The Council Of The Gods In The Iliad Analysis

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As Above So Below: An Interpretive Essay on the Council of the Gods in the Iliad

“On golden Pavement, round the board of Jove,

The gods were gather’d ; Hebe in the midst

pour’d the sweet nectar; they, in golden cups,

Each other pledg’d, as down they look’d on

Troy.” (Iliad 4.1-4)

The first few lines of book four in Homer’s Epic the Iliad depicts one of the many assemblies held by the Greek Pantheon during the Trojan War. Throughout the poem, the Gods keep watch over and, in some instances, intervene in the war. By using the Gods in his poem, Homer is able to emphasize parallel events among the Trojans, who also mirror the events affecting the Athenians at the time of his writing. One of these events include the events of warfare
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Stories of Gods, divine heroes, and the battles during the Peloponnesian War still procreate themselves in the social memory of the Greeks. Having social memory within a group can create a bias – systematic way of incorrectly reading information that allows an individual to see what they want to – which is accepted and repeated through the generations. A common future of popular stories retold by the Greeks that can create societal bias is the inclusion of the Gods, who make decisions that impact the mortals they rule over. By arranging their tales within a mythical past, a society is able to do two things: explain circumstances that seem impossible to combat at the time and diffuse blame from self to …show more content…
When Zeus sends Pallas Athena down “to the battle-fields of Greece and Troy In haste, and so contrive that Trojans first may break the treaty, and the Greeks assail”, there is little agency available to the warriors (Iliad 4.79-81). The theme of Fate versus Free Will is often littered throughout Greco-Roman myth and literature. By making an unreasonable situation the fault of the Gods, authors are purposely removing mortal agency to make it seem like the characters had no voice or opinion in the matter and not alter their fate. Whether it be Heroes, like Theseus’ father, Aegeus, or fools, like Narcissus, if the Gods have wished it to be it will

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