Disrespect as Instigator of Anger and Respect as a Matter of Honor in “Iliad” essay
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The major act of disrespect, described in the “Plague and Wrath” play, happened when Agamemnon, the ruler of Greek army, selected a young girl Chyriseis as his appropriate prize during raid on local towns (Homer, 2003). Chryses, a local priest of Apollo, happened to be the girl’s father and to get his daughter back, he offers ransom to Agamemnon (Homer, 2003). The ruler abuses the priest with saying that he “may find god’s staff and emblems very poor defense”. His disrespect to the priest’ ordinance and rejection of his offer, made Apollo god furious, therefore he sent plague to the town, by killing its men (Homer, 2003). The Muse, a goddess of memory, sings to the greatest Greek fighter Achille about Agamemnon’s irresponsibility and obliges him to make an oath for the sake of his people (Homer, 2003). In order to get the help from Calchas, a son of Thestor god, who knows the prophesy, Achille swears that “no one of all the Greek here by the hollow ships will raise a fist against” him. Revealing Agamemnon’s responsibility for the killings, Achille arouses his greediness. In outrage the ruler wants his prize to be replaced with the Achille’s girl Briseis (Homer, 2003). Nevertheless, Achille is outraged with the Agamemnon’s arrogance, he shows respect to him, verbally abusing him, rather than killing him that he is “selfish, self-centered” and no men will willingly accept his inquiries, because he sends “ them on a raid or into battle ”. Seeing no support from his fellow Achaians and suffering from disgrace alone, Achille decides to quite Agamemnon’s raids (Homer, 2003). When Agamemnon realizes that he will not win the raids without Achille he tries to persuade him to come back (Homer, 2003). But Achille’s divine mother Thesis persuades Zeus to make Greeks start losing in order to return Achille, promising him his girl Briseis (Homer, 2003).
In addition, fear of gods who rule over Greeks make Achille and Agamemnon strangle their outrage to receive honor and respect. Agamemnon’s disrespect was crucial, because it caused death of his people. Achille’s respect was crucial, because it recommenced his honor after saving Agamemnon’s life.