Briseis: The Woman as a Speaking Sign
James M. Redfield
Keywords:women, sex, tragedy, fame, mortality, Homer, Briseis, Achilles, Greece
Conflict over Briseis tangles both Agamemnon and Achilles in the complexities of rules governing award of booty. Achilles’ consent to let the girl go turns out to be his tragic error, prematurely deciding for him the choice between his loyalty to his comrades and his personal happiness. This choice may be central to the age-old heroic story pattern, as far back as Gilgamesh.