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Civilization - Essay Example

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Through the representation of protagonist Achilles he creates the world so brutally real and filled with divine interventions that…
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Civilization
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Whimsical Gods’ of Iliad Homer’s epic poem, Iliad, depicts the fallacious Greek days when glorious wars were rampant; when the life of gods and humans were intertwined. Through the representation of protagonist Achilles he creates the world so brutally real and filled with divine interventions that the reader is bewildered. He shows how divinity influences fate. How the main character is chosen not by birth but because of the suitability to execute the assigned role. Homer’s version of gods was choosy to decide which human deserved glory and which deserved to succumb. They lived not in the hearts but in the world, they didn’t die but were born.
Despite this immortality, the gods were subject to demise, loss of power, struggle and emotions. They weren’t neutral but were biased a thousand ways; they weren’t pure but were lust driven. Achilles was chosen by them, because of physical ability and military position. Yet he was full of shortcomings, arrogant, short tempered. But because the gods are nepotistic, he gets chosen. This is how Homer shows that however gods they might be, they were still prone to wrong decisions.
He writes “We everlasting gods… Ah what chilling blows, we suffer; thanks to our own conflicting wills- whenever we show these mortal men some kindness”(Iliad 346-348). There is realization, there is acknowledgement of fallacies yet there is continuity in their vices, their modes of action in the lives of their chosen ones.
Yes, the humans are depicted as mere tools subjected to the likes and dislikes of gods. Blinded by their pride they might be, yet they were driven, whipped by gods, Gods who couldn’t stay headstrong themselves.
Achilles did feel he was being monitored, driven, yet he continued on his fate. He knew about the divine intervention, but he didn’t settle down, he couldn’t settle down. This shows how deeply gods were into him, how minutely they carried out and observed each of his moves. He wanted to do otherwise but he couldn’t. He was a victim of indomitable power.
The part where Achilles battles with and is at the verge of killing Agamemnon but is stopped by Athena who discloses the gods’ fear for the death of one if not both of their favorite humans. Is that not driven enough? Is that not prejudiced enough? The gods are indecisive of their actions but when one thing they seem perfectly in control of; Power Over Mortals.
Another one of his nepotistic quotes shows flawless prejudice “Zeus and all gods: grant that this my son may become, as I am, foremost among Trojans, brave and strong…” (Book 6, ll. 500-502). As evident as it might seem, mortals were mere artifacts living a life of servitude to the already flawed.
References
Iliad Book 6, ll. 500-502 Read More
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