Leadership in Iliad

Length: 28 Pages 7031 Words

Agamemnon vs. Hektor: The Headstrong and the Model Commander The Achaian army finishes breakfast, dons their armor and marches out onto the field. They then charge ferociously, screaming as loudly as they can, and thrusting their spears and swords into the flesh of any Trojan that steps into their path. Later, the Trojan army takes control of the battlefield. The soldiers grin as they tear the armor off their fallen enemies, they cheer and then push forward through the walls that the Greeks had previously depended on for safety. Yet, the soldiers do not simultaneously decide to do these things, and neither side is always so willing to die. Instead, leaders make the soldiers’ decisions; leaders motivate the crowds of men into a bloodthirsty crave. If there are no leaders in the Trojan War, the Greeks would probably just return home, if they had even come over in the first place, and the Trojans would be safe in their homes. The Iliad of Homer is full of important leaders who keep the war moving and the soldiers fighting. These men make themselves exemplar warriors by taking charge. They guide the behavior of their armies, inspire them, command them and make the big decisions quickly, but with thought. Most of the le Continue...


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Finally he sends his mother to the temple asking her to give up her finest robe to Athena for the goddess's assistance. Perhaps Agamemnon is actually lying. Before returning to Troy, he firsts shouts to his men: "You high-hearted Trojans and far-renowned companions, be men now, dear friends, and remember your furious valour until I can go back again to Ilion, and there tell the elder men who sit as counselors, and our wives, to make their prayer to the immortals and promise them hecatombs (111-115, Book VI). He then rejects the wine his mother offers him saying, "My honoured mother, lift not to me the kindly sweet wine, for fear you stagger my strength and make me forget my courage; and with hands unwashed I would take shame to pour the glittering wine to Zeus...But go yourself to the temple of the spoiler Athene... (264-269, Book VI) Here, by refusing to drink, he puts his duty to his troops ahead of himself because he will not grow tired or falter. Yet, in contrast to Agamemnon, Hektor does not whine, or lie for that matter, about the gods' intervention. Yet the speech also shows another part of Hektor, expressing his pride and compassion for his family and his Trojans. On the other hand, Hektor, son of Priam, future king of Troy and brother of Paris, gains respect, admiration, and eventually (when he his death is fated) pity from both the readers and his followers. However, after the remaining Trojans have fled into the city's walls, Hektor remains outside. They respect their comrades, stand with them at battle, avoid excessive cruelty and injustice and follow the social and cultural ideas of their people. He then has them camped outside, ready for an early attack, despite what Poulydamas warns. Even though Hektor has found his brother, the cause of the war, in bed with his kidnapped wife, he does not fly into a rage. Agamemnon continues to show support when he turns to his men. When Hektor reaches Troy he does as promised, having all the mothers, wives, daughters and sisters pray. Also, Agamemnon, despite how he tries to act especially in the first few books, is at times very weak, faltering when he should act more secure then ever as a true leader would. He tells them that the dream is false and that they are going home: "Come then, do as I say, let us be won over; let us run away with our ships to the beloved land of our fathers (139-140, Book II).

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