Clcv 115 Essay Exam 2 Mis

1. In Homer's Iliad , although Zeus is the king of gods and men, it is questionable if even his will is above fate. Give two instances in the Iliad where events happen contrary to Zeus' will, and discuss the reason why Zeus is not able to intervene. How does Homer's representation of Zeus compare to that in Hesiod's Theogony ? Lastly offer an explanation as to why this representation of the chief god was acceptable to ancient Greeks. Fate and destiny rule Homer’s world. Zeus is the supreme god, but he is not the creator of the universe or of life or man. Zeus is personified as strong, resilient and cunning and through these traits able to gain power over the gods and the universe. Consequently, he is in a permanent quest to maintain his power and show the other gods who is who on Olympus. In Book 8, he proclaims his power by challenging the other immortals to test him. He states “by that much am I greater than gods and men.” Zeus has a lot of power and is privy to what fate holds in store. This can be seen in situations where he weighs fates on his sacred golden scales. However, Zeus’ possibilities are not unlimited. Although Zeus is Homer’s supreme god, he does not always know what is going on in his kingdom and can be deceived. For example, Zeus attempts to keep neutrality in the Greek-Trojan conflict. Hera and Poseidon, on the other hand, were in the pro-Greek camp. Hera undermines Zeus power via trickery. She seduces him into taking her to bed then with the help of the embodiment of Sleep puts him to sleep. While he sleeps, her brother, Poseidon, god of the seas, is free to influence the war in favor of the Greeks. Thus, the two gods behave against Zeus’ will and Zeus is unable to intervene because he is none the wiser. At other times, Zeus can be seen yielding to fate even when fate contradicts his own desires. A stunning example of this can be seen in the death of Sarpedon. Sarpedon - Zeus’ own son - was allowed to die at the hands of Patroclus while Zeus looked on, unwilling to break fate to save even his own son. Zeus pondered saving him from the battlefield but was dissuaded by Hera who convinced him that it would serve only to anger the gods or arguably even worse, encourage them to intervene on the behalf of their own mortal loved ones - entrancing immortals in mortal affairs. Thus, Zeus is forced to succumb to fate reflecting the fact that gods cannot change fate as easily as mortals might believe. In general, Homer’s gods, including Zeus, are more humanistic than in the practice of Greek religion or in Hesiod’s Theogony. They possess not only human physical traits, but also human emotions. The Gods in the Iliad have many purely human characteristics. They can be petty, capricious, cruel, fickle or unfair. Sometimes they can be characterized as crybabies - such as in the case of Aphrodite and Ares who run back to Olympus crying to “father” Zeus after being wounded on the battlefield. They are subject to lust, greed, pride and ego. Moreover, we can say that Homer’s Iliad is much more literature that it is mythology. He talks about gods in

CLCV 115 - ESSAY EXAM #2 1. To modern audiences, the end of the Iliad has often seemed a bit abrupt, as several narrative threads (such as Achilles’ looming death or the ultimate destruction of Troy) seem to be left hanging. Early ancient Greek audiences, however, seem to have viewed the ending of the Iliad as appropriate. Discuss the appropriateness of Hektor’s funeral as the ending point for the Iliad . Some issues you may wish to address: In what way does Hektor’s death and funeral address the anger of Achilles, the theme of the epic which Homer raises in the first line of the epic? How do we know what will happen after the Iliad concludes? How are the events that seem to be left hanging actually already integrated into the happenings of the Iliad to serve a vital purpose within the poem? And finally, how is Hektor’s funeral symbolic of something greater than one hero’s death? A full answer here will not necessarily require you to discuss all of these issues, but these topics should provide a good framework for exploring the appropriateness of the Iliad ’s ending in general.  The Iliad is only a snippet of the Trojan War which lasted for ten years. It focuses on the story of the great Achaean warrior, Achilles, and how the war has affected him specifically and how his anger affected certain outcomes during the war. The very first line of the Iliad specifically addresses the goddess to sing about the “anger of Peleus’ son.” Finding out the death of his childhood friend, Patroclus, was the last straw for him and he avenged him by savagely killing twelve Trojan warriors and fighting a river. He successfully kills Hektor and drags his body around for the next nine days around in circles. Hektor is eventually given a proper burial when

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