Theme Of Loyalty In The Iliad

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Loyalty manifests itself in abiding by a specific, moral code of conduct of a society, a group, or relationship. Loyalty also means having the moral strength to be true to a person or an ideal. Thousands of years ago the ancient Greeks held fast and true to their beliefs and to the cast of characters that populated their pantheon of human-like gods. Homer’s Iliad, an epic poem of the Trojan War, shows the Greeks’ value of loyalty to their gods, their military, and to their family.
In the beginning books of the story, the reader is shown the extent of the gods’ influence in decision-making of the Greeks. For example, in the first book, Chryses, the priest of the god Apollo, prays to Apollo to release his abducted daughter, Briseis, from the
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This idea is illustrated in the gods and goddesses of Olympus as well as the Greek people themselves. Hector is probably the best example of devotion and loyalty to his family—to his wife Andromache, and his newborn son. Hector says, “For I must go home to see my people first, / to visit my own dear wife and baby son. / Who knows if I will ever come back to them again?’” (6. 435-437). Hector understands that the likelihood of seeing his family again is uncertain, so he makes time to revisit his wife and meet his son. This shows not only loyalty, but also true love to his family. In addition to being loyal, Hector is selfless towards his family. When they meet, he listens to his wife, sympathizes with her concerns about him, and comforts her; showing a powerful example of Hector as a loving husband and father. A second instance of family loyalty is depicted a couple books later, this time among the gods. As stated in the second paragraph, the gods play an active role in the outcome of the war. Hera and Athena, who are assisting the Greeks, decide shortly after reaching the battle that they should retreat back to Olympus. Hera says, “ ‘Enough. Daughter of Zeus whose shield is thunder, / I cannot let us battle the Father any longer,/ not for mortal men…’” (8. 490-492) Although Hera wishes to aid the Achaeans in their time of need, she believes that maintaining a positive family dynamic is more important and she returns to Mount Olympus with Athena. These instances of Hector and Hera’s loyalty to their respective families hold true to the ancient Greeks value of loyalty, as shown by The

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