Theme Of Violence In The Iliad

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Homer’s “The Iliad”, one of the most famous epics of all time, written approximately in the 8th century, is a classic read full of intrigue, deception, scandal, thievery, and many other elements. The broad range of metaphors and ideas within the story give insight to an innumerable amount of discussion topics, but the topic of interest for this essay is that of war, violence, and specifically the question of how violence and war are looked upon and treated. The tale itself is quite long, filled with many characters, places, and settings. Some characters are gods, some human, and some fall in between, but one thing that becomes increasingly apparent as your read through this story, and it manifests itself in the lives of practically all of …show more content…
One begins to see tones and themes develop throughout the text that also manifest themselves in this section. Things like sentence structure, writing techniques, or other elements homer used in his writing become visible here and offer explanation and insight into the meaning of the passage. Often, texts like “The Iliad” are written using long, flowery, flowing speech to demonstrate beauty. The writing in the first section of the Iliad seems to be very quick in a way. With many things happening in quick sequence. Already within fifteen lines we have Achilles murdering mass hordes of Greeks, there are dogs and birds having their fill of human corpses, and the god Apollo causing panic and destruction throughout the Greek army with the reader simply not being given time to rest. The story opens right into the action without explanation, a technique known as “in media res”, Latin for into the middle of things. Homer does not see need to give us much reason as to why Achilles is a man of violence, or why the gods choose to deal with things in such a violent way, but seems to feel that it is enough to simply drop us into the blood and gore. The opening word itself is “rage” and it seems you cannot go one sentence without violence or bloodshed or terror of some kind. This is highly reflective of the emotion capture in the text. The characters, like the reader, seemingly had no time to rest. The moment one act of war, violence, or betrayal was perpetrated, it seems there is always another to follow it. Homer hits the reader again and again with one harsh word after another, just as the Greeks were terrorized by nonstop onslaughts of hatred and

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