The Iliad And The Aeneid Fate Analysis

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The gods and goddesses played a pivotal role in the decisions made by the mortals they watched over in the Iliad and the Aeneid, but many of the questionable moral choices were made by the characters’ own free will. During these stories, the characters were manipulated in different ways depending on how it would benefit each god or their deaths were sealed by “fate” and unchangeable. Even though the gods interfered with the lives of mortals, they had choices about honor and integrity and chose to act on them accordingly. Today, people are held accountable for their actions and everyone is given a choice and moral compass about what is right or wrong. Free will allows people to live happily and unrestricted, but in terms of social…show more content…
Even though the Gods frequently interfered with the lives of mortals, the humans still made debatable choices. Before Hector was fated to die in the Iliad, he made a vow to Achilles that he would not dishonor his body in death and asked that Achilles make the same promise to him. “I will not dishonor your corpse, only strip the armor and give the body back to the Greeks. Promise you’ll do the same” (Norton 265). Regrettably, Achilles did not extend the same honor to Hector. His soldiers continued to stab him, secured his body to a horse, and dragged it through the city. For 12 days, Hector’s lifeless body was dragged on the horse while the Gods used enchantments to keep away rot and bugs. Upon seeing this heartless cruelty, Apollo begs Zeus to let Hector’s body be ransomed and he finally agrees. Thetis delivers the message to her son and Zeus sends a bird to protect Hector’s father, Praim. Filled with rage and loss from the death of his friend, Patroclus, Achilles may have continued to mutilate and torture Hector’s body had there not been an intervention from the gods. Achilles’ choice was a dishonorable one, but because he was a demi-god, he frequently received help from the gods without judgement. Achilles redeemed himself at the end of the poem when Praim travels to the Achaean camp, guided by Hermes, to pay the ransom
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