Zeus Role In The Iliad

Powerful Essays
Preventing the death of a son and saving the life of a highly esteemed hero are choices that most would make, except for the King of Gods - Zeus. In the Iliad, Zeus does not wish to make those decisions, but is compelled to do so out of his sense of duty. Before being a father and warrior, Zeus was above all the leader of the gods. This means that as the head of the Olympians, Zeus has to be impartial in order to keep the peace of Olympus, which causes him great misery at times. Zeus’ duty as the greatest and most influential god stops him from taking sides in mortal affairs in the Iliad to maintain peace, which parallels the question of whether America’s status as the most powerful and influential country gives them the duty to interfere in…show more content…
Firstly, fate plays a large role in Greek Mythology, as it is described as three sisters who “spun out life [on a thread], measured it, and cut it”. So the question that arises from this is if the fate sisters controls everyone’s actions including the gods, was Zeus truly acting out of duty or was it fate that made him do so in the Iliad? As Zeus agreed upon in The Works of Lucian when discussing fate with Cyniscus that the fates control everyone’s actions. If he was acting under the guise of fate, we have to take Zeus’ actions with a grain of salt because he was not in control of his own actions. If fate decreed that Zeus act the way he did, is it truly right to consider him as someone who acts out of duty? Regardless of whether Zeus was compelled by fate to do what he did, it does not change the fact that his actions embodies dutifulness. On multiple occasions in the Iliad, Zeus even considered breaking fate in order to achieve his wishes, but decides against it as it was his duty. Secondly, he bore dozens of children to dozens of different women signaling that he was not dutiful to his sister-wife Hera. Although this was true, Zeus did so partly out of duty as well. As the ‘King’
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