Kleos In The Iliad

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Warriors of ancient Greece were considered heroes by following the Heroic Code of excellence. The achieved this by establishing their fame and glory or kleos. It was not an easy task to become a Grecian hero. Building and maintaining kleos meant that a warrior must be strong, face and kill his enemies, and most of all value his honor over his life. The most important act of honor for the warrior was to die in battle. In short, the highest form of kleos is to be a warrior that accomplished great things and everyone lauds him after his death. In the Greek tragedy, the Iliad, attributed to Homer, the warrior Achilles is portrayed as the finest hero of the Athenian army and while it may be true that in the end he finally becomes that gallant solider, …show more content…
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. Not leading the troop toward was also a dishonorable act, but donating soldiers for a noble cause was the proper thing to do when trying to build kleos. While, this response was probably self-centered because it helped him avoid war and secure himself a ride home (because if they lost the war he loose his ship), this act had arguably had a more of a positive impact on his kleos that the previous examples because upon his return he would be lauded a General War

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