The Gods and Their Interaction with Humans

1639 Words Mar 13th, 2006 7 Pages
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 …show more content…
Thetis goes to Zeus and propositions him, "…if ever amid mortals by word or deed I served you, grant my wish and see my sons honor!" (Book I; 466-68) Zeus in turn responds,

"Here is trouble. You drive me into open war with Hera sooner or later: she will be at me, scolding all day long. Even as matters stand she never rests from badgering me before the gods: I take the Trojan side in battle, so she says…But you can trust me to put my mind to this; I shall arrange it." (Book I; 488-96)

Here is one of the greatest if not the greatest of the gods, Zeus, complying with Thetis' plea to help the Trojans, and his biggest concern is upsetting his wife. This scene contrasts how the humans lives are in the hands of feeble gods who are sometimes unable to make uninfluenced decisions without the influence of others or worrying about what another will think or say to them simply because she will be ‘scolding all day long'. Another favor which helped turn the tide of war in favor of the Achaeans again involves Achilles and Thetis, however this time she seeks the aid of Hephaestus. Thetis goes to Hephaestus because Achilles armor is in the hands of Hector who killed Achilles dear friend Patroclus.

"…and no one