Love, Sex, and the Gods in World Literature Essay

2157 Words Nov 19th, 2008 9 Pages
Love, Sex, and the Gods in World Literature Literature throughout world history contains many of the same themes and motifs. The works that will be discussed in this paper: Homer’s The Iliad, Aristophanes’ Lysistrata, and Ovid’s Metamophoses, all contain common themes. The first theme is love, whether it is the love between a man and a woman, parent and child, or the love of siblings. Love is a driving force for many of the characters in these works. The second theme is sex, whether it is symbolic or literal, forceful or complaisant. Sex is not always the main theme of a story, but the sexual overtures are dominant in many of these works. Finally this paper will discuss the intervention of the gods. The gods play a major role in …show more content…
This causes Menelaus, his brother Agamemnon, and the rest of the Greek army to pursue her and go to war with Troy. Sometimes the love of a close friend or the love of a child can be just as devastating a loss as the love of a woman. When Achilles finds out that his close friend, Patroklos, had died in battle, he breaks into tears. The love for his friend causes him to avenge his death and kill Hector. Instead of returning Hector’s body to his father, Priam, and allowing a proper burial, Achilles takes it with him. Priam, stricken with grief over his loss, goes to Achilles to beg for the return of his son’s body. As they talk, they realize that they both have suffered greatly in losing their loved ones. Achilles, not usually possessing a warm personality, relates to Priam, and eventually gives back Hector’s body. Achilles’ love for Patroklos changes the way we perceive him, at least for a moment. He transforms from a god-like warrior to a person who loves and mourns. In the next work, Aristophanes’ Lysistrata, the main theme of the play is sex and sexual symbolism. This story takes place during the Peloponnesian War. The Athenian and Spartan men had been at war for twenty years. With no end in sight, an Athenian woman named Lysistrata decided to call a meeting with the women from both sides. She tells the ladies that since the men will not end the war, the women have to. The women decide to use their sexuality to

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