Throughout The Iliad, Homer offers us a glimpse into the lifestyles of the ancient Greeks and their beliefs. They are a very spiritual and in many ways superstitious people. The main thing to note throughout The Iliad is the interaction between the gods and the humans. Any way one looks at the situation, they can immediately see that humans are mere pawns to the gods in their game of chess. The success and failures of the humans depends on what god would be helping which group and at what particular time. This essay will explain the three main reasons the gods in The Iliad intervened with humans: Firstly, gods who act on their own personal motives, secondly, gods who act as favors to other gods, and finally gods who act as favors to
Q1.Describe the relationships between the gods and mortals in The Iliad .What are the Greek gods like?
In ancient Greek culture the gods were seen as taking a very active role in the development and course of human history. The entire Olympian pantheon, as well as many other less important divinities, meddles in human affairs to no end. The people of the many city-states that composed Greece firmly believed that every aberration from normalcy was due to an act of the gods. Homer, the author of The Iliad, coined the prevalent religious beliefs of the time in his epic poems, showing the gods as temperamental and willful, meddlesome and dynamic. Homer’s entire poem is replete with instances of divine intervention in mortal lives, and no single major occurrence comes to pass unless it is the will of one of the many Olympian gods. Few major decisions are made without consulting the gods first, and the handful of instances in which one leader or another takes initiative almost always fails miserably. Life, according to the Greeks, is almost entirely rooted in their religion, as there is a god or goddess governing every aspect of the universe, and also because the gods so actively involve themselves in the everyday lives of mortals.
“The Aeneid” and “The Iliad” are relatively two different epics that were written decades apart. However, they have their similarities. These are two epics with the fate of two heroes. In the epic “The Aeneid,” the readers follow the journey of a man named Aeneas who is a Trojan refugee who journeys from his homeland of Troy to find Rome for the generations of the future. “The Iliad” is a story of the Trojan War and the hero of the story Achilles. Achilles was one of the bravest soldiers of the Greek army, but he was just as vain as he was brave. Both heroes showed a great amount of heroic actions throughout their perspective epics. Aeneas kills the Latin warrior Turnus and ventures away from his burning Troy to find Rome and prepare it for the future generations to come. Achilles fights for the Greeks which eventually results in him dying a hero’s death.
Through the sampling of readings from The Norton Anthology of World Literature book, one could come to the realization that in a majority of those stories, the deities seem to influence or even control the outcomes of the heroes, often in a negative manner. In the first epic, Gilgamesh encounters the gods at various times, and in The Iliad, the gods manipulate the Greeks and the Trojans for their own desires and wants.
Homer incorporated themes reflective of polytheism, heroes, and society into his poems. Ancient Greek culture is incorporated into his themes by the Greek gods being key characters in his epics. Gods have no moral code or rules of conduct to justify their actions so they are always seen as just and right. This reflects the ancient Greeks view of higher power and that power upon man (Versényi 21). The gods are seen as all powerful except when fate is in play. The gods are seen as weak to the defining power of fate to the protagonist to demonstrate how death is inescapable (Versényi 28). A common theme seen through Homer’s use of polytheism is the lack of peace between each god and they all come together under a common cause, to help
Throughout the Iliad of Homer there can be seen many features of the Greek religion. The
Gods played a great role back in ancient civilizations and still do so to a certain extent, just not as intensely. Today, we have many different gods and religions, but for the most part, they are not nearly as serious as they were back in the days of Odysseus. Gods were believed by all to run the whole show and could end lives if they chose. Whatever humans did had to reflect on what the Gods would think of it since it was they who controlled the thin line between life and death of every living soul. The relationships between men and Gods are shown as a serious topic in the Odyssey for several reasons and are also shown through several examples. Athena is shown to be the most kind and helpful Goddess for Odysseus and this is shown by her doing all in her power to help him get back home to his family as
Many authors have employed the religious beliefs of their cultures in literature. The deities contained in Homer’s Odyssey and in the Biblical book of Exodus reflect the nature of the gods in their respective societies. Upon examination of these two works, there are three major areas where the gods of the Greek epic seem to directly contrast the nature of the God of the Israelites: the way problems are solved, the prestige and status that separates the divine from the masses, and the extent of power among the immortal beings.
Ancient Greece was filled with so much character, from their religion to even the stories that followed them through generation to generation. One important thing to remember is how they took their religion very seriously and believed very much in their goddesses and their gods. This strong belief carried out into their everyday lives, where they began to believe that everything that happened within their day, was from the gods. With such a love and respect for these gods, they held them up on a pedestal and gave them all their respect and looked at them only as positive. These gods that play a role in their life, often act more as a spiritual guide more than anything. They take on mortal disguises to allow them to help the world without becoming noticed. As we can see in The Odyssey, the relationship between gods and mortals is close knit, but the main difference that is evident, is the power between the two. The gods may not be able to cause death upon a mortal, but they can do everything to lead towards that. In the book, the gods can make or break your day. We see within several relationships between the gods and mortals, that the power from the gods can be not only positive, but also negative. Each mortal has been influenced in some way by the gods, for either the greater good, or bad. Which goes without saying, that the Greek take their theology in believing in the gods, very seriously.
The stories told in the Iliad and Odyssey are based on stories handed down over several generations, for they preserve (as we have seen) memories of an already quiet far distant past. The two pomes show clear connection in their language and style, in the manner in which their incidents presented, and in the combination of agreement with level, which distinguish their creation.
The characters of Homer’s The Odyssey struggled with the ineffable reality of the world, therefore they created gods that could carry the burden of their hopeless quest for understanding. The characters created by Homer, because of their intelligence, were finally
In the Hellenistic view of the world the Gods have emotions and are personified like normal humans, and with emotions comes chaos. The Greek Gods play the humans like a video game and have the humans do whatever pleases the Gods. If pleasure to a God means thousands will die on the battlefield simply for his own interest then that is what will happen. Just as Troy is a battle between men in is also a battle between Gods.
A Godly Amount of Divine Interventions Throughout Homer’s Iliad and Virgil’s Aeneid, gods and goddesses, both Greek and Roman, have a direct influence on mortal events and fate, but most importantly with the main characters. The Aeneid and the Iliad are alike in the way the gods intervene in mortal affairs, but both epics present Zeus or Jupiter with different ideas of justice and fate of men; Zeus is more empathetic to the plight of man, while Jupiter is only concerned with ensuring the prophecy of man is fulfilled.
Throughout the first 5 books in the Iliad, there are numerous events that cause clashes between the gods, both with each other and as well as with mortals. There are several occasions where the gods impede men. For example, when Chryses prays to Apollo to help him, Apollo responds by sending forth a plague down upon the Greek camp, which thus results in the death of multiple soldiers. Although Chryses did pray to Apollo for assistance, if Apollo never sent down the plague Agamemnon Would have never been infuriated by Chryses request. Since Agamemnon did find out about the strategic efforts of Chryses, he tries to make a proposal to Achilles by swapping Chryseis and Briseis. Such a request offends Achilles’ proud ego which then causes an even