Roles Of Gods In The Iliad

1130 words - 5 pages

“Nine days the arrows of god swept through the army.” (Homer, The Iliad, 1.61) The Iliad written by Homer portrayed the war between the Achaeans and the Trojans. In addition to the mortals fighting each other gods also intervened in the war between the two sides, the gods in The Iliad played very significant roles in the battles; they brought divine powers on to the mortal sides of the war, Greek gods embody many human characteristics, there are many themes in The Iliad that construct the interventions of the gods, lust, jealousy, revenge, anger, pride, and favoritism are some of the reasons why the gods of Olympus got involved in the Trojan War. The gods of Olympus used humans as their puppets while the gods engaged themselves in conflict against each other.
Lust is one of the major themes in the interference of the Trojan War; Aphrodite goddess of beauty and lust is to blame for the beginning of the Trojan War. The goddess promised Paris the prince of Troy the most beautiful woman in the world if he chose her as the fairest of them all. At the beginning it was Zeus who was suppose to pick between the goddesses but Zeus passed up the chance and used Paris as the puppet to choose between the goddesses. The choices Paris was to choose from were Hera, Athena and Aphrodite; all three goddesses had to bribe the young prince with favors. Hera queen of the gods promised him power over all of Europe, Athena bribed him with the victory of the Trojans leaving Sparta in ruins and Aphrodite assured him the most beautiful woman on earth. Paris blinded with lust chose Aphrodite as the “fairest of them all” leading to the downfall of Troy. The “most beautiful woman on earth” happened to be Helen of Sparta, having a god promise him his prize Paris set off to Sparta and kidnapped Helen bring her back to Troy sparking conflict between the Achaeans and the Trojans. Both mortal and immortal beings indulge oneself with lust Paris was infatuated with Helen therefore kidnapping her and raging war against Sparta. King Agamemnon is also responsible for the predicaments of the Achaean army as they fell in to the mercy of Apollo’s wrath. King Agamemnon lusted over the daughter of Apollo’s priest stealing her away from her father and dishonoring Apollo and threating his priest,
“[N] ever again, old man, let me catch sight of you by the hollow ships!
Not loitering now, not slinking back tomorrow.
The staff and the wreaths of god will never save you then.
The girl – I won’t give up the girl. Long before that,
old age will overtake her in my house, in Argos,
far from her fatherland, slaving back and forth at the loom, forced to share
my bed!
Now go,
don’t tempt my wrath – and you may depart alive.” (1. 29 – 38)
The battle of Troy began with Paris kidnapping Helen leading to a ten yearlong war having many warriors lose their lives in the process of the war. Agamemnon’s dishonor to Apollo created many deaths in the Achaean army.
Paris of Troy’s choice of which...

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