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The Iliad Hate Quotes

How we cite our quotes: Citations follow this format: (Book.Line). We used Richmond Lattimore's translation.

Quote #1

You wine sack, with a dog's eyes, with a deer's heart. Never
once have you taken courage in your heart to arm with your people
for battle, or go into ambuscade with the best of the Achaians.
No, for in such things you see death. Far better to your mind
is it, all along the widespread host of the Achaians
to take away the gifts of any man who speaks up against you.
King who feed on your people, since you rule nonentities;
otherwise, son of Atreus, this were your last outrage. (1.225-232)

Achilleus sure knows how to throw out the disses. These lines suggest a number of reasons why he might hate Agamemnon. Which (if any) of them do you think is the main motivation for Achilleus's hate?

Quote #2

Yet could none of the Trojans nor any renowned companion
show Alexandros then to warlike Menelaos.
These would not have hidden him for love, if any had seen him,
since he was hated among them all as dark death is hated. (3.451-454)

These lines come after Aphrodite wraps Paris (a.k.a. Alexandros) in a cloud of mist and saves him from being killed in his duel against Menelaos. Specifically, they refer to when Menelaos is looking around the field to see where his enemy went. Why do you think the Trojans hate Paris so much? Here's a hint: first think about why Homer specifically chooses to compare Paris to "dark death" in the way that he is hated.

Quote #3

Go back and proclaim to him all that I tell you,
openly, so other Achaians may turn against him in anger […].
He cheated me and he did me hurt. Let him not beguile me
with words again. This is enough for him. Let him of his own will
be damned, since Zeus of the counsels has taken his wits away from him.
I hate his gifts. I hold him light as the strip of a splinter.
Not if he gave me ten times as much, and twenty times over
as he possesses now, not if more should come to him from elsewhere, […]
not if he gave me gifts as many as the sand or the dust is,
not even so would Agamemnon have his way with my spirit
until he had made good to me all this heartrending insolence.
Nor will I marry a daughter of Atreus' son, Agamemnon,
not if she challenged Aphrodite the golden for loveliness,
not if she matched the work of her hands with grey-eyed Athene;
not even so will I marry her; let him pick some other Achaian […]. (9.369-370, 375-380, 385-391)

This is pretty self-explanatory. We just thought these were some serious disses, and deserved to be given a fair hearing. Actually, this is only a taste of the full passage. If you really want to hear Agamemnon get owned, you'll have to take a look at the original.

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