The Influence Of The Greek Gods In The Iliad And The Odyssey

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Religion was the lens through which the Greeks perceived the world around them. The influence of the Greek gods on the Grecian worldview was prevailing because the Greeks believed in the ultimate authority of these deities. However, these deities tended to be temperamental, therefore causing the concept of honor and shame to also play a significant role in Greek worldview. Examining prominent literary works from that era allows us to understand how the Greeks interacted with the world around them. Literature created during this time provides glimpses into the Grecian mindset. Literary sources from this age that fully delve into the Greek mindset are Homer’s The Iliad and The Odyssey. These epics have heroic virtues, such as bravery and cunning, …show more content…
Achilles possesses immense skill and bravery in battle and Odysseus has cunning that even the goddess of wisdom, Athena, admires. Both respect the gods to a degree and use their admired attributes to gain glory. Achilles gains glory and honor through his renowned dexterity in battle. According to book sixteen of The Iliad, just the sight of Achilles’ armor was enough to terrify the enemy, even if Achilles was not actually the one wearing it. This emphasizes the honor he earned with occasional aid from varying gods. Odysseus also brings honor to his name, but through a different approach. He outwits various obstacles on his journey home. His ability to overcome these obstacles grants him glory for having succeeded. These archetypes demonstrate how the Greeks believed they could find meaning in life through the glory and honor gained by possessing and wielding esteemed character …show more content…
The Greek deities set standards for integrity, which explains the leniency in moral standards. The gods had a reputation for promiscuity. With this in mind, it was a sign of masculinity to sleep with multifarious women. In contrast, women had a more limited meaning and stricter moral standards in the Grecian worldview. In the first book of The Iliad, we find examples of how women were little more than property. One such example is when Achilles addresses Agamemnon regarding the woman he took as bounty, Chryseis, by saying, “Most noble son of Atreus, covetous beyond all mankind, how shall the Acheans find you another prize? We have no common store from which to take one.” Women were also held to different standards. In The Odyessy, Odysseus expects his wife Penelope to have remained faithful despite the fact that he was missing for ten years. Women were essentially expected to remain chaste and do as they were told. In order to gain meaning, a woman either had to be stunningly beautiful, like Helen of Troy, or married to someone of importance, like Penelope

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