Why is Agamemnon important in Homer's epic Odyssey?

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thanatassa eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Agamemnon was the leader of the Greek expedition to Troy,due to his hereditary position, although he was neither the best warrior nor the cleverist strategist of the assembled army. During the war, Oddyseus advised Agamemnon and devised many of the strategems that led to winning individual battles and the war as a whole.

A major part of the epic tradition, and the narrative on which much of Greek tragedy was based, was the account of the returns from Troy. The general misfortunes surrounding the returns may reflect some of the historical causes of the decline of the Mycenean civilization.

The return of Agamemnon reflects the working out of the curse of the house of Atreus. Partially because Agamemnon sacrificed his daughter Iphegenia to gain favorables winds for the fleet sailing to Troy, his wife Clytemnestra and her consort Aegisthus kill Agamemnon on his return.

The story of Agamemnon's misfortune contrasts greatly with the story of Penelope who waits faithfully for the return of her husband Odysseus.