“To live as a Greek, is to live with honor, for they are the heroes that are only second to the gods.”
This is the essence of the underlying message that is delivered in many Greek stories and myths. The emphasis of a man’s character is proven through his actions in conflict. The character of a man…a Greek man should always weigh heavier than any other attribute of that man. Greek stories served as a type of manual and reference for the reader or listener in the process of understanding the Greek culture or the culture that the Greeks would LIKE to be known for.
The struggling hero in many Greek stories represented a failed cover of humbleness designed to mask the conceit of the Greeks. The great heroes of Homer (Achilles and Odysseus) are described as the perfect physical specimens.
They are strong, fast, trained, and smart. These attributes are readily described in the tales, but quickly enveloped in the principles and character of the heroes. This is also how the Greeks saw themselves as a people. The truth is that the land was broken into many smaller communities that had fierce pride and tradition. The communities and differences easily helped in the stratification of the societies. The upper class embraced their superiority by focusing on the honor and nobility that they were supposed to have. This outlook was also very much emphasized in the writing of Homer.