The Iliad & The Odyssey ( Homer )
Compares Odysseus’ & Achilles’ concern for their reputation as motivation for their behavior.
This study will examine crucial scenes from Homer’s epics The Iliad and The Odyssey, focusing on certain characters’ concern with their reputations as a major motivation for their behavior. All Homeric characters, to some degree, care about their reputation, about how others perceive and evaluate them and their worth as, primarily, soldiers. The question is the nature of the reputation about which they are concerned–do they only care about being seen as a hero for their own sake, for egoistic reasons, or do they see heroism and reputation as a factor in some larger concern–for community, family, homeland, and humility before the gods.
Charles Segal writes, In a shame-culture, like that of the society depicted in Homer, where esteem depends on how one is viewed and talked of by one’s peers, kleos [heroic glory] is..