The Iliad, Achilles And Agamemnon Essay

737 Words Sep 27th, 2016 3 Pages
In Book 1 of the Iliad, Achilles and Agamemnon appear to be fighting over who should surrender their war spoils for the good of the Achaean war effort. King Agamemnon is frustrated that he was told to give up his kidnapped woman rather than Achilles, the greater warrior. Homer casts Achilles in the light of the besieging hero and Agamemnon as the greedy king who cares more for wealth and honor than his men’s lives. As the book progresses and insults traded, Homer switches sides as Achilles removes himself from the battle. Homer reveals his true support not for the character, but the greater good of the Achaean war effort. Homer shows his audience that Agamemnon is not upset about returning the girl, rather, he is upset about Achilles, only a warrior, telling him, a king, how to solve the problem. King Agamemnon says to Achilles “Not so quickly, godlike Achilles – trying to cheat me. What do you want? To cling to your own prize, while I sit calmly by?”(1.153-157) Agamemnon accuses Achilles of his own thoughts of greed. Instead of masking Agamemnon’s emotions, Homer uses his question to project them. He is telling his audience it is not Achilles’ greed disrupting the camp but Agamemnon’s materialism. Agamemnon further reveals his greed through another of his accusations; “Seer of misery! Never a word that works to my advantage! …But fetch me another prize, and straight off too, else I alone of the Argives go without my honor” (1.124, 138-9). He exclaims that the seer is…

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