The Glorious Pursuit Of War In Homer's The Iliad

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Literature plays an essential role in enhancing our knowledge about a civilization’s core values and cultural beliefs. Myths, written works, and oral stories are all different forms of literature. Two central themes in Homer’s epic poem, The Iliad, provide us with many insights to ancient Greece as a civilization. Throughout The Iliad, the glorious pursuit of war preeminently serves as a driving force behind the whole poem. The poem’s heavy emphasis on pride, honor, and bravery illustrates that these ideal characteristics are also highly valued by the Greeks. The ancient Greek civilization is greatly intertwined with war-related conquests of expansion through the use of aggressive military policies. Hence, violence and military conflicts are …show more content…
War and violence pave the way for revenge, bloodlust, and deaths. When Patroclus was slayed by Hector, Achilles reciprocated with consecutive mutilations of Hector’s corpse over the course of several days. No matter how glorious and reasonable war is portrayed to be, its aftermath often crippled those who are directly and indirectly involved. The second common theme in The Iliad focuses primarily on religion. The presence of divinities in the lives of the Greeks can be reflected in their immense devotions to the gods and goddesses through sacrifices and monumental architectures. As shown in The Iliad, the mortals do not exist as separate entities apart from the immortals. The gods are constantly intervening with human lives. In a positive light, these divinities act as a source of strength for the people by providing them aids and favors. For example, goddess Athena assists Achilles in battle and serves as his strategic mentor. Since the lives of Greek mortals are severely tied to the will of Greek gods, the mortals in return lose some control over their …show more content…
He decides whether or not the souls of the dead will have access to the afterlife. His son, Horus, reigns over Egypt and is in charge of judging the mortals on earth. This concept of judgment can be seen though the power of the pharaohs, who are portrayed as gods on earth in ancient Egypt. Besides receiving judgment on earth from the pharaohs, people must receive the last judgment given by Osiris in the underworld once they die. This marks the shift towards the second belief in the afterlife. Majority of Egyptians’ ritual practices are tied to the end of human life. Osiris’ life has to end in order for him to be reborn as the king of the underworld. The Egyptians, in a similar manner, view death not as the end, but rather as a journey towards eternal life. The Book of the Dead and various mummification practices are parts of the preparation process for this journey. Building off of what Samie said, having a belief of the afterlife makes the idea of death less intimidating of a concept. Generally, all classes of society embrace this belief but only the elite could afford elaborate burials. The preparation process towards the afterlife is not reserved for only male figures since there were also female pharaohs in ancient Egypt who received the same treatment as

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