Achilles Slaughtered The Great Trojan Hero Essay

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Achilles slaughtered the great Trojan hero, Hector and single-handedly changed the tide of the battle. He was a marvelous Greek hero, but his accomplishments paled in comparison to his friend Odysseus. In addition to accruing glory and fame in the Trojan War, Odysseus went on to write history in an epic journey all across the Mediterranean to return to his family. Odysseus acquired more kleos than any other Greek hero in Homer’s epics. The Greeks considered kleos to be the measure of a man. Unlike modern western civilization, the Ancient Greeks didn’t believe in immortality through an afterlife, but naturally, they still sought something permanent, something to give them a purpose in life. They fulfilled this psychological need by creating a glorious legacy, and achieving kleos in the eyes of their peers in order to “…measure one’s value to others and to oneself,” (Charles Segal, 22). In fact, the Greeks thought that their reputation, their kleos, “…was more important than life itself,” (Charles Segal, 22). Many heroes attain kleos in Homer’s literature, but none so much as Odysseus. Only Agamemnon, Menelaus, Diomedes, Hector, Aeneas and Achilles could even begin to rival Odysseus’ reputation. While all of these heroes were praised for their actions, a few stand above the rest. Menelaus, Diomedes, and Hector were incredibly skilled soldiers and leaders, but their claims to kleos are based solely on their battlefield accomplishments and none of their battlefield

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