achilles, and if we compare these characters, it will become evident who is a hero.

It is necessary to mention that in the time of Homer heroism was mainly measured by fighting. The person was considered better than another one is he/she fought better. Thus, in Iliad Nestor told Achilles and Agamemnon that he knew much better men than them, which meant that he knew those who could fight better. And Achilles was the only character who really loved the battle and glory.