Why Agamemnon’s Embassy Failed Argumentative Essays Example
Type of paper: Argumentative Essay
Topic: The Odyssey, Achilles, Embassy, Literature, Homer, Books, Pride, Iliad
This is an ancient Greek poem that was set in the era of the Trojan War. To a large extent, this poem gives a vivid narration of the events and battles that took place during such time. Apparently, the quarrel that existed between Achilles (the warrior) and Agamemnon (king) cannot go unnoticed. Two of the main characters, Agamemnon and Priam plot embassies with the aim of changing the mind of Achilles. Agamemnon’s embassy (to bring Achilles to war) fails, whereas Priam’s embassy (to return the body of his son) succeeds. All this was despite the fact that Priam was considered an enemy and father of the one who killed Patroclus while Agamemnon was the king and ally of the king.
The narration on how Agamemnon’s embassy failed is discussed book 9 to 12. Early on, it was apparent that Agamemnon was crumbling and failing with the burden his leadership was bringing. In essence, the conflict between him and Achilles had sprout from his pride. Because of Agamemnon’s pride, Achilles deserted the troops, effectively making them weak. The king’s attempt to bring Achilles back is not well executed. In book 9, there is evidence that the king tried to lure Achilles using earthily glories. For instance, he offers to give him fabulous holdings and riches that would make Achilles very rich. This was against Achilles principles. According to the way he was raised, Achilles valued respect and dignity. To a large extent, Agamemnon’s embassy failed because the king filed to offer Achilles an apology. To Achilles, such gifts reflected the kingly magnanimity of the king. To make matters worse, Agamemnon includes in the offer a clause that would require Achilles to yield to him. All these were against Achilles’ desire. According to Achilles, his pride could not be bought by material things. He even refers to the prophecy of his mother and instructs the embassy that he would rather choose long life rather than the glory being offered by Agamemnon.
Why Priam’s embassy succeeded
Prior to this, Priam and Achilles were great enemies and opposing warriors who always sought to injure one another. However, this is not the case at last as the two have a successful personal encounter. During the meeting between the two at their old age, it is apparent that they were filled with sorrow. This was based on the conditions that the human life had subjected them to. Such an understanding was mainly achieved because the two understood their nature as human beings. To add up on this, Priam approached and treated Achilles with a lot of respect. In book 24, the author writes:
He came up to Achilles, then with his fingersclasped his knees and kissed his hands, those dreadful hands,man-killers, which had slain so many of his sons (Homer et al. 431).
Homer, and Richmond Lattimore. The Iliad. Chicago: U of Chicago P, 1951. Print.