The Characters Of Agamemnon In Homer's Iliad
Two unappealing traits that we see in Agamemnon from the very beginning are his selfishness and greed. He cares more about himself than the army that is supposed to be leading. The Greek camp has been plagued because Agamemnon refuses return Chryseis. Although he eventually gives up Chryseis, he does so reluctantly and under great coercion. After Chryses pleads with him, he refuses, not listening to the advice of the soldiers …show more content…
We see him display this cowardice in book 14: “It is no shame to flee ruin, even by night. Better to give evil the slip than be caught by it” (14.78-77). Agamemnon sees that the Greeks may be overcome and wants to flee the battle. But he is quickly reprimanded by Odysseus: “You’re a ruined man, son of Atreus, fit to command some ragtag army, but not to rule over men like us” (14.81-82). He also refuses to take the blame for his actions is book 19: “But I am not to blame. Zeus is, and Fate, and the Dark Avenger, who put a fit of madness on me, in public, that day I robbed Achilles of his prize. But what could I do? God’s decide everything” (19.99-103). He decides to blame the gods and fate instead of taking responsibility for his actions. He is afraid that his pride will be injured if he takes the blame.
Agamemnon is found unsympathetic by the modern audience. He is misogynistic. He commonly calls Chryseis his “prize” and treats her as an object. It is actually characteristic of most men in the Iliad. Today, although it still may exist, this treatment of women is completely