Family Dynamics in Homer's Iliad

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The relationships between parents and their sons in the Iliad are not relationships we expect to see in today’s society. The Iliad portrays the relationships between fathers and sons as something more than just physical and emotional. It is based on pride and respect for one another. The expectations of their son are more so to pass on their fathers reputable name and to follow in their father’s footsteps of being noble warriors. These relationships are the driving forces in the Iliad, making each son in the Iliad identifiable first by their father’s name. An outcome of the father–son relationships is ancestral loyalty among the characters which play a prominent role in war. Therefore, not only does the Iliad share a major war story, but…show more content…
“ Then Glaucus, son of Hippolochus met Diomedes in no man’s land. Both were eager to fight, but first Tydeus’s son made his voice heard above the battle noise” (Book 6, Lines 120-123). After Tydeus’s son made his point, Glaucus responds, “ Great son of Tydeus, why ask about my lineage?” (Book 6, Line 148). Here we see both characters being identified by their fathers. It was important to know the lineage of not only friends, but foes. This identification helped in distinguishing if the person you are battling goes back to family friendship because you would not want to kill someone your ancestors were friends with, also to know if they were demi-gods or immortals. Some at battle would rather a mortal to see the bloodshed in their victory instead of someone who has the gods on their side. Therefore, once it was identified that there were old ancestral family ties the two at battle wouldn’t want to kill each other, instead they would trade armor to show their family ties. “ If ever you come to Argos, as you are my friend and I your guest whenever I travel to Lycia. So we can’t cross spears with each other even in the thick of battle…and let’s exchange armor so everyone will know that we are friends from our fathers’ days” (Book 6, Lines 232-240). In contrast to the relationships of fathers and sons, mothers and sons have an emotional bonding throughout their lives. Mothers have physical and emotional connections and are always there

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