Demigods in Iliad

1451 WordsDec 3, 20106 Pages
Demigods In The Iliad by Homer, the ancient Greek gods have many extraordinary abilities. They take pleasure in eternal youth by consuming ambrosia and nectar, resisting disease, and influencing the tides of war between Trojan and Achaian soldiers. In addition to these supernatural powers, the gods have the benefit of immortality. Immortality is the birthright that primarily separates gods from mortals and thus, it is the most precious of supernatural powers. Gods such as Zeus, Thetis, and Aphrodite have sexual relationships with mortals and their children are born as demigods: half human, half god. These hybrid offspring have extraordinary strength and enjoy an advantage over their human counterparts. For example, the demigods are able…show more content…
Hera, appalled by Zeus’ contemplation firmly responds, “…if you bring Sarpedon back to his home, still living,/ think how then some other one of the gods might also/ wish to carry his own son out of the strong encounter/…You will waken great resentment among them” (16. 445-449). Zeus desperately wants to spare his son from this horrific fate, but if he does so, other gods may also do the same and thus cause chaos on Mount Olympus. Neither Zeus nor Sarpedon can do anything to save Sarpedon’s life, so Zeus accepts that his son must die. Zeus “…wept tears of blood that fell to the ground, for the sake/ of his beloved son…” (16. 458-460), thus showing that even he, the most powerful of the gods, cannot intervene with fate. Zeus’ inability to interfere with fate highlights the fact that his son is a demigod and hence does not have the ability to live forever. As a result of his inability to save his son, Zeus recognizes that his only option is to give his son a proper burial and accept that he cannot interfere with Sarpedon’s fate. Additionally, Thetis, the river-goddess, has a strong relationship with her son Achilleus. While Agamemnon is forced to return Chryseis to Chryses, he decides to take Achilleus’ prize, Briseis, as compensation for
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