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Persusaion in the Iliad

Persuasion Tactics: Odysseus vs. Agamemnon Throughout history is an endless list of great war leaders who have conquered great masses of land. So, it must take a great speaker to convince thousands of men to leave the comforts of their homes to risk their lives in war. In Homer’s, The Iliad, two great nobleman Agamemnon and Odysseus are in the position to push exhausted soldiers back on to the battlefield. Each use different approaches to excite the men, however, it is Odysseus, not King Agamemnon, who succeeds. In order to persuade these drained men, Odysseus realizes what condition the army was in, and by using prophesies as support, status did not become an issue when it came to whom the men listened to.According to this status structure, Agamemnon outranks Odysseus; therefore, with this power, Agamemnon should be able to get the army moving and ready to fight. However, it is Odysseus who gets the army encouraged. There is even a temporary switch of power when Odysseus takes the scepter from Agamemnon before addressing the nobleman. “He [Odysseus] came face to face with Agamemnon . . . and took from him the scepter of his fathers, immortal forever. With this he went beside the ships of the bronze-armoured Achaians” (1.2.186-187). There is also a significantly long description about the scepter’s history, an obvious history full of powerful men with high statuses. But if the scepter holds so much meaning of power, how come Agamemnon could not communicate with the army even with the scepter? Instead, it is Odysseus who can persuade a mass of home sick warriors, not with his status, but by his intuition of people.Odysseus understands the fact that these men have been away from their families for too long. Which is why he addresses their sense of honor and duty to their homeland and Zeus. “Zeus of the counsels has shown us this great portent . . . whose glory shall perish never.” (1.2.3...

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