Gods In The Iliad

Powerful Essays
For human’s deities are omnipotent, authoritative, dominant and immortal. If there is a need for supplication due to conflict or complication, humans turn towards the divine. Within the Iliad there are various gods who scheme a very significant role in the war of Trojan. The gods are very present, always observing, influencing guiding and most importantly, interfering in the actions of the humans. Athena, Apollo, and Zeus are three very influential divines and their interactions with human characters, along with interference towards the warfare is seen throughout the Iliad. The gods represent the best and worst, and they show us both the possibilities and limitations of human behavior. If nothing else, the gods remind us of the overwhelming…show more content…
Zeus is central to the plot and makes conscious decisions about main events in the Iliad. Unlike the previous two divines discussed, Athena and Apollo who essentially choose sides to meddle with, Zeus influence both the Greeks and the Trojans. He has a more neutral stance in the plot and is the dispenser of good and evil. This neutrality is probably because he does not want to see Troy disperse and destroyed by neither the Trojans or Greeks, but at times it is seen that he favours the Trojans more than the Greeks. Further, Zeus has control over the other gods and goddesses by negotiating, planning, and making judgment calls relative to whether or not the gods should intervene and when. Zeus also expects the gods to listen to him when he asks them to not interfere and prohibits them in acting upon the fate of the war, and in return the divine respect him and ask him for his opinions. For example, Athena and Hera ask: “Father Zeus, you won’t get angry with me for what I say, will you?” (5:500). Further, even though Zeus has this neutral position amongst the Trojans and Greeks, at times he seems to still favour the Trojans above the Greeks. This is seen when Zeus provides strength to the Trojans to drive away the Achaeans from battle. His decision to avoid destructing the city of Troy immensely aggravates the goddesses Athena and Hera, and as he protects the city it is clear that he is siding with the Trojans: “Athena and Hera, why are you so troubled?” (8:447). He also manages to manipulate nature to work in his favour. He throws lightning bolts to cause the Greeks to disperse or surrender. The more he throws the more the Greeks are pushed towards their camps and gives an advantage to the Trojans: “the lightening will grant us to fend off the enemy’s assault and drive them back to the city,”
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