The War : An Anti War Poem Essay

796 Words Sep 9th, 2016 4 Pages
“Sing, Goddess, Achilles’ rage, black and murderous, that cost the Greeks incalculable pain, pitched countless souls of heroes into Hades’ dark, And left their bodies to rot as feasts for dogs and birds, as Zeus’ will be done” (1:1-8). These are the first few lines of the book and we are already given dark imagery such as “black and murderous” and “incalculable pain” to explain the war to come. This remains a constant theme throughout the story which signals the act of war, and the death it brings, as negative and dreary. Though the poem never explicitly chooses whether it is anti-war or pro-war, there is visible evidence that puts it more favorably with the former. The Iliad is an anti-war poem because of how Homer depicts the harsh realities of war. Not only showing the intense pain that those involved with the war feel, but by also revealing that most characters would rather not be at war in the first place. The reason the war starts is because Paris, a hero of Troy, runs off with the wife of Menelaus, the king of Sparta. This single act of adultery is what causes the nine year war between Greece and Troy that ends up killing thousands of people. By giving such a small singular reason for the start of the conflict, Homer is showing that the acts of the few and powerful totally affects the lives of the many, even though they are separate from each other. It shows that the entire war is pointless. This is proven when Hector, Paris’ own brother, says, “.....and sailed off…

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