The Iliad Pride Quotes
How we cite our quotes: Citations follow this format: (Book.Line). We used Richmond Lattimore's translation.
'Still I am willing to give her back, if such is the best way.
I myself desire that my people be safe, not perish.
Find me then some prize that shall be my own, lest I only
among the Argives go without, since that were unfitting.' (1.116-119)
This is what gets the ball rolling: the pride of Agamemnon. Do you think there is any legitimacy to what he's saying here, or should he just put up and shut up?
'And now my prize you threaten in person to strip from me,
for whom I labored much, the gift of the sons of the Achaians.
Never, when the Achaians sack some well-founded citadel
of the Trojans, do I have a prize that is equal to your prize. […]
Now I am returning to Phthia, since it is much better
to go home again with my curved ships, and I am minded no longer
to stay here dishonoured and pile up your wealth and your luxury.' (1.161-164, 169-171)
For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction – except in the case of Achilleus, where the reaction is unequal and vastly more destructive than the original action. All the same, don't you think Achilleus has a bit of a point here? If he's doing all the work, how come Agamemnon gets to take all the credit? Don't you think that would make you a bit angry?
'What is this word that broke through the fence of your teeth, Atreides?
How can you say that, when we Achaians waken the bitter
war god on Trojans, breakers of horses, I hang back from
fighting? Only watch, if you care to and if it concerns you,
the very father of Telemachos locked with the champion
Trojans, breakers of horses. Your talk is wind, and no meaning.'(4.350-355)
This is Odysseus reacting to Agamemnon's calling him a slacker at fighting. If you were in his sandals, you'd probably say the same thing, wouldn't you? If so, then you too would fall into Agamemnon's trap. For all Odysseus's cleverness, he doesn't see that Agamemnon is just teasing him to get him to try harder. Have you ever played that sort of trick on someone?