Honor, Courage, and Heroism
The professed purpose of the Greek expedition is to vindicate Menelaus' honor, besmirched when Helen accompanied Paris to Troy.
There is an echo in Achilles' behavior. His anger is aroused because Agamemnon commandeers Briseis, a female captive whom the Greeks had awarded to Achilles in recognition of his battlefield prowess. Achilles feels disrespected and, in retaliation, he asks his mother, Thetis, to persuade Zeus to restore his honor by allowing the Trojans to crush the Greeks until they deeply regret the affront to Achilles. Zeus promises to do so.
Cretan king Idomeneus, an important Greek ally, casts doubt on the mettle of his aide Meriones, but then apologetically affirms Meriones' courage:
"There have been many times when our warriors
lay in ambush where men can best be judged,
where cowardice and valor both stand out.
The coward's body turns from side to side.
He lacks the fortitude to hold it still,
sits on his feet, and shifts from knee to knee.
His heart thumps like thunder inside his ribs.
He thinks of death. His teeth begin to chatter.
The brave man's body does not move. He has
no fear in ambush--even if up front--
and prays that furious battle soon will blaze.
In every ambush you have proven your valor.
If you should be hit or wounded in battle
the Trojan strike would not fall on your back.
No, you would meet the blow with belly or chest
as you charged ahead of the front-most ranks."
Heroism is perhaps a transcendent degree of courage, one that distinguishes the actor from his many courageous comrades.
When the Trojans drive the Greek army to the ships' sterns, all Greeks retreat beyond the ships, panicked, except Ajax, who leaps from ship to ship, thrusting a sea-fighting pike to keep fire at bay.
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See Wikipedia discussion of honor.