Differences Between Agamemnon and Achilles

download print

About this sample

About this sample


Words: 696 |

Pages: 2|

4 min read

Published: Jun 13, 2024

Words: 696|Pages: 2|4 min read

Published: Jun 13, 2024

Table of contents

  1. Introduction
  2. Body Paragraph
  3. Conclusion


In the rich tapestry of Homer’s epic, "The Iliad," the characters of Agamemnon and Achilles stand out not only for their pivotal roles but also for their starkly contrasting attributes. Both figures are central to the narrative and the Greek effort in the Trojan War. However, their leadership styles, personal values, and motivations diverge significantly, providing a multifaceted view of heroism and authority in ancient Greek culture. This essay aims to explore the fundamental differences between Agamemnon and Achilles by examining their leadership qualities, their approach to honor and glory, and their interpersonal relationships.

'Why Violent Video Games Shouldn't Be Banned'?

Body Paragraph

Agamemnon, the king of Mycenae and the commander-in-chief of the Greek forces, epitomizes a traditional form of leadership rooted in authority and hierarchy. He is depicted as a ruler whose power emanates from his position and lineage. Agamemnon’s leadership style is often characterized by his reliance on his royal status and his expectation of obedience from his subordinates. However, his approach to leadership is frequently marred by arrogance and a lack of empathy. An illustrative example of this is his decision to claim Briseis, Achilles’ war prize, an act that ignites the central conflict between him and Achilles. Agamemnon’s insistence on asserting his dominance, even at the cost of alienating his strongest warrior, underscores his prioritization of authority over camaraderie and morale.

In contrast, Achilles, the greatest warrior of the Greeks, embodies a different kind of leadership—one that is based on personal valor and the pursuit of individual glory. Achilles’ prowess on the battlefield is unparalleled, and his leadership is derived from his exceptional abilities rather than his rank. Unlike Agamemnon, Achilles places a higher value on personal honor and the respect of his peers. This is evident in his reaction to Agamemnon’s seizure of Briseis. Achilles perceives this act not merely as a personal affront but as a profound insult to his honor. His withdrawal from battle, a pivotal moment in the narrative, highlights his belief that honor and respect are paramount, even above the collective needs of the Greek army.

Another significant difference between the two characters lies in their motivations and aspirations. Agamemnon’s actions are largely driven by a desire to maintain and enhance his power and status. His participation in the Trojan War is motivated by the need to assert his dominance and to fulfill his role as the leader of the Greek coalition. This is evident in his often pragmatic and politically motivated decisions, which sometimes come at the expense of the well-being and morale of his troops. On the other hand, Achilles is driven by a quest for eternal glory and personal excellence. His motivations are more individualistic and are centered on achieving a legacy that will be remembered for generations. This pursuit of kleos, or glory, is a defining characteristic of Achilles and shapes many of his actions and decisions throughout "The Iliad."

The interpersonal relationships of Agamemnon and Achilles further highlight their differences. Agamemnon’s interactions with other characters often reflect his authoritative and somewhat detached demeanor. His relationship with Achilles is adversarial, marked by mutual resentment and a struggle for dominance. In contrast, Achilles’ relationships are more complex and emotionally charged. His friendship with Patroclus, for instance, reveals a deep bond that transcends the typical warrior camaraderie. The death of Patroclus is a turning point for Achilles, propelling him back into battle not for the sake of the Greek cause, but to avenge his friend’s death. This emotional depth and capacity for personal loyalty set Achilles apart from Agamemnon’s more transactional and hierarchical relationships.

Get a custom paper now from our expert writers.


In conclusion, Agamemnon and Achilles, though both central figures in "The Iliad," represent contrasting paradigms of leadership and heroism. Agamemnon’s leadership is characterized by authority and a rigid adherence to hierarchy, often at the expense of personal relationships and troop morale. In contrast, Achilles exemplifies a form of leadership based on personal valor and the pursuit of eternal glory, with a profound emphasis on honor and respect. Their differing motivations and interpersonal dynamics further underscore the complexities of their characters. By examining these differences, we gain a deeper understanding of the diverse representations of heroism and leadership in ancient Greek culture, as well as the enduring legacy of these iconic figures in literary history.

Image of Prof. Linda Burke
This essay was reviewed by
Prof. Linda Burke

Cite this Essay

Differences Between Agamemnon And Achilles. (2024, Jun 11). GradesFixer. Retrieved July 20, 2024, from
“Differences Between Agamemnon And Achilles.” GradesFixer, 11 Jun. 2024,
Differences Between Agamemnon And Achilles. [online]. Available at: <> [Accessed 20 Jul. 2024].
Differences Between Agamemnon And Achilles [Internet]. GradesFixer. 2024 Jun 11 [cited 2024 Jul 20]. Available from:
Keep in mind: This sample was shared by another student.
  • 450+ experts on 30 subjects ready to help
  • Custom essay delivered in as few as 3 hours
Write my essay

Still can’t find what you need?

Browse our vast selection of original essay samples, each expertly formatted and styled


Where do you want us to send this sample?

    By clicking “Continue”, you agree to our terms of service and privacy policy.


    Be careful. This essay is not unique

    This essay was donated by a student and is likely to have been used and submitted before

    Download this Sample

    Free samples may contain mistakes and not unique parts


    Sorry, we could not paraphrase this essay. Our professional writers can rewrite it and get you a unique paper.



    Please check your inbox.

    We can write you a custom essay that will follow your exact instructions and meet the deadlines. Let's fix your grades together!


    Get Your
    Personalized Essay in 3 Hours or Less!

    We can help you get a better grade and deliver your task on time!
    • Instructions Followed To The Letter
    • Deadlines Met At Every Stage
    • Unique And Plagiarism Free
    Order your paper now