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Interventions Of The Iliad History Essay

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Published: Mon, 5 Dec 2016

There are many interventions by the gods in the Iliad, which has brought about pain, suffering, death, and rage from their involvement. The gods are portrayed as godlike, by giving of protection from mortal foes, forgiving, and loyal. In other references, they battle against one another for position of strength amongst themselves. With strong interest in the lives of the mortals, by means of some mortals actually being their children, the gods know that they will receive the loyalty from them because they are favored.

From the beginning of the Iliad, the gods’ main focus was control in the way they wished for the war between Troy and the Greeks. In order for the cruel pain and suffering to exist, arrogance and death played its toile in the master design of who should be the destroyer with extreme rage, and anger, as well as who will be the target of this rage.

Being that each god had their own favorite individual, army, throughout the Iliad their interventions added confusion amongst the two (Troy and Greece), by intentionally forcing them to continue the fight for their (gods), on sense of amusement.

After seeing the anger of Apollo for Agamemnon’s taken of Chryseis from his priest Chryses, this war began going full circle. Apollo plagued the Greek armies as retribution for this act. Although this did not cause the actual release of Chryseis, the chance of bringing peace to the god Apollo was of great concern to Achilles for the safety of the people. Due to the refusal by Agamemnon, Achilles is quickly prevented from attacking Agamemnon by the goddess Athena with the promise of greater glory if he waits. This was done so by Athena, because without Agamemnon there would be no war, and without Achilles, there will be no hero. With the god Zeus having Athena intervene, his wishes of having Achilles to enter the battle was set to be fulfilled. But, with the anger, and rivalry between the gods, each of them (the gods) set out to protect those of their choosing in spite of what the almighty Zeus decided. These interventions of dreams to Agamemnon to mount an attack that he otherwise would not have help to support the pledge to Thetis from Zeus. As the dreams inspired Agamemnon, Iris, Zeus’s messenger, in turn, called the Trojans to make a timely assault, also at Zeus’s orders.

The war intensifies, from the order by Zeus to having Athena to prompt Pandarus to shoot at Menelaus, restarting the battle. In this instance, Zeus knew that the tide of the battle would favor the Trojans as breakers of the truce between Paris of Troy and Menelaus of Greece that otherwise would not break. This intentional break of the truce not only reinstates the battle, but it seals the end of the city Troy. While the mortals rage war against one another, the goddess Athena decides to rage her jealousy towards Aphrodite’s son Aeneas, by the hands of by manipulating Diomedes. Athena made Diomedes stronger by her influence, but Aphrodite seeing this treachery saves her son Aeneas. This is one of the clear insights of how the gods and goddesses continue to struggle with one another.

Hera being an equal to Zeus, although not as strong to fight him on her own, she argues against his decisions of favoring the Trojans. Although, of no fault of her own self worthiness to be seen as the one true beauty over Zeus’s daughter Aphrodite, she constantly seek out to destroy the city of Troy and all Zeus beholds as his own. Still, Hera is not beneath manipulating mortals or other gods to assist her in her treachery against the Trojans and Zeus. Using a sleeping potion she manipulated from Aphrodite, she enticed Zeus, and as he slept, Hera asked for Poseidon, Zeus’s twin brother, to help her in her task to wound Hector. Poseidon taking the form of a mortal Greek encouraged Agamemnon to reenter battle. In the form of a Greek veteran, Poseidon gives Agamemnon the confidence he needs to return to battle and raise a very significant defense against the Trojans. Because Hera guaranteed that Zeus will be sleeping, Poseidon is brave enough to take a greater part in the battle. Under Poseidon’s inspiration, Hector receives a head wound and is forced to withdraw from battle. After Zeus awakens and sees Hectors wounded, he burst into rage and has his messenger Iris to threaten Poseidon so he would stop helping the Greeks. Poseidon reluctantly stands down, but with a bitter defeat. As the great interventions continue with the struggle of the gods for their own interests, Zeus has Apollo to go to the aid of the Trojans and leads Hector back into battle where he rallies his captains and regains his losses.

While the battle continues, Agamemnon so hopes that Achilles will join in the battle to give the necessary strength needed to crush the Trojans. Achilles refused because of his anger towards Agamemnon for taking of his wife Bresis in exchange for returning Chrysies to Chryses. While Achilles anger keeps him out of the battle, Zeus’s plan to have Achilles to enter the battle is finally set into motion, by Patroclus. Patroclus being a very close and special friend of Achilles felt that Achilles was wrong and behaving cowardly by not helping Agamemnon. By Patroclus request to Achilles, he receives Achilles battle armor to enter the battle himself. The gods had not given Patroclus any immortal powers, and nor was he a child or favored of the gods. Even as he continuing fighting, the god Apollo warned him to go only so far as to push the Greeks out of the camp. Patroclus did not heed the advice, and instead pushes to the walls of Troy. As Patroclus continues attacking, Apollo strikes him with an arrow, and Patroclus is finished off by Hector. The death of Patroclus was already foretold by Zeus to Thetis, Achilles mother, as being the one thing that can overcome Achilles’ rage at Agamemnon and make him return to battle. In order to contain Hector from killing the Greeks, Zeus pushes them back with a thunderbolt. In doing this, Zeus’ intervention enrages both the Greeks and encourages the Trojans.

While Achilles was mourning for the death of his friend Patroclus, his mother Thetis acquires new weapons for Achilles for his vengeance of Patroclus death and humiliation of his body being dragged and stripped of armor. Thetis has Hephaestus to forge these weapons for her son Achilles, and for them to be produced as unparalleled weaponry in his rampage and defeat of Hector. Thetis presents Achilles with his new arms and the goddess Athena strengthens him.

As the god Apollo sends Aeneas, the son of Aphrodite, to divert Achilles from searching for Hector, this was a sign that the inevitable will happen. Still as the gods manipulate the mortals, Poseidon saves Aeneas, although he favors the Greeks, Poseidon could not bear to see Aeneas die at the hands of Achilles, so he rescues the son of Aphrodite. With the attack, and rage intensified, Achilles overhears Apollo talking with Xanthus which angers Achilles even more so now knowing the gods where interfering, and causing this battle to continue. The gods continued intervening more so by trying to delay the foreseen outcome of Hector, but to no avail as the mortals placed as a diversion were repeatedly rescued by the gods who favored them. Finally, Zeus decided Hectors fate and ordered Athena to deceive him by use of deception in the form of Deiphobus. In this form, Hectors fear was transformed into a false courage sealing his fate. As Hector reached for a second spear and no one is there, he knows he is doomed. By the decree made at the beginning by Zeus, Achilles retribution and metamorphosis of his rage brought down Hector. Achilles seeking true retribution for the ill-treatment of Patroclus body by Hector, refused to return Hector’s body, but Zeus did not want Hector’s body to be treated wrongly and sent his messenger Iris to Priam (Hector’s father), and Thetis to Achilles in effort to encourage their perspective parties to be open for negotiation. To ensure Priam’s safety and retrieval of Hector’s body through the assistance of Hermes help so Priam is able to enter and leave the camp undetected.

As we can see, the Iliad is filled with multiple gods and goddesses who allowed their own egos, pride, and self-worth, to cause havoc with the lives of all mortals. Whether for their values of protecting their own illegitimate children from the raft of other gods and their jealously, of for simple amusement to prove that one is right, powerful, and more just then the next god. Through all of this, I believe it was more amusement, and interest to watch and control destruction of the mortals since the gods and goddesses has a great difficulty destroying one another.

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