Speeches In The Iliad Essay

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The Role of Speeches in the Iliad: Confirming Kleos and Preserving Egos The ego has major significance in the decision making of heroes in the Iliad. Throughout the epic, different characters make commentary on the the egos of other characters through speeches containing paradigms that either boost their egos or push them down. However, both speech styles, those of praise and those of condemnation, are used by the speech givers for the common goal of persuasion. The receivers of the speeches are swayed to action by ego boosting speeches rather than the ego demolishing speeches, revealing that kleos and ego are directly related through the use of paradigmatic speeches. Achilles, the main hero on the side of the Achaeans, does not take action against the Trojans until very far into the battles between them because of his untamable rage against the Achaean King,…show more content…
He follows this by saying that when he was younger, he “...struck up with better men than you [Achilles and Agamemnon]… And none of the men who walk on earth today could battle with those fighters, none, but they, they took to heart my counsels, marked my words,” (Il. 1. 304-319). While already giving a low blow to both Achilles’ and Agamemnon’s egos but mentioning their insignificant strength compared to that of another era, Nestor also primes his words to be listened to, because if the best of fighters have listened to him, then they should listen to him too. Soon after, he begins to beg Achilles, “never hope to fight it out with your king, pitting force against force: no one can match the honors dealt a king… he has more power because he rules more men,” (Il. 1. 324-330). Not only does Nestor tear down at the foundation of Achilles’ ego by propping up Agamemnon’s status of being in control of his men, he also prompts him not to fight the king because he says his power will not be enough to

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