Interpreting The Actions Of Th Essay

1637 words - 7 pages

Interpreting the Actions of the Gods The role of the gods in the Trojan War proved to be a major importance in the final outcome and the psychological wellbeing of the mortals who fought for both the Trojan side and the Achaians side. The Greek Gods high, on Olympus watched the bloody battlefield below with a sense of satisfaction that they controlled the fate of the battlefield. The Trojan War some could say was actually a war among the gods as much as it was a war between the Trojans and the Achaians. The Iliad hardly represents the world as Homer's audience knew it. Gods are frequently coming down to the battlefield to aid in the fighting and thus the heroes perform deeds no normal man could ever accomplish. When reading Homer's Iliad you have to realize that the gods never were really there but are merely used for an easy explanation to the strange happenings of war. We can't believe that something in fact happened just because it is noted in a mythology handbook. The Greek people needed the gods to explain mysterious occurrences that occurred within their everyday lives so that these strange happenings made sense to them. The role of the gods needs to be interpreted as well as the various myths that surround the great Greek epic poem The Iliad by Homer.One instance when the gods were used to explain a strange and unusual thing was towards the beginning of the book. When King Agamemnon didn't give up his wife, a priestess of Apollo, the god became angry and did this to the Achaian people "First he attacked the mules and dogs, then he shot his keen arrows at the men and hit each mark. Pyres of the dead began to burn up everywhere and never ceased" (p12) This to me sounds like a disease that suddenly infected the Achaian army. Diseases usually start with animals, as that disease evolves, it is able to attack and infect humans. This is what commonly happens in Asia with people sharing living space with their animals both for heat and there simply isn't enough space for them to be anywhere else. This could have been how the Achaian war camp was set up, with animals living in close quarters with their masters and a poor sewage system to go along with it. Now all of this would have been quite surprising with men and animals suddenly dying along the beach with out any warning. The Achaian people also arrived in a new region and they, much like our Native Americans, couldn't have coped with the diseases. Another possibility that could have occurred is that a swarm of meteor showers struck the camp. Those meteors would have appeared as if they were shot down from the heavens by some angry god. If all of this didn't happen, their men suddenly dying, King Agamemnon would have sensed that nothing was wrong and thus wouldn't have been informed to give up his wife. If Agamemnon didn't give up his wife Achilles would still have his and most of this story would have never taken place, if it did at all.The Greeks also used the gods to explain why people do...

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