The Greek Ideal Of Kleos In Homer's The Odyssey

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In Homer's The Odyssey, Odysseus focuses his attention on gaining the Greek ideal of kleos while disregarding his men and their safety. After receiving advice to focus his attention on getting him and his men back alive, Odysseus still puts them at danger for his own good. His desire to return home a hero and the advice he receives conflict him, but he ultimately chooses to follow the former. When Odysseus is informed that he can be tied down without wax in his ears to be able to listen to the Sirens, he changes that message and presents it to his men as if only he is meant to listen to the Sirens. He makes this statement based off of his need to be able to say that he had heard the sirens and that he lived through it as well. Circe informs Odysseus that “[he] can hear the Sirens’ song to [his] heart’s content… if [he commands [his] men to set [him] free, then they must lash [him] faster, rope on rope” which he ends up doing, having them tie him down so he can listen to the sirens (12.…show more content…
Odysseus’ need to be glorious in such a dangerous encounter demonstrates his engrossment in kleos, while he risks the safety of both him and his men. Odysseus “commands [his] men” very often, as they follow his instruction and are subconsciously being sacrificed for Odysseus’ own prestige. Odysseus is considered a hero, abounding with bravery and glory from the Trojan War. Odysseus still remains unsatisfied, keeping determined and set on achieving the greek ideal of kleos and being regarded as illustrious. Odysseus uses his men to fulfill his wants and doesn’t regard them at all. His heedless actions and blurred values come from his personality, one which does not fit that of epic
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