Karakantza, Efimia D. 2020. Who Am I? (Mis)Identity and the Polis in Oedipus Tyrannus. Hellenic Studies Series 86. Washington, DC: Center for Hellenic Studies. http://nrs.harvard.edu/urn-3:hul.ebook:CHS_KarakantzaED.Who_am_I.2020.
Appendix 3. The Heroic Self
αἰδέομαι Τρῶας καὶ Τρῳάδας ἑλκεσιπέπλους,
αἴ κε κακὸς ὣς νόσφιν ἀλυσκάζω πολέμοιο·
οὐδέ με θυμὸς ἄνωγεν, ἐπεὶ μάθον ἔμμεναι ἐσθλὸς
αἰεὶ καὶ πρώτοισι μετὰ Τρώεσσι μάχεσθαι
ἀρνύμενος πατρός τε μέγα κλέος ἠδ’ ἐμὸν αὐτοῦ.
Yes, Andromache, I worry about all this myself,
But my shame before the Trojans and their wives,
With their long robes trailing, would be too terrible
If I hung back from battle like a coward.
And my heart won’t let me. I have learned to be
One of the best, to fight in Troy’s first ranks,
Defending my father’s honor and my own.
Hector, above all, cannot disdain battle and stand shamed before his fellow citizens, as he has been raised from birth to fight in the vanguard of the Trojan line as the foremost defender of the city. This formulation of duty overriding self-interest has often been conceptualized in terms of cooperative vs. competitive values. Arthur W. H. Adkins in his classic book Merit and Responsibility of 1960 formulated this distinction and conflict of values. However, we need to make some amendments before embarking on the specific arguments about the particularity and accountability of the Homeric heroes—that is to say, before balancing the unique characteristics of a person with his public persona.
Cooperative and Competitive Values; Questioning the Dichotomy