The Iliad Book 9. Lines 16-28 & 31-51. Katie Collins, Joseline Mata, Mauricio Salazar Period: 6. Lines 16-28. In these lines Agamemnon is speaking. He is addressing the leaders of the Achaians .
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Lines 16-28 & 31-51
Katie Collins, Joseline Mata, Mauricio Salazar
*Achaians: Greeks *Argives: Greeks, Achaians
‘He is stern and harsh: before now he promised me that I might overtake the strongly guarded city of Troy and I may sail homeward. Now he has devised a cruel deception and wants me to return to Argos, only to face the dishonor at having lost so many of my people. This would be pleasing to Zeus, who is too strong and has destroyed many cities and will continue to do so, since his power is beyond all others. Come then, and let us give in to his wish. Let us run away on our ships and back to our homeland since we shall no longer capture the city of Troy.’
*Deception: to be mislead by false statement
*Argos: the home of the soldiers, “Greece”
The purpose of Agamemnon’s speech is to try to convince the Achaians to go home. Though in the past he has tested them and tried to encourage fiercer battle, in this passage he seems to have truly given up.
Following this passage, Diomedes completely disagrees with Agamemnon and begins his speech on how Agamemnon can go home if he wishes, but the brave Achaians, including Diomedes, will see the battle through until the end.
‘I was the first of the Achaians whose valor you insulted- saying I had no courage and was un-warlike. All men in the Argives know you have said this. Zeus, son of devious Kronos has given you a gift: the scepter which instills incomparable honor. However, he did not give you a heart, which is truly the greatest of all powers. Do you truly believe, son of Atreus, that the Achaians are so weak in their hearts? If your own heart is so set upon leaving then go. In the water are all of the ships that came with you from your homeland, so leave if that is what you want.
*Valor: boldness in facing great danger
*Scepter: a rod that symbolizes regal or imperial power
‘The rest of the flowing-haired Achaians will stay here until we finally take the city of Troy. And even if the entire army was to leave and go home to the land of their fathers, Sthenelos and I will fight until we see the end of Troy; for it was with God’s permission that we came here.’
With this speech Diomedes is trying to prevent the Achaians from falling victim to Agamemnon’s persuasion, and instead to stay and fight. We know this because of his appeal to pathos, in which he makes the soldiers feel guilty about the thought of going home knowing he, Diomedes, would remain and fight.
Following Diomedes’ speech, Nestor steps up and begins to speak about how the Argives should let the matter lie and enjoy a meal and sleep. By mentioning his age and maturity he implies the men should listen to him, for he says this is the night that will make or break the army.
Lines 16-28 & 31-51
Katie Collins, Joseline Mata, Mauricino Salazar