The Correlation Between Homeric Rhetoric And Judgment Of Character And Ethos

The Correlation Between Homeric Rhetoric And Judgment Of Character And Ethos

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The correlation between Homeric rhetoric and judgment of character and ethos is not a complex concept. According to Todd Frobish, one’s character is based on one’s actions and ability. If a man is old and not as strong or capable as the young, one of his only useful actions is in the counseling of kings and the building of morale; both obviously actions and talents of language, not brawn (pg. 22-23). If a man is young, he is expected to fight with strength and bravery (pg. 23-24). There are those who hold both sets of skills, but common men, and even uncommon heroes, are not expected to be exceptional at both. However, though this system works for many, it does not always work for unfamiliar motives for actions. So, we see that the embassy misreads Achilles and Achilles character, and that Achilles shows that, much like the gods, he is destructively prideful and lustful for glory.
Odysseus is both an exceptional fighter and an exceptional speaker. He urges Achilles, after reciting the gifts Agamemnon offers, to remember his father’s advice. Odysseus recounts Peleus’ instruction that Achilles “hold in check his proud, fiery spirit” and that Achilles ought to value friendship over pride (9.306-315). The kings and captains of the Achaeans understand Achilles inaction to some extent, and they, including Odysseus, seem to think Agamemnon’s gifts a satisfactory recompense for the wrongs Achilles has suffered. However, there is also no denying that Achilles’ inaction is severely hurting the Argive ranks, which Odysseus emphasizes to the warrior. He says that the Trojan attack will be a “nightmare [. . .] and then it will be our fate to die in Troy [. . .]” (9.294, 296). Along with Odysseus’s claim to authority and his dwelling...


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...tions and words before approaching Pelides. But, because actions have many motivations behind them, actions and words are not always reliable units for measuring character. However, it is the only method available. The ambassadors did what they knew to do when met with resistance, and that was to try different types of appeals. The different logical, ethical, and emotional appeals were a good beginning, but the appeals were ineffective because they did not understand or know Achilles’ motivation. Achilles’ refutation of the ambassadors clears any confusion about his motivations, but the embassy does not change its strategy. They focus on honor, praise, and the fact that all of this was cause by a riff over a girl. But, though this is a part of Achilles’ grudge, his most significant reason for not fighting is so that he may win more glory and honor for himself.

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