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Biplob Prodhan
  • 3 months ago
  • 76
Homer’s delineation of Olympian Gods and Goddesses in The Illiad

In Homer’s epic poem, the Iliad, the Olympian gods and goddesses play a prominent role in the story. The gods are portrayed as powerful, immortal beings who have a direct influence on the events of the Trojan War. In this essay, we will discuss Homer’s delineation of the Olympian gods and goddesses in the Iliad, including their relationships with mortals, their personalities, and their roles in the story.


Relationships with Mortals

The gods in the Iliad have a complex relationship with mortals. On one hand, they are portrayed as powerful beings who can control the fate of mortals. On the other hand, they are also shown to be emotionally invested in the lives of mortals and can be swayed by their feelings of love, anger, and jealousy.

The gods often take sides in the war between the Greeks and the Trojans, with some supporting the Greeks and others supporting the Trojans. For example, Apollo, who supports the Trojans, sends a plague to the Greek camp, while Athena, who supports the Greeks, inspires the Greek warriors to fight harder.

The gods also have personal relationships with mortals. For example, Aphrodite, the goddess of love, is the mother of Aeneas, a Trojan warrior. This relationship leads to Aphrodite’s intervention in the war to protect her son. Similarly, Apollo is the protector of Hector, the Trojan prince, and helps him in his battles against the Greeks.


Personalities of the Gods

The gods in the Iliad are portrayed as having complex and often contradictory personalities. For example, Zeus, the king of the gods, is a powerful and wise ruler who is often seen as being impartial. However, he is also shown to be manipulative and capable of changing the outcome of the war to suit his own desires.

Athena, the goddess of wisdom and war, is depicted as a fierce warrior who is dedicated to helping the Greeks win the war. She is also portrayed as being cunning and able to manipulate mortals to achieve her goals.

Apollo, the god of music, poetry, and archery, is shown to be vengeful and easily angered. He punishes mortals who offend him and can be destructive when he is provoked.

Hera, the queen of the gods, is portrayed as being jealous and vengeful, particularly towards Zeus’s infidelities. She often intervenes in the war to help the Greeks and to thwart Zeus’s plans.


Roles in the Story

The gods in the Iliad play a variety of roles in the story. Some gods, such as Athena and Apollo, actively intervene in the war to help their chosen side. Others, such as Zeus and Hera, play a more passive role, observing the war and occasionally intervening to ensure that their interests are served.

The gods also act as a kind of Greek chorus, commenting on the events of the story and providing insight into the motivations of the characters. They are able to see the larger picture of the war and can predict the future, giving the reader a sense of the ultimate outcome of the conflict.

The gods also serve as a kind of moral compass for the characters in the story. They are often called upon to judge the actions of the mortals and to punish those who have acted wrongly. For example, when Achilles kills Hector, Apollo demands that Hector’s body be returned to the Trojans for proper burial.

In conclusion, the Olympian gods and goddesses in Homer’s Iliad play a central role in the story. They are portrayed as powerful and often contradictory beings who have a direct influence on the events of the war. They have complex relationships with mortals, with some supporting the Greeks and others supporting the Trojans.

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Biplob Prodhan
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