Role Of Zeus And Hera In The Iliad

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For this activity, I selected two gods and a hero: Zeus, Hera, and Achilles. Zeus and Hera are principal actors in the Olympian thread of the plot, and inseparable in their entanglements, both with each other and with mortals. I felt that I would understand the Iliad itself better if I understood these supreme gods better. Achilles is, of course, the hero of the Iliad and is the axis of the entire storyline. I will present, in order, the biographies of these three characters. Then I will explain how I more clearly understand a particular scene from the Iliad.
For Zeus, the scene I kept in mind while researching his theography (to coin a term) is the scene in Book XXI in which he chuckles to himself about the lesser gods’ quarrels. Zeus, whom
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Homer uses this foreknowledge as a device to drive Achilles and motivate his actions. Achilles led the significant Myrmidon contingent of the Achaean fleet of 50 ships. The following is a brief outline of Achilles’ roles in the Iliad.
i) Achilles clashes with Agamemnon over the former’s prize, the girl Briseis. ii) Thetis beseeches Zeus to intervene in the war by swaying the outcome in favor of the Trojans; this is on behalf of Achilles, in order to force the Achaeans to make amends to him. iii) The embassies of the Agamemnon to Achilles are spurned, but Patroclus persuades Achilles to lend him his armor and men. Patroclus is slain in Achilles’ armor. iv) Thetis asks Hephaestus to forge new armor for Achilles. Iris implores Achilles to rescue Patroclus’ body. Achilles slaughters Trojans and battles the river god Xanthus.
v) Achilles fights and kills Hector, then degrades the latter’s corpse. Priam convinces Achilles to surrender Hector’s body. vi) Achilles dies in battle at the Scaean Gate, just before the capitulation of
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The dispute between Agamemnon and Achilles is that between a commander and king who demands respect, and a hero whose fiery nature precludes his submission to any man. Achilles is a semi-divine warrior whose natural qualities of bravery and strength attested by his mighty deeds and fame. Achilles is driven by a sense of fate: to live briefly but gloriously, or to live long but be buried by the dust of time. The prophecy of Thetis runs through Achilles’ role in the Iliad like a copper wire through an insulated cable. The temerity of Agamemnon, when he demands Briseis as guerdon for his loss of Chryseis, is too much of an affront to Achilles’ honor to bear. Only divine intervention prevents Achilles from fully unsheathing his sword and running Agamemnon through with the blade. All of Achilles’ service to Agamemnon is nullified by the latter’s seizure of the captive whom Achilles won through fierce

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