The gods of the Iliad are not simply literary figures. They are an ancient belief of the Greeks and fit their way into the story because of their place in Greek society. So far within the Iliad the gods have been present to change the outcome of the story from the course of events it would have taken. Apollo’s attack on the Achaeans gives Achilles a chance to express his anger to Agamemnon, Thetis convinces Zeus to lead the Achaeans to danger, and Aphrodite interferes with the competition between Paris and Menelaus. Being so woven into Greek society at the time, as most religion is woven into the society to which it belongs, the Greek’s religion must be involved in one of their greatest stories. The human like qualities of these gods only give them more reason to get involved. Their desires and fears cause them to changes the outcomes of these battles, and shape the story. The Christian God is not directly involved in many old stories because his qualities are not as human-like and he does not need to interfere in events because he already controls the outcome. The vague line between the gods and humans also gives humans supernatural skills, and in some cases makes them more likeable then the gods, and as the article puts it “In portraying the gods as he did, superhuman yet in many respects like men, homer has also created heroes, men in many respects like gods” (Anderson 395).
Role of Gods
June 13, 2010