Role Of The Gods In The Iliad Essay

The Iliad features the interactions of the Greek gods and how they affect the mortals on The Iliad’s stage, The Trojan War. The Greek pantheon is a family structure with Zeus as their leader. The main goal for all of these gods was to ensure that The Trojan War happened. The Greeks believed that The Trojan War was predestined to happen because The Trojan prince Paris stole the most beautiful woman in the world, Helen, from her husband. The Greeks fought The Trojan War to get her back and teach Paris a lesson. The gods interfered on both sides of The Trojan War with their powers, but most often they acted as humans would.

This paper will focus on how the Greek Gods influence The Iliad. It will also tell why these actions are important for this play. The main argument states that without the interference of the gods there would have been no The Iliad or Trojan War. The first god that was introduced in The Iliad is Zeus, King of all Gods and men (Lang 858). His role in The Iliad is to ensure The Trojan War happens so The Odyssey can be created. The second god that was introduced in The Iliad is Hera . She puts her husband, Zeus, up to ensuring The Trojan War happens so she can create The Odyssey (Lang 859).

The third god that was introduced in The Iliad is Athena , the Goddess of wisdom and war (Lang 909). Athena helped out both sides of The Trojan War because she supports wisdom and order rather than chaos and destruction (Parker 544). The fourth and final god who had a role in The Iliad is Aphrodite . Aphrodite’s goal for The Trojan War was simply to make Paris fall in love with Helen (Lang 860). The actions that the Greek gods do affect The Iliad because these four gods planned The Trojan War to happen. The first noticeable interaction between a god and mortals is when Thetis , Thetis was one of Zeus’ wives (Lang 852).

Thetis tells Zeus the bad news about how he will lose his kingdom because Thetis’ son, Achilles, would defeat him in battle (Lang 852). Zeus responds by saying that Thetis should not worry about this issue because her son will be back “before the month / Is out” (853-854) which counters what Thetis said. This affects The Iliad because it shows that the Gods are more powerful than humans are. It also shows Thetis’ powerlessness and she will not be able to escape The Iliad’s fate. The next interaction between a god and mortals is when Hera tricks Zeus into making The Achaeans lose the war against The Trojans (Lang 859).

This affects The Iliad because it causes The Achaeans to mourn which causes Achilles to become angry. The last interaction between a god and mortals is when Athena tricks Zeus into letting The Trojan win one battle/scamper back to their city (Lang 909). This affects The Iliad because The Achaeans get mad at Athena for her actions, but Athena knows that if they knew what was best for them then there would be no more The Iliad . The actions that the Greek gods do affect The Iliad because it shows how they are superior to mortals. Without these divine interventions The Iliad would not exist.

Without The Trojan War there would have been no The Odyssey and without the interference of the Gods in The Iliad , The Trojan War would never have happened. The main argument for this paper is that without the actions of the Gods in The Iliad, The Trojan War would never have happened, which means there would be no basis for The Odyssey to happen. The story of Troy was a mythological song meant to explain natural phenomenon such as earthquakes (Clay 567). If Troy did not exist then there could only be myths explaining natural events but The Odyssey as a whole would not exist.

The Iliad is an epic story about The Trojan War. The main character in The Iliad is Achilles, but there are many gods that play a role throughout The Iliad. The Greeks believed that the Gods were always interfering on the battlefield; making things hard for humans. The Gods would shake the world to make sure people noticed when they were on the battlefield. The Gods fight each other, like Ares and Aphrodite did when They had an affair with one another during The Trojan War (Larson 331). The Gods were constantly getting in between people’s relationships through affairs of their own (Larson 333).

An example of how Zeus got involved in The Iliad was when Hera decided she wanted Paris dead. The God Apollo tried to protect Paris, but Zeus told The God Apollo he couldn’t interfere with The War. After The Trojan War ended The Gods decided that the Greeks didn’t deserve a prize for winning The Trojan War because they were too greedy and let The Trojans keep their city state (Larson 333). Athena was known as being one of the wisest of all The Gods. She was also a well loved Goddess because she loved humans and would always help them out when they needed it most.

In The Iliad , after Achilles had been killed in battle, Athena went down to his body and wiped away his enemy’s blood from his body. This made The Greeks think it might be better to give Achilles back to The Greeks. The Gods were trying to save The Greeks because The Trojans were winning the whole time (Larson 333). Even though The Gods made The Iliad into a great adventure with all their interfering, The Trojan War would still have happened without Them. The Gods just wanted to take things up a notch and keep everyone interested throughout The Iliad .

If there was no interference from The Gods there would be nothing stopping Zeus from destroying both armies. Athena saved the day by defending the city state of Troy and protecting Paris, which kept The Trojans alive and eventually won them the war (Larson 331). Without interference from The Gods, humans wouldn’t have learned anything throughout history. They would all believe they were the top of The Food Chain and not think about The Gods. The Gods were the ones that created order in The Iliad.

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