In a reflective exploration of Agamemnon’s decision to take Briseis from Achilles, it becomes palpable that the crucial decisions in the Iliad are not made by the heroes to a great extent. Rather, these decisions are influenced by external factors including power struggles, political issues, war threat, involvement of gods etc. Therefore, it is essential to establish that the heroes in the work by Homer play an insignificant role in the making of vital decisions in the course of the plot and a precise set of principles, known as the “heroic code”, influence their decisions. Significantly, Agamemnon’s decision to take Briseis from Achilles illustrates the fact that the important decisions by heroes in the epic are influenced by external factors and the “heroic code”.
A profound analysis of the characters and actions in the epic the Iliad confirms that, to a great extent, the decisions made by the heroes are influenced by external factors and conditions, although there is difference of opinion on the matter. Thus, the various heroes of the epic, including Agamemnon and Achilles, are influenced by the power struggles, political pressures, the role of the gods etc in their decisions at the different stages of the story. For example, a careful reader of the epic realizes that there exists significant power struggle between the two heroes of the work, Agamemnon and Achilles, which has a pertinent impact on the decisions they take. In the epic, King Agamemnon represents fixed system of monarchy while Achilles represents the honor based system as he is the best warrior of his time. Decisions made by both these heroes are influenced by the complex relationship between them based on the power struggles in the epic.
In a careful exploration of the decisions made by the heroes in the Iliad, it becomes lucid that a precise set of principles known as the “heroic code” lie beneath the decisions and actions by the heroic characters. A