The Epic Of The Iliad Essay

The Epic Of The Iliad Essay

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The Iliad portrays a gruesome battle between the Greeks and Trojans that has been ongoing for over nine years. The Greeks ultimately triumph in the war, but not without bloody conflict with the Trojans. The Greeks and Trojans each have positive characteristics that bolster their glory throughout the Iliad and lead to a tense fight between the two sides. Unfortunately, their emotions overpower them and hinder their beneficial traits. The emotional struggle that both sides confront throughout the story constructs contrasting personalities and clashing ideals in battle. The Greeks and Trojans each display positive characteristics such as the Greeks being strategic, and the Trojans being noble; however, each group also exhibits negative attributes that emerge when their emotions take control.
The Greeks possess the ability to be more strategic than the Trojans when engaged in combat during the war. The Greeks’ strategicness is observed when Nestor suggests, in Book Seven, that they erect a wall and excavate a trench to deter the aggression of the Trojans away from their ships. This trench portrays an imperative role in Book Twelve where it causes the Trojans to waste time destroying the wall and provides an opportune moment for the Achaeans to launch an attack at the Trojans near the wall.
They tore at the towers’ outworks, pulled at the battlements,
heaving, trying to pry loose with levers the buttress stakes
Achaeans first drove in the earth to shore the rampart up-
they struggled to root these out, hoping to break down
the Achaean wall itself. But not yet did the Argives
give way to assault-no, they stopped the breaches up
with oxhide shields and down from the breastwork heights
they hurled rocks at the enemy coming on beneath the ...


... middle of paper ...


...certain positive and negative characteristics that are caused by emotion. The two binaries of the Greeks, strategic and temperamental, create moments of tension when the Greeks lose a lapse of judgement because they are being emotional. This binary occurs within the Trojans as well when their moments of nobility are overshadowed by their will to flee the battle. The two sides are stiffened by their emotions, which succumb the best of them. Even though the Greeks win the war, it was no easy victory for the Greek. They face lapses in judgment because of their emotions and lose many soldiers along the way because of it. Even though both have positive traits, those traits can fade away in an instant if their emotions overtake their strategic or noble qualities. With this emotional struggle that each side faces, Homer shows that emotion in all of us can bring about an end.

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