From the very start of the Iliad, there is a leadership crisis among the Greeks. Who is really filling the role of leadership in the Greek army? A leader is more than Just a position of authority. A true leader is a hero among his men, a living example and paradigm of virtue. Throughout The Iliad it is Doomed who consistently fills this role. By his prowess in combat, his fidelity to the the cause, and his piety to the gods, he shows that he is a man to follow. Although Doomed is not the leader of the reeks, he is the backbone of the army both on and off the battlefield.
In a time of such corporal warfare, physical prowess on the battlefield, retreat, is something much esteemed by men. The exhorts of Just one man can stimulate the vigor of the entire army. The Arise of Doomed is an excellent example of this retreat. Doomed enters the realm of godlike when Athena, in order to turn the tides of the Greek army, infuses Doomed with divine ability: There to Études’ son Doomed Palls Athena granted strength and daring, that he might be conspicuous mongo all the Arises and win the glory of valor. He uses this divine strength protect the Greek ships, and to combat the Trojan onslaught. “Like these the massed battalions of Trojan were scattered / by Études’ son, and many as they were could not stand against him” (5. 93-94). During his superhuman rampage, Doomed pushes back the Trojan army and sustains the vigor of the men at his back. When the various commanders of the Greeks get caught in petty problems, it is Doomed that stands as the voice of reason and remains faithful to the Greek’s cause.
When Agamemnon gives up hope for the war, and proposes that the Greeks abandon the battle and return home, Doomed is the first to admonish him (9. 26-28). “Son of Eaters: I will be the first to fight with your folly, / as is my right, lord, in this assembly: then do not be angered” (9. 32-33). Here he speaks to Agamemnon, the commander of all the Achaeans, not as a subject, but as a peer. He continues on and shows his fidelity to the war.
He is not the type of man to give up a fight that has been raging nine years, on Just the whim of a disheartened commander: But If in Ruth your own heart is so set upon going, go. The way is there, and next to the water standing your ships that came – so many of them! -with you from Mycenae, and yet the rest of the flowing hairs Achaeans will stay here until we have sacked the city of Troy. (9. 42-46) Without the courage of Doomed’ proclamation, the Achaean cause might never have been fulfilled. This fidelity to see the Job through is what sets Doomed out from the other commanders as a true leader.
Throughout the Iliad the gods play a significant role in lives of the characters. It is ere important for success on the battlefield to show devotion to the gods. You must both love the gods, and be loved by them. Doomed has a special relationship with Athena. She helps him on many occasions, including giving him is arise. He even speaks with her as if she were a true friend. “Daughter of Zeus who holds the aegis, goddess, I know you, / and therefore will speak confidently to you, and hide nothing” (5. 815-16).
Before going into battle he thinks to pray to her to ask for her intercession in the upcoming fight: Hear me now, Attorney, daughter of Zeus of the eggs: if ever before you stood in kindliness you stood by my father through the terror of fighting, be my friend now also, Athena; grant me that I may kill this man and come within sparsest, who shot me before I could see him, and now boasts over me saying I cannot live to look much longer on the shining sunlight. (5. 115-120) This kind of supplication shows that he understands the importance of the role which the gods play in the warfare of men.
This is something that you don’t see often from the other heroes in The Iliad. These acts of piety no doubt have a great effect on the morale of the men around him. Like any good commander, Doomed is continuously able to lead by his direct actions and by his example. He offers those around him the model of true Greek soldier. A soldier who is overflowing with retreat, fighting arduously for the cause of his army, and pious in the sight of the gods. It is these virtues which endow him with the ability to truly support the Greek army both on and off battlefield, and to be the leader that the Greeks need.