Leadership In The Iliad

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Kevin Mahoney Western Heritage The Iliad is an epic poem written about the war between the Trojans and the Greeks known as the Trojan War. However, the main component of the Iliad revolves around the “Rage of Achilles”. A wrath that was ignited by Agamemnon whom is being questioned for his lack of leadership qualities. The leader of a successful military requires an open-mind approach, a sense of realism, and confidence without narcissism. Although, Homer personifies King Agamemnon as a powerful leader through description he fails to persuade us through his actions of a leader. Therefore, in the text we see an ineffective coward ironically the opposite of the standards a leader of his caliber should possess. Agamemnon's egotistical actions…show more content…
Agamemnon carelessly allows Achilles to step out of the battle over a self-serving conflict between them over Briseis. Achilles asks Agamemnon to release Chryseis but, Agamemnon will only do so under one condition, he keeps Briseis who is Achilles prize of war. This paints the scene of what Agamemnon stands for along with his selfish ambitions, “Do you want to stand there, yourself with a prize, while I sit without one? Do you order me to give up this girl? If the great-hearted Achaeans will give me a prize, fitting it to my heart, so that it will be of equal value … but if not, I will myself take your own prize!” (Homer, Book 1, Lines 131-135). The greed of Agamemnon puts his leadership credentials in jeopardy as he feels he is entitled to his own warrior’s prize. Demanding Achilles to hand over his prize of war, Briseis, ignites the clash amidst the two warriors. Another act of arrogance from Agamemnon jeopardizes the Achaeans upper hand in the war as the great warrior ,Achilles, withdraws himself from the battle. Agamemnon's sacrifices the lives of his troops as multiple reckless decisions are made subjectively for his own greedy

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