Iliad

The Success of King Priam's Request

The Iliad by Homer is an epic poem focused on the wrath of the character Achilles. This wrath guided Achilles to be a great warrior for the Greeks during the Trojan War, but this wrath also extended into his relationships with his fellow Greeks and Trojan enemies. The greatest example of the nature of his wrath appeared when Achilles was presented on two occasions with the ability to respond to requests made by his own Greek King, Agamemnon, and the Trojan King, Priam. Achilles responded quite oppositely to these requests because Agamemnon committed several key mistakes that caused Achilles to refuse his request, but Priam committed several key acts that allowed him to be successful in transcending the wrath of Achilles.

In order to understand the reasons that King Priam was successful in his request to Achilles, it is crucial to examine why Agamemnon was not able to achieve the same success. The most obvious reason why Agamemnon failed was because he sent delegation to present his request. Rather than going himself, Agamemnon sent Odysseus, Ajax, and Phoenix. Achilles welcomed these representatives into his home and proclaimed, "Even in my anger, of all Achaeans, you are the closest" (9.240-241). Though these were...

Join Now to View Premium Content

GradeSaver provides access to 747 study guide PDFs and quizzes, 4476 literature essays, 1451 sample college application essays, 183 lesson plans, and ad-free surfing in this premium content, “Members Only” section of the site! Membership includes a 10% discount on all editing orders.

Join Now

Already a member? Log in