Dr. K. Liu
In the Iliad, this is the story of the ten-year battle in Troy during its tenth year. Throughout The Iliad we see major characters that are humans, and we also see Gods playing significant roles throughout this epic poem. The Gods, in my opinion, play such a great part in the war that I would suggest they cause the battle. My reasoning for this is because of the question the Goddesses pose to Paris. The three Goddesses ask Paris which amongst the three were the greatest/ prettiest of them all. Paris chose Aphrodite, and his gift from Aphrodite was to obtain the most beautiful women and he chose Helen, Menelaos’s wife, which he stole. We see in The Iliad that because Athena and Herra were shunned they both worked hard to work in the favor of the Greeks. The Gods play a major role in the reasons for the war, the war continuing, and outcome of the war and the destiny of the various warriors. Aphrodite worked to aid Paris throughout the battle for example where she assists Paris from the fight with Menelaus.
We also see another God, Zeus who is the Supreme God over all; he was influenced by the Goddesses, and also used the scales and fate to determine the choices he made in the battle. Zeus presence in the Iliad is somewhat of a fair mediator who is more so influenced by what fate says should happen. We see Hera, another God, distracts Zeus which helps the Greeks become successful in battle. Athena in Book 4 persuades Pandaros to break the truce he made to no longer fight.
Homer is a renowned source when referencing Greek literature. Although he is well known as being the author of the Iliad and Odyssey, there’s some controversy connected to him. Firstly, there are debates as to whether or not Homer could be an individual person or a collection of people who wrote the Iliad. Homer’s rendition of the Iliad was presented many years and or generations after the battle. Its been implied that Homer lavished and expanded the actual truth of the battle making some areas of it fictitious. The story of the Iliad has been known to be passed on orally by other poets and it has been suggested that the story could be an accumulation of various poems put together. Some have felt that when Homer told the poem he omitted and was repetitive in his story telling. The implication that the repetition was accidental has been countered by noting it was a style of storytelling back then.
A major character of the poem would be Helen, although she is not very vocal throughout the poem, the war is really over her. She is married and is stolen by Paris. She falls in love with him and does not necessarily want to return to her husband. Whiles siding with Paris she still admires her husband during battle. This would be considered a modern day scandal as she runs off and is content with being with the “enemy”.
The value system throughout the Iliad is one that honored combative ways. When rage and violence is shown it makes the solider seem more renowned. This system doesn’t necessarily applaud fighters who are aggressive and show a more emotional side to them. I believe showing emotions during that era was inferior. Fighting brutally and revenge were honorable in that system. When we think of a hero now in modern day society, I believe words like noble, leader, good character, and traits such as loyalty and trust worthy would be words used to describe a hero or good guy. In the Iliad this is not the case. Gods seems to be very influential in this land where there aren’t really any laws shown. I don’t believe there is loyalty amongst the warriors and its not necessarily frowned upon. We see where Agamemnon, who is seen as a hero, bullies Achilleus and takes Brises, which depresses him. Achilleus is also a hero of the story. Achilleus is a very strong character. He displays rage and anger but still has a fate to eventually die. I believe even the way that Hector is killed and his body