ADVANTAGES

Achilles tells Odysseus that there are many reasons why he will definitely not return to the fighting and instead, will return home to Phthia, but his tutor Phoinix and his friend Ajax seem to soften his anger. He tells Phoinix that in the morning they shall both decide if they should return home, and to Ajax he pledges to return to the battle if Hektor reaches the ships of his people, the Myrmidons. The embassy has succeeded in changing Achilles' mind in some ways, and there seems to be some cause for hope. Why then did Odysseus only repeat the words Achilles spoke to him when he returned to Agamemnon and the others, omitting the more hopeful conversations that Achilles had with Phoinix and Ajax? When he did not, why then did Ajax not expand on what Odysseus related to the king? The answers to these questions are open to speculation. Did Odysseus assume that the best course of action was to put thoughts of Achilles aside since his future involvement was so precarious, and better to plow ahead with other strategies? Or was he so confident in his own capabilities that he decided that all was lost if he could not change Achilles' mind? Whatever the case, this time Odysseus does not get the job done -- something that will be seen again in Sophocles' .

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