Agamemnon is My Hero: September 14th, 11–12:30, Week 3 journal

Introduction: My title is intentional, through the examination of Agamemnon I have come to the conclusion that Agamemnon is the most human-like character in the Iliad. Between his arrogance and his fight for perfection, I believe he is a representation of a real man and the decisions he makes are that of a kingly, prideful man.

Achilles on the other hand, I believe is used specifically to show Agamemnon’s flaws, and where man can be better. This is not an epic, but a story of what not to do when you are leading.

September 7th: Self-awareness can come from the reading of fiction. I really enjoyed this class session. I reexamined how I was reading the Iliad and found a new appreciation for the story being told. Instead of thinking of the text as a “class reading”, it was easier to think of it as a leisure book. I read for one hour before I went to bed and found myself less focused on the language but more intrigued about the characters and how they are interacting.

September 9th: I manage a doggy daycare on the weekends. It can be very stressful and I spend a lot of my time doing paperwork and solving problems. But, thanks to youtube, I have been able to listen to the Iliad on audiobook. It is really great, because I can listen to the different books. So when I go back to read it I am more familiar with the language. I have attached a link, I hope this version of the text is close enough.

September 9th (Later that night, after work before my relaxation time): Agamemnon has become my favorite character. He has grown the most in the Iliad I believe, in every book he is learning and changing from each decision he makes. A good example of this, is one we spoke about in class. At the beginning of Book 2, Nestor comes down:

IL.2.21 Neleus’ son, whom Agamemnon honoured beyond all
IL.2.22 elders beside. In Nestor’s likeness the divine Dream spoke to him:
IL.2.23 ‘Son of wise Atreus breaker of horses, are you sleeping
IL.2.24 He should not sleep night long who is a man burdened with counsels
IL.2.25 and responsibility for a people and cares so numerous.

So when you see him in Book 11, awake and ready to lead his people, you can tell he has taken the criticism to heart. Another point about what happens in Book 11, Agamemnon is portrayed as a true leader, he fights along his people and you can tell he trust them more, he even gets wounded which I believe affords him respect. I saw an image that reminds me of this change.

In class discussion, September 12th: We spoke about Agamemnon and the decisions that he has made up to this point. This discussion made me rethink my position on his leadership. He has the tougher plight. Agamemnon is a leader of a sparse group of city states that is always questioning his leadership. In comparison to Achilles who not only has the buy in from his people but that of the gods. A good question would be, why don’t we feel more sympathy for Agamemnon?

September 14th (Final Discussion): Overall Agamemnon is learning. When he gets wounded in Book 11, I really feel for him and I believe at this point he really starts to understand what it means to lead others.

IL.11.186 ‘Go on your way, swift Iris, and carry my word to Hektor:
IL.11.187 as long as he beholds Agamemnon, shepherd of the people, IL.11.188 raging among the champions and cutting down the ranged fighters, IL.11.189 so long let him hold back and urge on the rest of his people IL.11.190 to fight against the enemy through this strong encounter.

The lines above, talk about Agamemnon as being the shepherd of the people. Which is a different light than he has been portrayed before. I look forward to seeing how his character develops further in the epic.

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