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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 pawns in a selfish and often rather petty divine game of one-upmanship." I found it to be quite disturbing imagining these characters fighting in such a mercilous war, giving every ounce of strength they had, and in an instance, all of their efforts could be derailed by a God or Goddess. You almost have to wonder if these 'heroes' really have any control whatsoever, or if they are there for the pure amusement of others.

Porter also mentions the morality of the Gods'. He points out that the gods display many of the same values that we criticize the heroes of having. " They are as jealous of their honors (time) as are Agamemnon and Achilles in Book 1, and many of their actions are motivated by a desire to preserve face that precisely parallels the motivation of Homer's mortal heroes." (Porter)

Porter also discusses that these 'Gods' are not meant to be portrayed the way we imaginge God to be. When we here the word God, we imagine a greater power above; an existence who is in complete control, that cannot be corrupted or seduced, and whoes 'heart' is pure. The term 'God' in Greek terms actually stands for theos. This word in our...

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