Summary And Personal Response: Achilles And Agamemnon '

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Plot Summary and Personal Response

Books 1-3
The first book starts with a conflict between Achilles and Agamemnon, during the Trojan War. The Achaeans had plundered a nearby city and had taken the daughter of a priest of Apollo. The priest came with gold to plead for his daughter back, but Agamemnon refused. The priest called upon Apollo to bring his wrath down upon them, causing Apollo to unleash a plague. The plague raged until Agamemnon returned the girl. Agamemnon then claimed Achilles’ ‘prize’ Briseis as compensation, despite Achilles threatening to leave the army. Achilles then asked his mother, Thetis, to procure the aid of Zeus for the opposing army. Thetis did this, and Zeus agrees to help. Zeus sent a dream down to Agamemnon
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No one accepted at first out of fear. Disgraced by the cowardice, Menelaus accepted, only to be stopped by Agamemnon. Nestor then incited nine of the leaders to fight Hector. They drew lots, and Great Ajax’s lot was drawn. They fought until night came, then they stopped for the day. They exchanged gifts of friendship and left back for their camps. Later, Nestor told the Argive commanders that the next day should be taken to bury the dead and build up fortifications. The Trojan elder, Antenor, told Paris to return Helen and all of her treasures, but Paris refused. However, Paris offered all of her treasures, including some additional treasure of his own, instead. The Achaeans refused his offer. They agreed on a day to take care of the dead. Zeus forbade all other gods from participating in the battle. He went to Mount Ida, where he watched the battle. He turned the battle in favour of the Trojans, and the Achaeans were pushed back to their fortifications. The Achaeans had lost all hope and were trying to escape when, hearing Agamemnon’s prayer, Zeus pitied them and sent them a sign to fight back. They fought back with tremendous victory, until their best archer, Teucer, was taken down by Hector. With the archer down, the Trojans once again had the upper hand. When night fell, the Trojans camped just outside the Achaean fortifications, to prevent them from escaping to their ships overnight. Agamemnon was distraught by their losses and told the troops that defeat was imminent and they should all sail home. Diomedes declared this as folly and Nestor advised that they try to persuade Achilles to re-join the battle. Odysseus, Ajax, and Phoenix went to Achilles and offered priceless gifts from Agamemnon in an attempt to apologize for all the wrong he had done to Achilles. Achilles refused the gifts and said that he had no interest in reconciling with Agamemnon

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