The Role of the Gods in Homer's The Iliad Essay

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The Role of the Gods in Homer's The Iliad

"We everlasting gods....Ah what chilling blows we suffer-thanks to our own conflicting wills-whenever we show these mortal men some kindness." This exert clearly states what kind of authority Homer has bestowed on his Gods. John Porter said," their constant interference in the lives of the mortals, which seems to cast them in the role of malicious puppeteers, while reducing Homer's heroes to mere pawns in a selfish and often rather petty divine game of one-upmanship." I found it to be quite disturbing imagining these characters fighting in such a mercilous war, giving every ounce of strength they had, and in an instance, all of their efforts could be derailed by a God or Goddess. You almost
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When we here the word God, we imagine a greater power above; an existence who is in complete control, that cannot be corrupted or seduced, and whoes 'heart' is pure. The term 'God' in Greek terms actually stands for theos. This word in our definition would really be translated as something 'weird' because all it really means is something beyond human capability or understanding. 'Thus the term theos had no connotations of morality, justice, or benevolence; instead, it indicated something mysterious and potentially dangerous.' ( Porter) But mostly it indicated power, which is predominantly what the Gods had in Homer's stories.

Porter went on to discuss that they are really meant to be symbols of the phenomena of our world. "It is natural, for example, that there be a plurality of gods, each with his/her own particular powers and spheres of influence, to account for the manifold experiences of life," Porter explains, "as well, that the gods disagree, since the world is filled with contradictory forces. Above all, it is natural that the gods of this competitive society, dominated by its warrior aristocracies, display the same values and operate according to the same set of motivations as the human nobility: the gods are, as it were, the ultimate heroes." It really began to make this story make sense when reading
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