Essay On Immortality In The Iliad

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To become immortalized is the highest level of glorification that a human can achieve. While leaving a legacy is a common goal amongst humanity, the road to leaving a legacy is something that differs from person to person. In The Iliad, Homer uses Nestor’s speeches to give examples of how immortality was achieved in the past. He then uses the short life of Achilles to show how immortality no longer brings glory, and instead humility fulfills ones heart. Nestor’s speeches provide an insight to the hearts of men and their desire to access immortality through glory in war; however, his speeches also reveal the mortality of man. Throughout The Iliad, Nestor describes his youthful warrior days to the soldiers as a way to ready them for battle…show more content…
Aside from Zeus, the gods fight amongst themselves, they have likes dislikes and they often let their pettiness and emotions dictate their actions. Homer’s gods, which the humans idolize so much, are petty and in many ways no better than humans. This also flips the whole idea of striving for a godlike image. To strive for this god like image is to ultimately strive for an image of pettiness and constant dissatisfaction. The gods always have something to complain about or ask for and this ultimately makes them no better than humans- the only true difference is that the gods are immortal. This contrast in how humans think of the gods versus how the gods are actually portrayed is important to Homer’s overarching theme in The Iliad. Perhaps man will truly find his strength and purpose not through fighting relentlessly to become immortal, but through fully accepting his mortality. Homer also emphasizes that it is not just important to accept ones own mortality, but also to accept the mortality of others. By doing this, one will find that petty matters do not have as huge an impact as they once might of. Life is short and it is a waste to spend it with a lack of humanity, relentlessly chasing after a heroic image that is ultimately cheap and
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