Iliad And The Book Of Job Analysis

1233 Words 5 Pages
Throughout many artistic works we see the good suffer, and in the Iliad by Homer and The Book of Job in the Bible, the suffering of the good is a prominent theme. These literary works are similar in the way they present the suffering of the good, but they are also very different in how the good cope with their troubles. The Iliad uses divine intervention and fate to exemplify how the good suffer, whereas The Book of Job uses divine influence and God’s will to illustrate suffering. Similarly, the Greek gods (the Iliad) and God (The Book of Job) have different conducts in helping the good cope with their distress. Although both the Iliad and The Book of Job explore the same idea of the suffering of the good, those who suffer in these stories …show more content…
In the Iliad, the universal attitude towards the suffering of the good is that those who are suffering are believed to have wronged one of the gods. This is shown when Zeus sends a dream to Agamemnon saying, “Go, murderous Dream, to the fast Achaean ships…” (Homer, Iliad 2.9); when the war begins, the Trojans believe they upset the gods to have the Achaeans attack. Nevertheless, the gods are there to help the mortals cope with suffering. One way the gods in the Iliad help those who are suffering is by inserting themselves into mortal affairs; Aphrodite “…snatched Paris away…wrapped him in swirls of mist and set him down in his bedroom…” (Homer, Iliad 3.439-441). If Aphrodite did not intervene, then Paris would have been killed by Menelaus, and he would have suffered tremendously. Aphrodite helped Paris by giving him a chance to redeem himself as a worthy warrior on the battlefield: the most important thing in Homeric culture. Another way the Greek gods help the good that are suffering cope is by simply comforting them as a friend would do. We see this when Achilles, the greatest warrior, is suffering from the loss of his best friend. When Thetis witnesses how Achilles reacts to the death of Patroclus, she takes his hand and says, “My child, leave your friend to lie there dead—we must, though it breaks our hearts…”(Homer, Iliad 19.9-10). …show more content…
Fate is unchangeable, and what happens is destined to happen the way it does. The Greek gods are unable to alter the fate of mortals, even if it is to help them from suffering. In Book 16 of the Iliad, Zeus wishes to alter the fate of his son Sarpedon, but Hera urges him not too: “Dread majesty, son of Cronus—what are you saying? A man, mere mortal, his doom sealed long ago?” (Homer, Iliad 16.523-524). It is shown here that Sarpedon was destined to die and it would not be accepted for Zeus to prolong Sarpedon’s life. God’s will, however, is not predetermined—God has the power to change peoples’ lives. God asks Job, “Do you know the ordinances of the heavens; can you put into effect their plan on earth” (Job, 38:33). In this rhetorical question God is asking Job if he has the power to regulate situations on Earth (already knowing the answer is “no”) in order to clarify that God is all powerful and he is the one in control of the whole universe, because he is the

Related Documents