Homer's The Iliad, Aristophanes Lysistrata, and Aeschylus The Seven Against Thebes, all dealt with issues concerning manhood in the Greek and Roman days, war also came but it was only because of the attitudes of these men. These three writers have different views when it came down to the topics of war and manhood, but they all view certain situations and issues similarly. The men in those days wouldn't back down from any fight, they stood and fought, I would say they were barbaric; and because of this attitude war came naturally to them. .
These authors felt the same way about manhood; the men followed the principle of arete. Arete means that if a man were dealt a challenge he wouldn't back down, he would fight, even to the death. The Iliad speaks about a few characters that were so overwhelmed with rage that nothing else mattered to them. Achilles has all the marks of a great warrior, and proves the mightiest man in the Achaean army. He is brave and is ready to accept any challenge, "Achilles put on his armor; he gashed his teeth, his eyes gleamed like fire, for his grief was greater than he could bear. Thus, then, full of fury against the Trojans, did he don the gift of the god." (Pg 236) Hector was another such man who had followed this arete code, he says, "Three times have I fled round the mighty city of Priam, without daring to withstand you, but now let me either slay or be slain." (Pg 265) This statement is an example of arete that all of the men had. It was a manly attitude; they would rather be killed than to back away from a fight. .
Agamemnon is the king of Mycenae and commander-in-chief of the Achaean army. He's not nearly as strong as Achilles but he has a similarly hot temper and prideful streak. He says, "Achilles, valiant though you be, you shall not thus outwit me. You shall not overreach and you shall not persuade me." (Pg 3) He is so set in his ways and so prideful that even though Apollo plagued him and his people he would not give up.