Why is Agamemnon so stubborn in Iliad Book 1

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Ashley Kannan | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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From the outset of the narrative, Agamemnon is shown to be a ruler who demands respect.  He is one that examines everything through the lens of respect.  War is fought as an exercise to reflect this respect and what is gained through war and through politics must be filtered through the prism of respect.  This ego is the reason why he comes across as so stubborn in the first book.  He does not easily capitulate from originally stated demands.  At the same time, his role as a royal compels him to believe that he is worthy of everyone's acquiescence, refusing to give his at most times.  Agammenon's rivalry with Achilles is also predicated upon the idea that a soldier has no right to determine what a king should do.  It is this presence of will, the faith in the individual subjective, and the belief that respect has to drive all and determine the value of all else that ends up making him so stubborn in the first book and throughout the narrative.

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