Achilles : The Unjust Act Of Taking Briseis From Achilles Essay

1531 Words Dec 12th, 2015 7 Pages
The unjust act of taking Briseis from Achilles alienates the greatest Achaean warrior from his fellow Achaeans and causes him to pull out of the war. As the Trojans triumph repeatedly, Agamemnon seeks to correct his wrongdoing by sending an embassy to Achilles with a goal of persuading Achilles to return to the battle. G. Mitchell Reyes states that there are “four dominant sources of appeal: honor, material, power, and justice” (23). While Achilles does value honor, material, and power; to satisfy his vindictive nature requires that justice be served to Agamemnon. The justice that Achilles requires to satisfy his enmity towards Agamemnon is revenge based. Homer argues against revenge-based justice by using Achilles as an example of how revenge only brings destruction. Achilles will not be satisfied by honor, material, or power; only revenge-based justice will bring the warrior back to battle. The embassy uses the loss and acquisition of honor as a means to persuade Achilles to action. “In the Iliad honor is a function of public perception” and therefore honor will be lost and gained based on how his fellow heroes view his actions (Reyes 23). Odysseus argues that Achilles will gain more honor by returning to the battle and disposing of Hector. Phoenix’s statement of “go out and fight […] the Achaeans all will honor you like a god” fully explains what the Achaeans expect of Achilles and how they will honor him for doing so (Homer 9.733-734). The Argives understood Achilles’s…

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