Differences Between Achilles And Mycenaeans In The Iliad

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Homer’s epic poem, the Iliad, speaks about the great deeds of the Mycenaeans in the Trojan War. More specifically, it is about Achilles’ conflict with Agamemnon. The Greeks claimed to be heralded from Mycenaeans; this is definitely true. Mycenaeans were the earliest Greek-speaking peoples in the region, as opposed to the Minoans of Crete, and the civilizations from the Cyclades speaking their own languages. Homer was born into the Dark Age of Greece, a few hundred years after the bronze age Mycenaeans. Dark Age Greeks stumbled upon the ruins of Mycenaean cities and palaces, and claimed them as ancestors. The walls of the ancient cities were called “Cyclopean” (Pomeroy et al. 2004, 25) because the stones were so huge, and the Greeks reasoned …show more content…
The Iliad gives fantastic examples of these heroes. Each has a few things in common, even though most seem extremely different. For example, Achilles and Odysseus are two contrasting examples of Homeric grandeur, yet they have the same Dark Age concepts validating them as great men. These concepts are arête, aristos, aidos, and kleos. The first two concepts refer to the greatness of a man or woman, while aidos is shame, and kleos is more like glory. The arête of Achilles and of Odysseus are completely different. Achilles has his arête because of battle prowess, and being the greatest Mycenaean warrior. Odysseus has his because of his wits and intelligence. Aristos is more about what separates the great men from the common rabble. An example of aristos used in class was as common foot soldier that rebuked Agamemnon. Although spouting the same argument as Achilles, the foot soldier had no aristos. He was a commoner, born without the status to question a leader. Odysseus reprimanded him with “You shall not lift up your mouth to argue with princes”(The Iliad 2.250-251), further confirming his lack of aristos. Aidos is not exhibited much by either Odysseus or Achilles, but is by Paris when he runs from Menelaus in the middle of battle. Kleos is shown throughout The Iliad by most of the primary characters, as they try to gain glory by defeating other famous heroes. It is both synonymous with glory as it is with fame. These qualities, or lack thereof, comprise the Homeric hero. They were godlike forbearers Dark Age Greeks aspired to

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