This website uses cookies to ensure you have the best experience. Learn more

The Funeral Games Of Patroklos In Homer's Iliad And Odyssey

2341 words - 9 pages

The Funeral Games of Patroklos in Homer's Iliad and Odyssey

 
     Coming towards the end of a war which has consumed an entire decade and laid waste the lives of many, the Greek warriors in Troy choose to take the time and energy to hold funeral games.  This sequence of events leaves the reader feeling confused because it's not something one would expect and seems highly out of place.  Throughout the epic Homer tries to describe what it is to be mortal and often contrasts it with what it means to be immortal.  Homer uses the funeral games of Patroklos to show crucial differences about the lives of mortals and the lives of gods.

 

 

 These games come towards the end of a war that has cost thousands of men their lives and all these men should logically want to do is go home.  The games and the war are very similar to each other, in each there is a winner and a loser, with the winner taking a prize.  The critical difference is that in war people die, a very real consequence.  For the gods wars are no different from games, there are winners and there are losers, but there is never any real consequence, because there is no death.  Both men and gods must go through trials, tests, and conflicts throughout their existence, but for the gods, life is a meaningless game, and for men, life is a war in which everyone eventually loses.

 

The games are part of the mourning process for humans because they are a distraction from the reality of their world: for a short time the men who survived the war and are competing in the games, become gods.  While people are dying helplessly and great fighters have fallen in the dust, the men are able to forget their worries of death and tragedy and are able to focus on something with no consequence.  In these competitions there are even prizes for coming in second or third place.  In the chariot race first place received a woman and a large tripod, second place a mare, third place a cauldron, fourth place two talents of gold, and for fifth place a jar.  This award for losing is never seen in wars.  After Troy is destroyed there is no prize given to the survivors.  While there are prizes for all competitors, like the gods the men are not always happy and often argue.  After coming in second in the chariot race Antilochos is upset over what prize he will receive.  "Achilles, I shall be very angry with you if you accomplish what you have said.  You mean to take my prize away from me." (544-545. Book 23. Homer, Iliad)  This is quite ironic since the opening conflict was over Agamemnon taking a prize from Achilles.  Later Antilochos receives his second prize and Achilles gives to the son of Admetos another corselet, but the petty arguing over prizes doesn't end.  Menelaos accuses Antilochos of getting in the way of his horses during the race and demands that the prize of the mare be given to him.  Once the horse reaches Menelaos he decides to forgive Antilochos...

Find Another Essay On The Funeral Games of Patroklos in Homer's Iliad and Odyssey

The Importance of Identity in Homer's Odyssey

1435 words - 6 pages The Importance of Identity in Homer's Odyssey Within the epic poem "The Odyssey", Homer presents the story of Odysseus's quest to find his home and his identity. According to Homer's account, with its origin in oral tradition, the two quests are interchangeable, as a mortal defines himself with his home, his geographic origin, his ancestors, his offspring, etc. But in addition to this Homer illustrates the other aspect of human identity

The Role of Penelope in Homer's Odyssey

1201 words - 5 pages   Odysseus's wife, Penelope plays a very important role in Homer's Odyssey.  She provides the motivation for Odysseus's return to Ithaca.  She is also the center of the plot involving the suitors and the fate of Telemakos and Ithaca itself.  The objective of this essay is to analyze the important role of Penelope in Odyssey.              Penelope is the reason for Odysseus's return to Ithaca.  He is driven throughout his entire journey to

Coming of Age in Homer's the Odyssey

1027 words - 4 pages Identity is a theme that runs strongly throughout The Odyssey. While much of Homer's work is devoted to Odysseus' journey, an examination of his son Telemakhos provides an excellent example of character development. From the anxious and unconfident young man to which Book I opens to the courageous exactor of his father's estate, Telemakhos undergoes notable emotional maturation. The spiritual journey illustrated by Telemakhos, through his own

The Portrayal of Women in Homer's Odyssey

1887 words - 8 pages Does Homer exhibit gender bias in the Odyssey?  Is the nature of woman as depicted in the Odyssey in any way revealing? Upon examining the text of the Odyssey for differential treatment on men and women, it becomes necessary to distinguish between three possible conclusions.  One, differences in treatment reflect the underlying Homeric thesis that  women are "different but equal in nature,"  Two, different treatment  of men and women in the text

Heoes of the Iliad and the Odyssey

2057 words - 9 pages , honor and pride are so intertwined with one another, that it can be hard to distinguish between the two. However, heroic mortal men like Achilles and Odysseus, whose stories are found within The Iliad and The Odyssey, experience and are often consumed by the damming vice of pride, or hubris, and therefore are subjected to the ramifications that come with their decisions. In order to distinguish between the actions done through honor, or pride

The Role of the Gods in Homer's The Iliad

539 words - 2 pages The Role of the Gods in Homer's The Iliad "We everlasting gods....Ah what chilling blows we suffer-thanks to our own conflicting wills-whenever we show these mortal men some kindness." This exert clearly states what kind of authority Homer has bestowed on his Gods. John Porter said," their constant interference in the lives of the mortals, which seems to cast them in the role of malicious puppeteers, while reducing Homer's heroes to mere

Deus and Kleos: The Paradox of Glory in Homer's The Iliad

1380 words - 6 pages The Iliad is the story of hundreds of Ancient Greek heroes and kings seeking to take the fabled city of Troy. They embody the values that the Ancient Greeks valued. The charismatic Odysseus, the mighty Achilles, the wise Nestor, the royal Agamemnon all take part in the Iliad. The heroes pursue personal glory on the battlefield. Glory to them, is more valuable than their families, their lives, and form the very basis for their existence. The

Main Characters in Homer's The Iliad, Achilles and Hector

602 words - 2 pages Two of the main characters in Homer’s The Iliad, Achilles and Hector, compare very differently in many ways. Although they were both war heroes, they came from different sides of the battle and fought each other under different beliefs. These two brave warriors fought to the death in Book 22, where Hector eventually lost to Achilles. Even though Hector lost the fight, the war still raged on, even less merciful than before. These two

Leadership in Homer's, The Odyssey

754 words - 4 pages good leader. In the article "Seven Personal Characteristics of a Good Leader", the author, Barbara White informs the reader on the seven qualities of a good leader and explains each characteristic in detail. In Homer's, The Odyssey, the main character Odysseus displays many leadership traits, one of these traits being courage when he encounters the alluring Sirens in the book of "The Sirens". The second characteristic of a leader that Odysseus

Deception in Homer's The Odyssey

1384 words - 6 pages Cor. 11: 14). Deception is used for many different psychological reasons and it is used in Homer’s The Odyssey by many characters in the poem, including mortals, gods and goddesses. Odysseus is a man of many faces: war hero, adventure seeker, devout Hellenist when he chooses to be, and even bloody murderer. The face he is most known for in The Odyssey, though, is a cunning and deceitful face. As he is planning to escape the cave of the one

The Odyssey and the Iliad

1191 words - 5 pages The Odyssey and the Iliad      In our day and age, people strive for independence and a sense of authority. However, at many times this is more easily said than done. Whether it be God, or in the eyes of the Achaeans and Trojans, the immortals, lives and actions are commonly defined by a higher being. Which leads to Homer’s epic poems the Odyssey and the Iliad which deal with constant conflict in a world

Similar Essays

The Gods In Homer's The Iliad And The Odyssey

1408 words - 6 pages The Gods in Homer's The Iliad and The Odyssey The stories told in the Iliad and Odyssey are based on stories handed down over several generations, for they preserve (as we have seen) memories of an already quiet far distant past. The two pomes show clear connection in their language and style, in the manner in which their incidents presented, and in the combination of agreement with level, which distinguish their creation. The work was

Homer's: The Story Of "The Iliad" And "The Odyssey" And The Gods

1370 words - 5 pages terrible, random, and short for most people.Deal with it. In the Odyssey, life is terrible and random, but it does not alwayshave to be so short. If you are clever enough, strong enough, and carefulenough, you can overcome just about anything the Gods or other men throw at you.BibliographyBloom, Harold, Homer's Odyssey: Edited and with an Introduction(NY, Chelsea House 1988)Fitzgerald, Robert, tr., The Iliad of Homer, USA: Penguin Books, 1991

Homer's Odyssey And Iliad, J.R.R Tolkien's Hobbit, And The Quest Of Change

2620 words - 10 pages share.Odysseus, from Homer's The Odyssey, was most effected by his 20-year long quest. Like Bilbo, Odysseus did not want to join in the fight of the Trojan War as he feared the thought of-5-death, which was the beginning of his quest. He pretended to be insane, which would allow him to remain at home during the war, but it was not successful."Tell me, Muse, the story of that resourceful man who was driven to wander far and wide after he had sacked the holy

The Lack Of Credibility In Homer's Iliad

1405 words - 6 pages fact that it was an oral story long before it was written in the form it is today, is the cause of oversight of the narrative qualities of Homer's Iliad by many critics. The narration of the story has, however, been noted as a classic example of in medias res. "The term is derived from Horace, literally meaning `in the midst of things'. It is applied to the literary technique of opening a story in the middle of the action and then applying