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agamemnon as king


            Magnanimity, strength, honor, and bravery are four qualities of a revered Greek leader. Qualities that reveal leadership and might are indicative of a magnanimous human being. Yet, Agamemnon perceives magnanimity in a different way and attempts to display it as he understands it. Ironically, through his cowardice, he believes is able to be revered as brave. .
             Public recognition is necessary for one to be honored in Greek society. Because of Agamemnon's insecurities, he looks to this as a means of vain satisfaction and happiness. He is a definitive king who, all too readily, reminds his fellow military men of their status. For Agamemnon, the essence of a leader is to have utter control and command. His need for recognition from, and the fear of, other men is quite evident in both Trojan Women and Agamemnon. To be a prodigious leader in the eyes of his people, Agamemnon must attain material affluence that includes women as war booty. Agamemnon's material greed springs from dissatisfaction with what he already possesses. Although it is human nature to want to succeed or to feel accomplished, Agamemnon simply desires more so that he may be seen as powerful. Because this is a material desire, it cannot be gained through self satisfaction, rather, only through public recognition.
             Agamemnon believes he should be a diplomatist king, simply overseeing only the execution of his orders, yet still gaining repute as a brave leader. In that sense, Agamemnon's perception of magnanimity is distinctive because he feels he deserves respect simply by his being in the position of power. Agamemnon himself never joins in the actual battle, yet claims the rewards of victory for himself. In Trojan Women, after the bloodshed defeat of the Trojans, Pyrrhus still wants to sacrifice Polyxena. Agamemnon knows this is wrong and does not want this terrible deed to affect his reputation. Attempting to writhe his way out of making this decision and to gain more respect, he says, "Let Calchas, the priest,/ decide.


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