preview

Family Dynamics in Homer's Iliad

analytical Essay
977 words
977 words
bookmark

The relationships between parents and their sons in the Iliad are not relationships we expect to see in today’s society. The Iliad portrays the relationships between fathers and sons as something more than just physical and emotional. It is based on pride and respect for one another. The expectations of their son are more so to pass on their fathers reputable name and to follow in their father’s footsteps of being noble warriors. These relationships are the driving forces in the Iliad, making each son in the Iliad identifiable first by their father’s name. An outcome of the father–son relationships is ancestral loyalty among the characters which play a prominent role in war. Therefore, not only does the Iliad share a major war story, but the strong relationships among fathers and sons, ancestral loyalty among characters, and relationships between mothers and sons.

Among the many father and son relationships in the Iliad, the first relationship to analyze is between Priam and Hector. Priam is a dignified warrior who fathered fifty sons. Hector, being one of fifty, is a warrior who is earning the respect to be as righteous as his father. As with most father and son relationships portrayed, Priam barely had any physical interaction with Hector. Therefore, when Hector died it was very touching to hear Priam make such a compelling and fervent request to Achilles to have Hector’s body returned to him.

“ My Hector. It is for him I have come to the Greek ships, to get him back from you. I’ve brought a fortune in ransom. Respect the gods, Achilles. Think of your own father, and pity me. I am more pitiable. I have born what no man who has walked this earth has ever yet borne. I have kissed the hand of the man who killed my son” ( Book 2...

... middle of paper ...

...go now to see and hear my dear son, since he is suffering while he waits out the war…child, why are you crying? What pain has come to your heart? Speak, don’t hide it’ (Book 18, Lines 66-81). Thetis here is provoking the emotional bond between mother and son, she wants her son to speak of his feelings and allow her to comfort him while he is in sorrow. This would not be seen between a father and son because they would be viewed as weak.

The Iliad is not only a story of war, but a story of relationships and family connections through respect and honor. Sons don’t seem to question their duties to their family. They go to battle and fight until the end, maybe even until their death. They do not search for love from their fathers, but for the respect and desire to follow just as their fathers did, to be dignified warriors and proud of their ancestral accomplishments.

In this essay, the author

  • Analyzes how the iliad portrays the relationships between fathers and sons as something more than just physical and emotional.
  • Analyzes the relationship between priam and hector in the iliad.
  • Analyzes how priam brought a fortune in ransom and kissed achilles' hand to get his son's body back.
  • Analyzes how priam continues to tell of the grief he feels and hears the emotional connection with his son that we had not previously seen while hector was alive. in this time period, affection was given when a son earned his father’s admiration.
  • Analyzes how priam's pain seems to come from someone who may have had more affection with their son, but the distance and separation between the two allow the quality of the relationship to be established and defined.
  • Analyzes how peleus sent phoenix, a mentor from birth for achilles. phoenix could not bear to be left behind, even if bribes appealed to him.
  • Analyzes how ancestral loyalty in the iliad is seen between diomedes and glaucus.
  • Analyzes how mothers and sons have an emotional bonding throughout their lives, despite being identified by their fathers and not their mothers, due to the patriarchal system in greece.
  • Analyzes how the iliad is a story of relationships and family connections through respect and honor. sons don't question their duties to their family. they fight until the end, maybe even until their death.
Get Access