Menelaus and agamemnon relationship test

menelaus and agamemnon relationship test

Start studying Iliad test. Learn vocabulary Zeus's relationship with fate. Zeus is very Agamemnon gives up Chryseis and puts her on a ship with Odysseus. During the war Menelaus served under his elder brother Agamemnon, the commander in chief of the Greek forces. When Phrontis, one of his crewmen, was . Though he is a major Achaean leader and a good fighter, Menelaus takes a backseat to the drama between the hero Achilles and Agamemnon. This lesson.

On any one of these points the Odyssey could reflect, however briefly, a wide- spread tradition. One reason such questions are difficult to resolve is that so little remains of the many poems, epic or otherwise, that were early enough to preserve old tradition independent of Homeric influence. Monro38; Bethe As we shall see, similarly vague language is found in some passages of the Iliad. Calder40; Anderson; more on the Polyxena below. The message is intercepted by Menelaus, who angrily confronts his brother over an action that would be tantamount to ending the expedition.

The brothers dis- pute the question in a typical Euripidean agon. In a lengthy speech, Menelaus offers an interesting account of the origins of the Trojan War: Agamemnon at first was eager to be leader of the expedition, and distinguished himself mainly in the social-networking and open-handed hospitality by which he brought the coalition together Having acquired the position of leader, he suddenly changed his ways and became arrogant, inaccessible and inac- tive on behalf of the army Why must you watch over my affairs?

Is this not the work of a shame- less man? Because my own desire provoked me. I am not your slave. My argument posits that it preserves or reflects old tradition in its depiction of the Atreidae, and it matters little to this argument whether the play was given its final form by Euripides or by another; I hope to show, however, that its depiction of the brothers has several parallels in the Euripidean corpus and perhaps also in Sophocles.

What a sad and confused expression you had, if you would not lead the thousand ships and fill the plain of Priam with spears! What way out can I discover?

Earlier in the play, Agamemnon himself had recalled a similar incident, describing how Menelaus interfered with his decision to disband the army after the prophecy of Calchas. The intervention is described decidedly not as a consultation but as an act of rhetorical persuasion Then my brother, bringing every kind of argument, persuaded me to dare terrible deeds. Evidently the brothers disagree not only on the course of action to be taken now, but on the very facts of what has hap- pened earlier.

How does this scene characterize the brothers and their relationship? Agamemnon obtained command of the expedition because his political skill and social clout, along with a measure of personal ambition, made him best qualified to assemble the Achaean coalition. He lacks, however, the 30 Or, more likely, each distorts his account for rhetorical effect: In times of difficulty he asks the advice of Menelaus, and some- times follows it.

None of this is reconcilable with the Iliadic depiction of the Atreidae, but fits perfectly with the situation briefly sketched in our Odyssean passage. In fact, the situations have some striking similarities: In both, the brothers disagree in a matter affecting the fate of the Achaean host, whether it is their safe departure from or their safe arrival at Troy.

In both, Agamemnon has heard about some divine wrath Artemis or Athena and has decided on a course of action. This play evidently featured a quarrel between the brothers, probably in the first episode.

The few remaining fragments suggest that they quarreled over whether to set out on a new expedition against Troy 31 So after their reconciliation Agamemnon asks his brother what can be done to forestall a betrayal by Calchas or Odysseus, and Menelaus offers positive advice with regard to the former: Calchas can be easily assassinated Blaiklock; Lawrence; Ryzman; Griffin Go where you wish.

menelaus and agamemnon relationship test

I will not perish for the sake of your Helen. Sparta belongs to you: I will govern Mycenae by my own right. Menelaus is eager to go to or from TroyAgamem- non is reluctant; Menelaus attempts to take command of the situation, and Agamemnon resists. There are fragments of an unidentified tragedian that have suggested to some a rendition of the quarrel of the Atreidae about the 33 Cf.

You, then, stay here in the land of Ida, gather the flocks of Olympus and make sacrifice.

The sacrifice mentioned is presumably that with which Agamemnon hopes to assuage the wrath of Athena. If reconstructions of the latter two are reliable, then it can be said that in each of these three plays a quarrel between the Atre- idae took place in the first episode.

Preiser84, n. As Rosivachnotes, in his demand that Ajax not be buried Menelaus seems at times to claim command of the army on an equal footing with his brother. Agamemnon shows clear affinities with the Agamemnon of the Iliad, so uncompromising in Book 1 but soon persuaded to a more flexible attitude by Nestor in Book 9; so here in the Ajax he is persuaded by Odysseus to yield.

Similarly, in each case it would appear that the quarrel of the Atreidae served little purpose except as a device to introduce the dramatic situ- ation. In the Nostoi, by contrast, the quarrel appeared early in the narra- tive, like the quarrel of Iliad Book 1, and must have been used by the poet to introduce his two most important characters, the basic dramatic situation, and any number of important themes for his work.

This again suggests that, with regard to the narrative and thematic function of the quarrel, the later epic may reflect a broader tradition that the tragedians had access to. As noted above, it presents a very different view of the Atreidae. Heathargues rather that the quarrel offered an occasion for Telephus to make his first appearance and to speak in defense of the Trojans. Nevertheless, if the alternative view of the brothers can be traced back as an established tradi- tion already in the Odyssey and the Epic Cycle, we might expect to see some signs of this even within the Iliad.

Quarrel of Agamemnon & Menelaus | Benjamin Sammons -

On the level of formula, Willcock argues that the traditional epithets of Menelaus seem to emphasize his prowess as a warrior, whereas the Menelaus of the Iliad does not distinguish himself in this realm. While the Iliad never shows the Atreidae actually quarreling, two of their three meetings feature an argument of sorts, albeit one in which Agamemnon is decidedly dominant while Menelaus offers no resistance: In Book 6, Agamemnon reproaches Menelaus when the latter is about to spare Achilles should not be confused by potential political challenges from another quarter.

The poet, evidently because he had a gentler view of the Trojans than his predecessors, used these formulas in a more restricted fashion, namely only as a feature of Achaean speech about the Trojans; this left something of a gap in the formulaic repertoire with which the poet himself describes them.

Similary, at Iliad 5. Or did you meet with the best treatment in your home from the Trojans?

It occurs again at Il. But it is you, oh great shameless one, we follow, so that you may be pleased, winning honor for Menelaus, and for you, dog-face, from the Trojans.

Greek & Roman Mythology - Greek Tragedy

But this you do not notice, nor care for. Does the use of such a phrase highlight the separation of the brothers? Edwards87 on Il.

menelaus and agamemnon relationship test

Interestingly, the phrase under discussion appears in an interpolated verse at 9. In the case of 7. Similarly, in the line that follows we can see something semantically akin to 5. Hainsworthon Similarly, in Book 23, when Achilles proposes various athletic contests to the Achaeans, he addresses himself to the Achaeans once with the same line used by Nestor in Book 7 Yet there are two very interesting cases in which the singular vocative is not so obviously to be preferred.

The first example is from Book 7: After a difficult day of fighting and the defeat of Paris and Hector in duels with Menelaus and Ajax respectively, the Trojans hold an assembly: Which son of Atreus?

Troy - Paris vs Menelaus

Do we understand that Agamemnon is meant, since it is at his ship that the Achaeans are assembled, or Menelaus, since his wife and possessions are at issue, or Agamemnon again, since he is the true leader of the Achaean coalition? Line is clearly formulaic, being equivalent to 7. It is Agamemnon who is addressed; yet this remains genuinely ambiguous for some moments after the speech introduction, and perhaps until the Achaean response.

After a moment of awk- ward silence, Diomedes offers a rousing and contemptuous refusal that meets with general acclamation from the Achaeans. Menelaus does not speak, and indeed never appears in the episode. The decision laid before the Achaeans by Idaios is precisely the type of decision that the Atreidae appear to have traditionally quarreled over, namely whether to stay or to go, whether to pursue the expedition or cut their losses, whether Helen is worth it after all.

In the ambiguity as to which of the Atreidae is to respond to the present proposal, or in the confusion as to why one rather than both is addressed, and perhaps in the moment of awkward silence before Diomedes speaks, the poet may well be playing with the expectations of an audience familiar with such traditions.

My second example is from Book One. Pelops then entered Pisa, became its king and named the land "Peloponnesus", meaning "island of Pelops". He fathered several sons, including Thyestes, the father of Aegisthus, and Atreus, the father of Menelaus and Agamemnon.

Eurystheus had been the king of Mycenae, and when the Heraclids the sons of Heracles killed him in retaliation for his persecution of Heracles, an oracle commanded the Mycenaeans to make a son of Pelops king. Atreus was the older and the more sensible choice, but Thyestes insisted that the new king should be the one to produce the fleece of a golden lamb. Atreus was delighted with these terms and agreed -- because he had a golden fleece hidden safely away or so he thought.

Years earlier, he had promised his best sheep to Artemis as a sacrifice, but when a golden-fleeced sheep appeared among his flocks, he kept the fleece, instead. His wife, Aerope, knew of this impiety and gave the fleece to Thyestes, her lover.

In this way, Thyestes triumphed. However, Atreus was certain that Zeus wanted him to be king, so he declared that as proof Zeus would make the sun rise in the west and set in the east the next day. When this actually happened, Atreus took the throne and banished Thyestes. Atreus soon discovered his wife's infidelity and planned revenge upon Thyestes.

He offered to bury the hatchet and invited him back to Mycenae. When Thyestes returned and was being entertained i. Atreus asked Thyestes if he knew what he had eaten, and then produced their heads and limbs.

menelaus and agamemnon relationship test

Thyestes fled, cursing Atreus' house. He asked the Delphic oracle how to get revenge, and was told that he must have a child by Pelopia, his own daughter. Leaving Delphi at night, Thyestes saw by the light of a sacrificial fire a girl going into a stream near Sicyon. He raped her, but left his sword behind. He did not know that she was in fact Pelopia, and she did not know who he was. Atreus soon found her while searching for Thyestes, and took her as his new wife, replacing the unfaithful Aerope.

She bore Thyestes' son, but Atreus thought that the boy was his. Atreus named the boy Aegisthus. After many years of searching for Thyestes, Atreus finally sent his two grown sons, Agamemnon and Menelaus, to Delphi to find out where Thyestes was. Thyestes happened to be there, seeking new advice on taking revenge on Atreus, since he couldn't find his daughter more precisely, he didn't know he'd found his daughter.

Agamemnon and Menelaus hauled Thyestes back to Mycenae. Atreus had his other son, Aegisthus, behead Thyestes, but when Aegisthus pulled his sword, Thyestes recognized it as his own sword. They had Pelopia summoned secretly, and as she explained what her unknown attacker had done to her, she realized that she had had intercourse with her own father, and killed herself with the sword.

menelaus and agamemnon relationship test

Aegisthus, now realizing that Thyestes was his true father, took the bloodied sword to Atreus as evidence that he had beheaded Thyestes. Atreus rejoiced, made sacrifices, and went to the river to wash his hands, where Aegisthus stabbed him in the back. Thyestes took the throne, and Agamemnon and Menelaus took refuge in Sparta with Tyndareus, the king.