Anger in The Iliad and Genies
We live in a society of violence and extravagance. One can pick up a newspaper and see a headline reading “Bride Killed On Wedding Day By Crazed Ex-Boy Friend”. We live in an age of people who drive hundred thousand dollar cars. These are on opposite sides of the spectrum. We see people causing great pain and people who are trying to lose themselves in material goods, to avoid the suffering in life. This is the society we live in, which can be seen in all civilizations in the history of man. It was evident in the time of Greek heroism and the days of Hebrew culture. Life seems to be a journey to control ones happiness by avoiding craziness in oneself and others. This craziness or blind rage is called Ate. Ate is something that has no controller or master, but has existed since the origin of time. One can see how Ate affects all of life’s functions including: the mind, body, and souls of people. It is interesting to see how each culture reacts to this great power that reigns above all. In Genies and in Homer’s Iliad we see such action. The Iliad and Genesis are epic stories of harnessing the great power of Ate.
The time and culture one lives in effects peoples’ thoughts, actions and writing. Writing affects the society it dwells in, this is Vico. These two writings are different, but can be contrasted to see great truths.
The concept of anger and consequence are themes that play themselves out in both Genesis and the Iliad. In the Iliad we see the strongest anger and emotion is Ate. Where does this blind rage or delusion come from? When Agamemnon loses his woman and take Briseis from Achilles his actions, he admits, are wrong. But he said, “I was mad, I myself will not deny it.”(9; 116) This shows us that this madness “Ate” came upon him, that it came from a great outside power. We see this reference to madness or evil repeating itself.
The book of Genesis deals with the concept of Ate and anger as it almost does not exist, but refers to it instead as the act of sinning. When Adam and Eve ate the forbidden fruit they had sinned. In the text it said, the fruit “was pleasing to the eye and desirable for the knowledge” (3; 6) Both Adam and Eve where told not to do that, but they did. This occurrence is temptation and evil. This action of evil and temptation is the Hebrews “Ate”. This action of evil is Ate for the Hebrews.
The delusion that is Ate is illustrated in these two different cultures. In the Greek text we see Ate as anger that comes from an outside force. The Greeks of Homer’s times believe that anger fuels the lives of the people. In the Hebrew text Ate is shown as temptation and evil. Genesis is a religious text, so ate is the idea of an outside force called original sin. Ate in both these cases are the driven forces that are trying to be controlled. Due to different purposes, their style caters to that.
We now see that the presence of Ate exists in both the culture and style of...