Rage In The Iliad Analysis

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In Homer’s The Iliad, rage is a driving force for the mortal characters, unlike the stoic, unemotional nature of the gods. Each human character seems to have his own vendetta, and will go to great lengths to get the justice he feels he deserves. The enraged state these characters reside in only heightens the conflicts they experience in the war, pushing the story along further. Achilles and Agamemnon are prime examples of this, pushing forth their agendas due to their rage-filled emotional states, and this directly juxtaposes the unemotional nature of Zeus, the highest of all Greek gods. In contrast to the seemingly unaffected nature of the gods, the mortal characters in The Iliad are filled with rage to a fault, and this ultimately leads to a prolonging of war. Agamemnon, the commander of the Greek forces, is a rage-filled, dutiful man with the brain of a general. His rage comes from his need to play by the rules of his society. When Achilles suggests that he return his “prize” of war, Chryses’ daughter, in order to stop the …show more content…
Agamemnon’s rage stems from not being respected as a warrior after being told his “prize of war” would be taken from him. His rage drives him throughout the work to engage in arguments with Achilles, despite his better judgement that the two should get along. Achilles’ own rage is most evident after the death of his best friend, Patroclus, when his grief drives him to kill Hector for revenge. The only characters not swayed by rage are the gods, and the highest of all gods, Zeus, exemplifies this with his stoicism in the face of the brutal Trojan War. Priam, an old, wise father, is the only character to truly master a split between the rage of mortals and removed attitude of the gods, possibly due to his own age and life experience, and his calmness is shocking to Achilles in contrast to the behavior of other mortals around

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