Agamemnon And Homer 's The Iliad Essay

819 Words Sep 23rd, 2015 4 Pages
In Aeschylus’ Agamemnon and Homer’s The Iliad characters have trouble balancing familial obligations and obligations to the city-state and gods when they come into conflict. The choices the characters make in these conflicts reveals what the characters value the most, Agamemnon’s decision to sacrifice his daughter in order to be able to wage war shows that Agamemnon is serious about his role as a king, so much so that his obligation to his family takes a backseat to his role as a king. Characters in The Iliad didn’t have to worry about conflict between obligations to family and the city-state as much because the families were at home while the men were at war, so the obligation to protect the city was in the best interest of the family and city-state. Homer’s characters in The Iliad did, however; have to concern themselves with appeasing the gods.

Familial obligations in The Iliad do not come into conflict with the duty to the city-state often, it is easy for the characters to balance their obligations because they are fighting to protect the city-state. The duty to the gods can be at odds with the obligation to the city-state as evidenced by Hector being convinced by Athena to battle Achilles in book XXII. Athena said to Hector “Why don’t we stay here and give him a fight?” (305, The Iliad Book XXII) Before speaking with Hector, Athena spoke to Achilles. Athena gave Achilles the advice “There’s nothing but glory on the beachhead for us now, my splendid Achilles, once we…

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