In Aeschylus' Agamemnon there are many different opinions about what kind of king and commander Agamemnon was. Some argued that he was good, while others dispute that his motives were wrong. Clytemnestra, Agamemnon's wife, gained a strong hatred for him, after he sacrificed his own daughter so he could go to war. Many believe that this was not necessary and could have been overcome. The chorus seems to agree with this to an extent, and feels that Agamemnon could have prayed and requested that he not sacrifice his daughter. Clytemnestra, after Agamemnon was at war for a few years, began to cheat on Agamemnon with his cousin, Aegisthus.
When the two got word of Agamemnon's return from Troy they began to plot against Agamemnon. Clytemnestra prayed to the Gods to let Agamemnon make it home because she wanted to punish him herself. Even though most of the other ships did not make it home after the storms, Agamemnon's did. Many believe this is because of the prayer that was prayed by Clytemnestra. Clytemnestra first set Agamemnon up by placing a purple carpet on the ground for him to walk on. By doing this Clytemnestra was hoping to get Agamemnon to upset the gods so it wouldn't be a sin for her to carry out her plan.
Agamemnon even acknowledges that he shouldn't walk on the carpet saying that, were he to walk on it, he would display unseemly pride and incur the wrath of the gods: "Such state becomes the gods and none beside. / I am a mortal, a man; I cannot trample upon / these tinted Ribble 2 splendors without fear thrown in my path" (922-924). Then, contradicting what he said, he walks on the carpet. Clytemnestra knew he was very proud, and knew that he would walk on the carpet if provoked. She knew that by saying "If Priam had won as you have, what would he have done?" (935) would cause Agamemnon to commit an ultimate act of hubris, an act of mortal pride or arrogance. Clytemnestra knew that Agamemnon was a very weak person and could easily be provoked into doing wrong.
The Chorus, made up of mainly older, more respected men in Argos, didn't know Agamemnon as well. They seemed to focus on the fact that Agamemnon was able to sacrifice his daughter without a second thought as to whether the prophecy was right or wrong. Many of them seemed to think that it was a selfish act, and that it could have been prevented. Aeschylus seems to express through the chorus that he himself felt that Agamemnon was wrong in his decision to kill his daughter for the sake of war, he wrote "her supplications and her cries of father / were nothing, nor the child's lamentation / to kings passion ed for battle" (228-230). This shows that it was a self-centered act to sacrifice his daughter for battle. Although Agamemnon seemed to be very self-centered according to Clytemnestra and the chorus, he seemed to be very respectable to other warriors.
Because he was a king he already had much prestige and with him being the commander of the Greek armies while at Troy he earned even more. There were many times on the battlefield that Agamemnon would ask others for help in making decisions about what the next move should be, and by doing this he showed that he was exercising his power Ribble 3 effectively. It was very respectable to be smart enough to question his moves and weigh out the consequences of all possible outcomes. This does not mean that Agamemnon could not make decisions; on the contrary, he was very good at making decisions. Although sometimes they weren't the best choice he could have made, for example, Iphigenia, they were still decisions that had to be made.
Each character had a different opinion of Agamemnon. It seemed that Aeschylus seemed to think that he was self-centered and should not have committed as many acts of hubris that he did. Aeschylus states through the chorus that "the vaunt of high glory / is bitterness; for God's thunderbolts... ". (468-472), referring to the fact that too much success leads to downfall, which in fact, is Agamemnon's final fate. As a whole Agamemnon seemed to be "human" with many weaknesses but also strengths.
He could only do what the gods allowed and if it was not in the prophecy then he could do nothing to change it.