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The Success of Priam's Embassy
Homer is the author to imitate. He is the author of The Iliad and The Odyssey, two magnificent samples of archaic literature. These compositions stand on the list of great literary works of Ancient Greek society. As for The Iliad, there are many controversial issues to consider, just like in The Odyssey. Take alone “The Homer Question”!
The matters concerning The Iliad were why Priam being the enemy and the Trojan opponent in the Trojan War succeeded in his embassy to Achilles whereas Agamemnon, the ally and king failed in his embassy.
To tell the truth, Agamemnon has done such a crucial thing to Achilles, taking away Achilles’ maiden, currently beloved Briseis. He did it because the prophet Calchas confessed under the Achilles’ protection that gods commanded Agamemnon to return Chryseis, the daughter of a priest of Appolo that had been captured by the king as war booty and served as a slave.
The father of Chryseis cursed Agamemnon and his people, and they suffered from the plague. That was the Greek king’s cost for the removal of a curse. He resorted to such a trick as shifting his Chryseis for Achilles’ Briseis which made Achilles mad in the aftermath of this accident. Why should Achilles share his beloved with someone else? It was not fair. It brought grief to all the Greeks and Trojans later spilling over into the denial of Achilles, to help Greeks in the War with Trojans.
Achilles was one of the leading forces of the Greek troops. He was their strength, valor, and terror, “Rage - Goddess, sing the rage of Peleus' son Achilles, / murderous, doomed, that cost the Achaeans countless losses, / hurling down to the House of Death so many sturdy souls, / great fighter's souls” (Homer 1-6). The Trojans were horrified only at the sight of him and retreated. Though, this time Greeks had firsthand knowledge of how dangerous and destructive it is to fight without the help of Achilles.
The Gods helped both Trojans and Greeks, but The Iliad ended at the funeral of Hector.
The ironic success of Priam’s embassy consists in the sharing of the feeling of sympathy by both Priam, the father of Hector whose body was relentlessly jeered at by Achilles, and by the son of the sea-nymph Thetis.
Priam's Embassy Summary
The greatest warrior of Achaeans mourned over his dead friend Patroclus and had to take vengeance on Priam’s son for his murder. Thereafter he had not the feeling of relief. He would have extremely distorted the remnants of Hector, but the pain was not over. Only after the warm conversation with Priam, does Achilles recall the memory of his father and shared Priam’s parenthood. Then he gave his consent to return the body of Hector to the Trojans so that they could perform an accepted funeral.
Feelings and emotions ruled over Achilles while deciding whether to listen to the requests of Priam or Agamemnon. Achilles’ feeling of pride played a vital role in making these decisions:
He gently moved him back. And overpowered by memory
Both men gave way to grief. Priam wept freely
For man-killing Hector, throbbing, crouching
Before Achilles' feet as Achilles wept himself,
Now for his father, now for Patroclus once again
And their sobbing rose and fell throughout the house. (Homer 592-599)
As it came out, evil breeds eviler, and goodness brings goodness in return.