April 12, 2013

Kleos (& Gerard Butler's 300 Abs) = K: Blogging from A to Z

K is always a toughie, so I'm excited to visit other K posts today. If K equally intrigues you, please visit the Blogging from A to Z participant list for some great takes on K.

A literary device that begins with K... hmmm. As hard as I tried, I couldn't come up with anything, so I hit the Internet. I found a few (some were pushing it... like alternate spellings for c words) but decided on...

Kleos
(Source)
(Greek, "What others hear about you"): Renown, honor, glory, and fair reputation achieved through great deeds--especially battle but to a lesser extent in Olympic games, poetry contests, and literature. The Greeks thought of kleos as something transferred from a father to a son, and the son would inherit the duty for carrying on and building upon the "glory" of the father. In Greek literature, kleos becomes a predominant concern of epic heroes like Achilles, who must choose between achieving kleos but dying in battle, or having a long and happy life but having his name fade after a few generations.

When I looked this up, the definition redirected me to see fame/shame culture. According to this site, fame/shame culture is the anthropological term for a culture in which masculine behavior revolves around a code of martial honor. These cultures embody the idea of death before dishonor. Such civilizations often glorify military prowess and romanticize death in battle. Typically, such a society rewards men who display bravery by (a) engaging in risk-taking behavior to enhance one's reputation, (b) facing certain death in preference to accusations of cowardice, and (c) displaying loyalty to one's king, chieftain, liege lord, or other authoritative figure in the face of adversity.

Of course, I thought about 300. Then I thought about Gerard Butler's abs and got distracted for quite a while.

But, back to kleos. I found this concept interesting. Is there a modern form of this? Even those in the military, although willing to die for what they believe in, don't often get the respect and "fame" associated with laying their lives on the line. 

So, other than authors writing historical fiction or about some Middle East cultures, this literary device is beginning to die a cultural death. Right? 

A possible exception... those stories that bring Greek culture to the modern world. Think The Lightning Thief. Or, interpreted loosely, any story about a son feeling pressured by his father's legacy (since the term is male-based). Consider Prince William, a man destined to be King... he has to live up more to his female ancestors (the Queen and his mother) than any man (Prince Charles. Um, no). 

Oh, and since I mentioned it, I thought it only polite to share Gerard Butler's abs. I figured it was best to save for the end so my female readers wouldn't be too distracted. Enjoy!

7 comments:

homebadger said...

I love the abs. I think it depends on what you consider 'martial' - the literal idea is, of course, military stuff. There are still a lot of movies out there like that. Books too. At least, if I am getting the definition right and where you are going with it... But if you look at how different cultures in America view 'macho' or 'manly' behavior, you could probably make a case for this to be included in music videos, etc. I may not agree with the vision, but it might apply... what do you think? Smooches and hugz in gratitude for the eye candy - all the joy, none of the calories! :-)

Connie Gruning said...

Gerard Butler...... yum.
Great post. I like your theme, I can't wait to see what comes next.
Peanut Butter and Whine

Jessica Peterson said...

I think putting the abs at the end might have backfired, because I'm sure that's where most comments will be focused. :) Interesting word though. I love learning something new.

Have fun with a-z.

Silvia Villalobos said...

Gerard Butler's abs would've distracted me, too. In fact ... nice picture ... wow ... what was I saying.
Silvia @ Silvia Writes

Tia Bach said...

Thanks to everyone for visiting!

Jessica, I think you are right. I should have put Gerard's abs first and then made my point. But I was glad to give everyone some eye candy to help get through A to Z. ;-)

Jo Michaels said...

I've done a ton of research on the Spartans. They were an interesting bunch of people. Not just the men, and their visions of glory, but the women, too. Being a Spartan woman was like being a tiger in a room full of sheep. They were just as ruthless and hard as the Spartan men. :) Love those ladies... Great post. WRITE ON!

Sarosh Rizvi said...

Funny where you get directed to online. I run a charity called Kleos MFG (Kleos Microfinance Group) that does development work in Uganda and got a google alert about your blog. Interesting about the martial aspect of Kleos...