Agamemnon : A Father Figure For Achilles

1195 Words Sep 15th, 2016 5 Pages
Agamemnon: Foster Father Agamemnon is a mortal incarnation of Zeus, acting as a father figure to Achilles, who was almost born Zeus’ son, but was born mortal due to a prophecy that Achilles would be greater than his father. In book 19 it is visible how Agamemnon’s position as a substitute father figure for Achilles is relevant to his actions throughout the book when Agamemnon says “I am not to blame, Zeus is, and the Fates, and the Dark Avenger”. (19.100) Agamemnon is not his own person, but rather the mortal Zeus—his actions are not his own, but fated mortal reflections of the king of the Gods. This is Agamemnon’s character, which makes him sympathetic. Agamemnon literally offers to become Achilles’ father, as Zeus passed up the chance through marriage. While Zeus made Thetis marry a mortal so that Achilles would not surpass the King of the Gods, Agamemnon offers Achilles to “lead whichever [daughter] he likes as his bride…without paying anything” (9.145-50). This is a way of becoming more than just a father figure to Achilles, but an actual father. However, Achilles refuses Agamemnon as a father, unable to stomach the thought, and so Agamemnon remains a figurehead, not only in the divine sense, but the mortal one. When Achilles however resents, and therefore refuses, Agamemnon as a father figure, that leaves the divine figure of Zeus who has already shown that he does not wish to be a father to Achilles—leaving Achilles to his fate and his death. Thereby…
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