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Word Count: 359
One major theme of The Iliad is honor Achilles Agamemnon and the other warriors are obsessed with the idea of honor They want to portray themselves as larger-than-life heroes and they live according to a heroic moral code This code emphasizes courage boldness skill in battle loyalty and respect for earned status However Agamemnon and Achilles have been at odds with each other because of the status and honor each holds They are both very arrogant and each refuses to put their pride aside for the good of the people When the soothsayer reveals that the plague is the result of Agamemnons refusal to return Chryseis to her father Agamemnon is furious Being blamed for the plague humiliates him He insists that is he must return Chryseis they must repay him with another war prize When Agamemnon attempts to take Briseis from Achilles Achilles feels greatly wronged and is upset The indignity and public disgrace stuns Achilles Agamemnon insults his honor by failing to respect the status he has earned He calls Agamemnon shameless and profiteering and shouts that he has fairly won Briseis and does not want to part with her If he has to give her up he threatens to desert the Greek cause and return to his homeland with his army In angry response Agamemnon tells him to return to Phthia if he wants for he is no longer needed Achilles is so upset at the insult that he thinks about drawing his spear and slaying Agamemnon Athena whom Hera sent stops Achilles and he puts his sword back She tells Achilles to refrain from killing Agamemnon and promises him that they will later avenge him The lesson may be that honorable behavior requires a balancing act between passion and wisdom However by putting pride ahead of the needs of the army and people Achilles and Agamemnon allow rage to overcome wisdom and sense of duty This is considered a dishonorable
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