Role of Wrath in the Illiad Essay

1787 Words Apr 22nd, 2013 8 Pages
Niraj Khatiwada
Seminar Paper
Mr. Davis & Ms. Davis
October 29, 2012

What Role Does Wrath Play In The Iliad?

The very first line in the Iliad states the main theme of the whole story, as Homer asks the Muse to sing of the "wrath of Achilles." This wrath, all its occurrences, transformations, influences, and consequences, unfold the devastating events in the Iliad.

Initially the book starts showing people in a normal state of life, but the main story of Homer’s Iliad, however, starts once there is the ignition of wrath among prominent characters of the story like Agamemnon and Achilles. In the normal state, people are capable of behaving rationally, using experience and wisdom to guide their action. However, during the main
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Indeed, in their submission to base appetites and shallow grudges, the gods of The Iliad often seem more prone to human folly than the human characters themselves. This can also be seen when Zeus promises to help the Trojans, not out of any profound moral consideration but rather because he owes Thetis a favor.

It is not only the mortals who pose anger in the Iliad, but the gods too are not inseparable from it. Once Achilles petitioned Zeus for revenge, Zeus started his involvement in the war, which in turn angered Hera against Zeus, as well as the anger of various other gods, each with his/her own agenda. This way the anger of human beings involved the anger of gods and the situation turned out to be fearful and irreversible. Gods like Athena, Hera, and Aphrodite directly or indirectly took part in the war. Ares and Aphrodite were even wounded in the course of the war. However, the passion of gods was stimulated by human beings that intensified the course of the war. Many mortals were killed in the course of war, and no mortal could survive the attack of gods.

With these events, Homer tries to maintain that dealing with the divine power with the limited abilities of mortals will only result in harm to humans. Therefore, he points the danger of the involvement of the anger of gods. Initially human actions initiated events in the Iliad.