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Thersites

by Christopher Bungard
Thersites was the son of Agrius. he is the only rank and file soldier that Homer gives a graphic depiction of. Thersites was bow legged, lame, and his shoulders caved inward. His head was shaped like a sugar loaf, coming to a point. Atop his head tufts of hair sprouted up. Homer mentions that he was a vulgar man whose "head was full of obscenities, teeming with rant." Thersites incurred Odysseus wrath when he called Agamemnon greedy and Achilles a coward. Odysseus struck Thersites upside the head with the royal scepter of Agamemnon. Later, Achilles struck Thersites upside the head for mocking his sorrow at the death of Penthesilea. No one grieved for Thersites when he spat out teeth and fell to the earth dead.

In Shakespeare's Troilus and Cressida (I, iii) he is 'a slave whose gall coins slanders like mint.'


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