War, as a defined by Merrian-Webster.com, is "a state of usually open and declared armed hostile conflict between states or nations" (War). In Homer's epic, "The Iliad," there is a major conflict between Troy and Greece. Due to this conflict, it seems that Homers intent is to glorify the concept of war and violence as a whole. But in further reading of this epic, even with the central theme dominated by war, it is seen as more of a clash of personal relationships between warriors, more so between two central characters, Achilles and Agamemnon.
This relationship between Achilles and Agamemnon starts as a basic grouping that is common in any military unit that is found throughout history, that of leader and subordinate. Agamemnon was the king of Mycenae and the general of all the Greek forces, Achilles was the son of a goddess and the greatest warrior of the Greeks. Agamemnon was an excessively prideful, self-centered, and calculating ruler. As king, by royal birthright, he revels in his position of entitlement and the absolute power over all that he surveyed. He uses this to his advantage greatly and to such a degree that he alienates himself towards his warriors, especially Achilles, by never letting them forget that he is the king. In comparison, Achilles, the subordinate, was just as prideful as Agamemnon, but he exhibited more of the warrior's ethos than his antagonist Agamemnon. His skill in battle was unmatched. But he was headstrong and quick to anger. He focused his attentions mostly with attaining fame and glory in battle. The fact that he was a demigod, prince, and commander of the Myrmidons people, his army within an army, gave him a sense of invulnerability and the right to be treated like Agamemnon. .
These qualities in both men create a conflicted relationship, profoundly rooted in pride and ego, between them from the beginning. Both have different goals that affect their relationship even further.