Essay on Private Motivations for War in The Iliad

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Private Motivations for War in The Iliad

Wars are often complex in nature and are fought for diverse reasons.

In the Iliad, powerful gods, great nations, and heroic people all fight for

different reasons. Each has private motivations to fight the war. These

private motivations are of special interest, because they help define the

consequences and outcomes of the war. The universal war of the gods, social

war of the Greeks and Trojans, and the war for Achilles' honor are private

motivations of the Trojan war. These private motivations seem to influence

and shape each other in many distinct ways.

The universal war between the gods over the apple of discord
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This intervention by Zeus

lead to another outbreak of war between the Greeks and Trojans. The universal

war of Athena and Hera versus Aphrodite had Zeus so caught up in it that he did

not want the social war to end. A god in the universal war once again created

the social war between Troy and Greece. The universal war was the cause of the

social war of Greece and Troy.

The private war of Achilles' honor was an outgrowth of the social war

between the Greeks and the Trojans. During the social war, Apollo grew angry at

the Greeks for the abuse of his priest, Chryses. The Greeks had abused Chryses

when Agamemnon took Chryses' daughter, Chryseis, during the raid of the town

of Thebes. Agamemnon wanted a replacement for Chryseis, so he took Briseis from

Achilles. This deeply wounded the honor of Achilles, and he decided to stop

fighting in the social war until his honor was amended. Achilles was angered by

an event that occurred in the social war, thus providing the need for Achilles

to reclaim his honor. The social war was the cause of the private war of

Achilles. The opportunity for Achilles to carry out his private war came after

the death of his comrade, Patroclus. Because Achilles would not fight,

Patroclus asked him if he could wear his armor. Patroclus thought

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