Vengeance And Justice In Homer's Iliad

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Since the beginning of time man has waged war with catastrophic outcomes for many reasons. The Trojan war was the brutal fight for Helen, the fairest woman of the known world. Was it the revenge seeked by Gods and mortals? Or was it the justice seeked by Gods and mortals? Gods and mortals fought a brutal war for what they thought was right and to get back at past evils. The actions inspired by vengeance and justice in Homer’s Iliad shows how detrimental the effects can be on others. The Justice seeked by warlike Menelaus causes pain and suffering to many on all sides of the war. Paris by abducting Helen hurt Menelaus’s pride, “Menelaus had in mind taking revenge on the man who’d injured him” (Homer, Iliad 3. 26-27). Seeking this revenge Menelaus …show more content…

Patroclus was killed by Hector while he was under the impression Patroclus was Achilles, “But I’ll tell you something else— bear this in mind—you’ll not live long yourself. Your death is already standing close at hand, a fatal power. For you’ll be destroyed at brave Achilles’ hands, descendant of Aeacus” (Homer, Iliad 16. 989-993), this foresight shared by dying Patroclus shows Achilles will kill Hector in search of retribution. Since Hector killed Achilles best friend Achilles doesn't care about pride anymore, just revenge. “Wolves and lambs don’t share a common heart—they always sense a mutual hatred for each other” (Homer, Iliad 22. 327-329), this epic simile shows, Achilles’ actions brought on by justice for Patroclus’ death scream for blood. Achilles’ actions after killing Hector hurt Priam and his family, leaving them emotionally distraught and furious furthering the raging battle into Troy for fair Helen. Mortals have been shown to fight a war of vengeance and justice but the Gods also had a part in this …show more content…

During the Trojan war Gods picked sides depending on who they thought was justified or to get revenge. The Gods used mortals as pawns in their game of the revenge and justice. Aphrodite saved Paris in an act of justice, rather than letting the cowardly Paris die at the hands of Menelaus. This angered the Greeks and even ones close to Paris. Helen expresses what everyone thinks of him, “‘You’ve come back from the fight. How I wish you’d died there, killed by that strong warrior who was my husband once’” (Homer, Iliad 3. 480-482), this stirred up conflicts on the ground between the mortals and made Helen and other Trojans dislike Paris even more. Goddesses like Athena were out for revenge in the Iliad because Paris did not see her fit for the golden apple that was to be given to the fairest Goddess, in the Judgement of Paris. So Athena and Hera, who mainly used her marriage to Zeus to do her dirty work, plotted against the Trojans. Athena seeking revenge approaches Hector with the guise of Deiphobus, Hector’s brother, while Hector was being hunted down by Achilles, “‘Now, let’s go straight for him. Let’s fight and not hold back our spears, so we can see if Achilles kills us both, then takes the bloodstained trophies to the ships, or whether you’ll destroy him on your spear’” (Homer, Iliad 22. 301-305). This action was brought on by revenge in divine

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