Role Of Violence In The Iliad

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An Eye For An Eye
(An Analysis of Violence in the Iliad)

Robert Kennedy once said, “What has violence ever accomplished? What has it ever created? No martyr's cause has ever been stilled by an assassin's bullet. No wrongs have ever been righted by riots and civil disorders.” As Mr. Kennedy so eloquently said, acts of violence rarely accomplish their intended goal. Indeed, too often they only create more grandiose problems in the long-term. Throughout classical literature acts of senseless violence have been a common thread. In Homer’s The Iliad several instances of such violence are revealed. As Trojans and Achaeans engage in a brutal battle, neither mortal nor immortal is safe from the conflict. This violence will take several forms, from the emotional abuse endured by Helen, to the horrific slaughter of warrior after warrior. Becoming an
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For centuries, mortals have scoffed at the actions of the gods, often comparing them to little children arguing over toys. As Honer states, “We men are wretched things.” (Homer) However, what humans fail to realize, is exactly how similar the actions of the immortals are to that of man. The concept that allows readers and audiences to relate to the gods so fully is the fact that they are so similar to humans. The gods engage in violent behavior as often as mortals do, and even more so on a larger scale. As a whole, violence is present throughout The Iliad, contributing to the idea that violence in literature will always make characters inherently more human. Throughout classical literature acts of senseless violence have been a common thread.Throughout classical literature acts of senseless violence have been a common thread. When violence ensues, there is almost no stopping it, even when deities intervene. Violence will always be a factor in literature, as long as normal human tendencies are
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