Gods And Goddesses : A Important Role For Influencing The Plot Of The Iliad

1195 Words Sep 16th, 2016 5 Pages
Gods and goddesses have a vital role in influencing the plot of the Iliad. It is the actions of these deities that began the Trojan War, and it is their actions that continue the war, adding intricacies to the tale. For this reason, it can be said in the Iliad the gods and goddesses are characters, a designation typically reserved only for mortals. The most influential, of course, being Zeus, given his position as the leader of the rest of the Olympus dwellers. Since he appears numerous times throughout the epic, and nearly always in the climatic passages, his importance is emphasized. Despite his regular interjections, or perhaps because of them, Zeus remains a difficult individual to characterize. Although he can be considered cruel at times, saying to his own son Ares, “But if you were born to any other god/ You’d be long buried in hell below the Titans” (Homer 110). Yet after such words, he still provides the means for healing to Ares, which could be viewed as an act of caring. By speaking in one manner but behaving in another, Zeus projects two sides of himself in a single passage. This begs the question do words or actions have greater merit? I, for one, am inclined to the side of actions. The deeds of Zeus can be regarded as noble; thus, I will argue that Zeus is a righteous character in the epic. His disposition is evident in his willingness to uphold his promises and also in his attempt to keep the gods and goddesses from interfering with the Trojan War. Less…

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