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One major theme of The Iliad is honor. Achilles, Agamemnon, and the other warriors are obsessed with the idea of honor. They want to portray themselves as larger-than-life heroes and they live according to a heroic moral code. This code emphasizes courage, boldness, skill in battle, loyalty, and respect for earned status. However, Agamemnon and Achilles have been at odds with each other because of the status and honor each holds. They are both very arrogant and each refuses to put their pride aside for the good of the people.
When the soothsayer reveals that the plague is the result of Agamemnon s refusal to return Chryseis to her father, Agamemnon is furious. Being blamed for the plague humiliates him. He insists that is he must return Chryseis, they must repay him with another war prize. When Agamemnon attempts to take Briseis from Achilles, Achilles feels greatly wronged and is upset. The indignity and public disgrace stuns Achilles. Agamemnon insults his honor by failing to respect the status he has earned. He calls Agamemnon shameless and profiteering and shouts that he has fairly won Briseis and does not want to part with her. If he has to give her up, he threatens to desert the Greek cause and return to his homeland with his army. In angry response, Agamemnon tells him to return to Phthia if he wants, for he is no longer needed. Achilles is so upset at the insult that he thinks about drawing his spear and slaying Agamemnon. Athena, whom Hera sent, stops Achilles and h...