The Iliad tells the story of the Trojan War, which lasted 10 years. The Grecians eventually won the war, but the outcome could have very easily shifted due to a quarrel between King Agamemnon and Achilles. Pride and anger is what the two men were fighting about. This story is a very good example of how those two simple emotions can lead to tragedy.
Agamemnon was King of Argos. He was also the chief king among the Grecians. He was angry because his brother, King Menelaus of Sparta, had his wife, Helen, stolen by Paris of Troy. He called all the Kings of Greece and Isles of Greece to come together and make war upon the Trojans and bring Helen back. Among the many was Achilles.
Achilles was the son of Thetis, a sea nymph. He was the man who Troy feared the most because he was called the world's greatest warrior. It was said that his only weakness was his heel. If he were to be hurt there, he would surely die.
The quarrel began when the Grecian warriors returned from sacking Thebes. Each warrior was dealt out shares of the loot and a woman. The woman King Agamemnon was awarded was the daughter of Chryses, a priest of Apollo. Chryses came to the tents of the Grecians bringing a great ransom and asked for his daughter, Chrysies, back. Agamemnon ignored his pleas and sent him away. Chryses left and went down to the ocean and prayed to Apollo to avenge his tears. Apollo heard his prayer and, furious, came down from Mt. Olympus. He sat upon a hill and started to attack the Grecians with his arrows. This went on for nine days straight.
On the tenth day Achilles called all the Kings and Princes into assembly. He asked if any of them had done anything to offend the god Apollo. The only one that spoke was Calchas, a man who...
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...hought themselves the better man and considered themselves dishonored by each other. For this, they each sought vengeance. Agamemnon uses his power to take Achilles' prize from him. Achilles decides to not only stop fighting, but also to turn against the Grecians. He would rather them lose the war than be dishonored.
This is a classic example of how the human being can be so consumed with pride and anger he becomes dangerous. This is demonstrated all the time when we hear of the pointless deaths of many people due to shootings in schools and churches, kidnappings, and murders. By asking his mother to let the Trojans win the war, Achilles was sentencing thousands of soldiers to death. If there is any lesson learned from this story, it is not to let pride and anger cloud your judgment or make you crazy. Many people have made grave mistakes by letting it control them.
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