Comparing The Epic The Iliad Against The Bible 's First Book Genesis

1877 Words Oct 6th, 2016 8 Pages
Upon initial consideration, comparing similarities in the Homeric epic The Iliad against the Bible’s first book Genesis would seem outlandish. The comparisons between the two tales may not be abundantly clear. The parables of the Bible serve as religious cornerstones for society, while Greek tragedies serve as the moral lessons on which our culture is predicated. Fate in both narratives is understood to be a governing body, with a prominence being placed on remaining on the course with that which has been outlined for the individual. The “swift footed” Achilles and the “simple tent-dweller” Jacob are dually fated to embark on a trajectory that does not align with their idiosyncratic needs: death for Achilles, social status for Jacob. The comparisons between the two characters seems to augment more contradictions than parallels, yet it is through these similarities that the characters are humanized and the malleability of destiny can be understood. Fate in The Iliad and Genesis reveals an intriguing dilemma: one can either change their destiny, like Jacob, or one could succumb to fate, like Achilles. These polar notions serve to accentuate the significance of becoming an active participant in your own narrative, even when fate is not on one’s side.
The civilization that sets the idyllic scenes in Genesis understood the notion of primogeniture as the ultimate ideal of society. The culture placed a substantial emphasis on social status and being the firstborn. Interwoven…
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