Kleos: Glory, And Glory In Homer's Iliad

Improved Essays
Kleos is a term often used in ancient greek epics that can be translated now to “renown”, or “glory”. Kleos, or glory, is an encompassing theme within Homer’s epic the Iliad, it means the achievement of one’s immortal fame. It is a glory that lives on past the expiry of ones mortal life and is often the driving force behind many attitudes and actions of the central characters within the Iliad. This is especially prominent in the case of Hector and Achilles, Both characters are considered hero’s in their own right and are looked up to by the greeks. They both are part of the war that is the driving source of plot within the Iliad, where they make decisions, sometimes against rational judgment, in honour of achieving their Kleos. The conquering …show more content…
Achilles is portrayed as the central Hero and warrior in Homer’s epic the Iliad. Glory is a great motivation for Achilles. Their are many instances through the Iliad where it is evident that Achilles is influenced by his want for the fame of Kleos. When the opportunity to go fight against the trojans is presented he joins the war. A great warrior like Achilles can earn his Kleos through his courage and prowess in battle. This idea of Kleos is recognized universally by the greeks, Achilles’ own mother even acknowledges the fame he’ll gain from the war. There is one rather pivotal instance in the Iliad where Achilles ponders the choice to stay or return home, "If I hold out here and I lay siege to Troy, / my journey home is gone, but my glory never dies. / If I voyage back to the fatherland I love, / my pride, my glory dies.../ true, but the life that’s left me will be long, / the stroke of death will not come on me quick,” (Iliad 9.500-505 ). As it is well known, Achilles stays and fights and dies but is still one of the best known hero's to this day. It can be assumed that if the events and people within the Iliad were to be proven true, Achilles would have achieved his …show more content…
This is a likely fatal challenge but it would not be a heroic action to refuse such combat. When Hector goes to face Achilles he finds his resolve wavering. Slaying Achilles would bring great honour while turning back would bring upon him great shame. He knows he is likely to die but can’t bare the disgrace the would face him if be fled. Ultimately, he decides, “For me it would be a great deal better to meet Achilles man to man, kill him, and go home, or get killed before the city, dying in glory,” (Iliad, 22.136-139). Hector seems to accept his fate by ultimately finding comfort in meeting the glorious death of a warrior, with this realization he says “So now I meet my fate. Even so, let me not die ingloriously without a fight, but in some great action which those men yet to come will hear about.”(Iliad 22.83-86). In his final moments before death is it his glorious death that brings him peace. Conclusively, both hero’s from the Iliad provide many instances in which desire to achieve glory heavily influences decisions and actions at pistol points in their lives. Achilles fights for his own glory and renown, and eventually for Patroclus as well, while Hector’s glory comes from a place of honour for himself and family. Both are hero’s on their own respective sides and are heavily driven by the Kleos. In a resect the Iliad it’s self is a form of Kleos, forever immortalizing

Related Documents

  • Improved Essays

    Strong warriors work hard so that they can be remembered as a legend and their name can be told for centuries to come. Achilles succeeded in his quest to be a great hero. Hector may also be a great and brave warrior but has not shown his characteristics as Achilles. In conclusion, Achilles seems to have to a better example of a warrior in the Trojan War who is glorified by the Greeks, has superior or superhuman combat skills, and is a responsible leader. Achilles lives to fight in battle and can make a great difference when he in the…

    • 538 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    Kleos In The Iliad

    • 788 Words
    • 4 Pages

    Book Sixteen tells of a developing Achilles, while he is still seen as reneging on is military honor code, the irresponsibility on his part is done far more surreptitiously. Achilles finally agrees to take part in the war effort. He allowed his best friend Patroclus to join the battle and wear his personal armor (amor thought to behold great powers). The Trojans, were winning the Achaeans and Achilles’ unit the Myrmidon soldiers are permitted to go fight for Agamemnon as well. At first glance, Achilles’ gift to Patroclus was an honorable gesture, he was supporting a war that needed to be fought for the Athenian honor, after reasoning, Achilles’ decision this was actually a sly way of avoiding the war altogether, and by giving away his armor, he actually had no way to protect himself during the fight forcing him to avoid it.…

    • 788 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Superior Essays

    Odysseus battles among the other Greek heroes at Troy, and now struggles to return to his kingdom. While Odysseus is away, he leaves home Penelope and Telemachus. Penelope Who is the wife of Odysseus and their son Telemachus. The Odyssey is a piece of work that all humankind can relate too, and it’s a favorite to many modern reads. Odysseus demonstrates the theory of “survival of the fittest” through the stages of his heroic journey: separation, initiation and return.…

    • 1253 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Superior Essays
  • Improved Essays

    In Greek times, honor was awarded when men won battles, and Agamemnon has earned honor and glory through his mighty fighting as a leader of the Achaean army. He clearly has honor bestowed to him through Greek culture, but it is demonstrated…

    • 749 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    In The Iliad by Homer, many heroes arise on the battlefield due to their gallant acts on both sides. However, Hector, the pride and honor of Priam’s city of Troy, is the hero of this poem. According to Bernard Knox’s interpretation of a hero, Hector is the true hero because he is daringly courageous, solely devoted to his family and people, and selfless to others around him. Hector’s courage is seen through valiant actions and confident decisions in battle, while Achilles never clearly shows true bravery on the battlefield. It is evident Hector possesses fearlessness as Achilles closes in on Hector near the walls of Troy, and Hector thinks to himself, “Better to lock up in mortal combat / As soon as possible and see to whom / God on Olympus grants the victory” (XXII, 146-148).…

    • 1253 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    beat him back from us” (Homer.Iliad.22.229-31). Hektor answered “I am minded all the more within my heart to honor you”(Homer.Iliad.22.225). Hektor fails to live up to his ideals and die for his honor. “Let me at least not die without a struggle, inglorious, but do some big thing first, that men to come shall know of it”(Homer.Iliad.22.304-05). When Hektor courageously charges into battle, knowing there is no going back, the reader gains more respect for him.…

    • 852 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Superior Essays

    Cassidy Droney Mrs. Mathews Myth and Legends 19 October 2016 The Iliad Honor and glory is an important part of all Myth and Legend characters. They are so valued that honor and glory triggered the reason for this great war between Hector and Achilles; taking many great lives. Homer 's The Iliad primarily focuses on the theme of honor, which is exhibited by both the Trojans and the Achaeans. Honor and glory define a hero, and therefore are the foundations for everything that happens in The Iliad. The idea of honor and glory is key to understanding the motivation of the heroes in the myth.…

    • 860 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Superior Essays
  • Improved Essays

    Character List Achilles- The Achaean champion, Achilles is the main character of the Iliad because of his pride and anger that fueled this battle in the Trojan War. Agamemnon- The leader of the Achaeans, Agamemnon is the prideful and arrogant king that can lead his troops toward victory. Ajax- Known for being a brave fighter, he duels Hector when no one else would. Apollo- God of music, truth, prophecy, healing, the sun and light, plague, poetry, etc. Apollo rooted for the Trojans.…

    • 1226 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    His presence in the poem gave great depth to the character especially in the army, enemy’s battlefield and even in the Trojans war. His character has the warrior in the poem reflects great importance of the Greek position in the battlefield. His strong personality and great strength made the enemy hesitate to counter his attacks, yet even ease to praise them too. In this regard, the comments of the Hector towards the Achilles such as his hands are like fire and his heart like the burnished steel reflect Achilles capacity as the warrior. On the other hand, Hector as a great man of his own also indicated that Achilles was far greater than him and was not hesitate to praise in front of him too.…

    • 1170 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Great Essays

    On the other hand, Achilles who fights for fame and glory. Another trait of the heroic code is leadership, courage and physical strength. These three traits are closely linked to reputation and honour. The two characters, Achilles and Hector, both have these three traits and perform in battle with responsibility and courage: …I grow impatient now to lend a hand to Trojans in the field who feel a gap when I am gone (J…

    • 1570 Words
    • 7 Pages
    Great Essays