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Gods' Role in the Iliad

Paper type: Essay
Pages: 4 (871 words)
Categories: God,Greek mythology,Literature,The Iliad
Downloads: 4
Views: 6

The Iliad is an ancient Greek epic poem written by Homer. the oldest extant works of Western literature and its written version is usually dated to around the 8th century BC. Set during the Trojan War, the ten-year siege of the city of Troy. And it tells the battles and events during the weeks of a quarrel between King Agamemnon and the warrior Achilles. The Iliad, as in any other Greek works, the gods take a huge and important role in the events that are happening.

In the Iliad, the gods play their role, but they especially play the role of deciding fates (not all the time), that man doesn’t have a choice in their life because the gods have already decided what their life is going to be. Also, they took a huge part in the war.

So how did they do all the work?

In Book 16, the gods change fates. First, when Achilles prays to Zeus to give Patroklos courage, he also asks that he comes home safe.

But Zeus only answers the first prayer and doesn’t answer the second one. Zeus only answered The first prayer of giving power to Patroklos, but he didn’t answer the prayer of going back home safe, which means Zeus wanted them to have power and success in the war but didn’t want them to go back home with no harm, which also means that Zeus decided their fate and now they have to live with it.

Another great example is when Zeus’s son was about to be killed. Zeus prayed to god Hera asking her to get him out of the battleground, asking her to change the fate of his son. God Hera doesn’t answer his prayer. And his son got killed “my Sarpedon, the man I love the most, my own son doomed to die at the hands of Menoetius’ son Patroclus. My heart is torn in two as I try to weigh all this. Shall I pluck him up, now, while he’s still alive and set him down in the rich green land of Lycia, far from the war at Troy and all its tears? Or beat him down at Patrodus’ hands at last?” god Hera didn’t answer Zeus’s prayers at first and let his son be killed and she didn’t protect him. So, Zeus lived with god Hera’s decision of not letting his son live and not letting him survive the war.

In Book 14, The god of earthquake, Poseidon, didn’t like Achilles so he decided that he should be killed. “Agamemnon now, by heaven, Achilles’ murderous spirit must be leaping in his chest filled with joy to behold his comrades slain and routed in their blood. That man has got no heart in him. Not a pulsebeat. So let him die, outright-let a god wipe him out!” Achilles’ behaviors and acts were enough for a god to change his fate, and a god to “wipe him out”. By this decision, Poseidon changed the way the war was going to go, and how it would end. Almost every action that happened throughout the story of the Iliad, was caused by the gods. The men were only away, for the gods, to do what they want, men didn’t do anything from themselves, and even if they did, they would ask the gods first (just like what we saw in the last example).

The Iliad, like all great works of art, is of continued relevance because it deals with universal themes. The characters in the poem may have, what seems to us, strange names; their codes of honor and social conventions are completely alien to ours; Even though the Iliad was written centuries ago, it is still relevant and important till this day. First of all, the Iliad is a historical text that made us know about the Trojan war, how did it happen, between whom it was, what was the results and a lot of other information. Besides its historical context, it is also a literary text, as a poem. It is still relevant to our day, because wars happen all the time and the leaders may go through a situation or a choice just like what Agamemnon or Achilles had to go through. For example, when Agamemnon had to choose between going back home or continue the war, he had to make a choice out of fear, or out of motivation and courage.

Also, the soldiers who fight today in wars are like the soldiers who spent 10 years of their lives fighting in the Trojan war. They left their families and their lives behind and came to fight, which is what we exactly see today in (for example) the fights between the Palestinians and Israelites. Palestinian soldiers are ready to do everything to get their land back. On the other hand, what is not still relevant is the gods, the gods were a huge part of Greek mythology. But nowadays there is only one God.

In the end, we can see that the gods made us think of how one man’s will could be against the gods’ will and what they decide for him and his fate, and how every event has the gods involved in it.

Cite this essay

Gods’ Role in the Iliad. (2019, Nov 23). Retrieved from https://studymoose.com/gods-role-in-the-iliad-essay

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