Confusion In Iliad

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In reading the Iliad, there is a confusion about the gods and if they are omnipotent or not. The evidence in the text of the poem itself points in the direction that the gods are limited in more then one aspect. At the end of this chapter a question is posed about Zeus not disinviting Eris from the wedding of Peleus and Thetis (Harris and Platzner 321). The answer to this question is related directly to whether the gods are all powerful or not. This confusion needs to be unpacked and we need to answer a question to get a clear picture of the limitations of the gods. We, therefore, need to ask if the gods are really all powerful? There seems to be a confusion with the word omnipotent, it looks as if a hierarchy is placed on the term omnipotence, but there is a problem with attributing a hierarchical structure to the omnipotent …show more content…

The first thing that needs to be investigated is the limitation of the metaphysical powers that the gods really have. Regardless of all these powers, there are somethings that are beyond the control of the gods. The text gives an example of this by pointing out the fact that “Zeus…is unable to force the Olympians to comply with his wishes” because he is either “unwilling or unable to do so” (Harris and Platzner 243). This leads us to a second comment in the text, that the gods have absolutely no control over the behavior of men (Harris and Platzner 243). In investigating the first point we can ask why Zeus is unwilling to force his will on the other gods? Is it because Zeus, for example, has a higher authority that has more power that he needs to comply with or is he just easy to manipulate? Fate and manipulation are seen scattered throughout the epic of the Iliad and I will highlight a few instances were gods are victims of these two limitations. One instance is within the chase scene between

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