Glory And Worship In The Iliad

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In Homer’s epic poem The Iliad, Homer depicts the difference between the lives of the Gods and humans through the larger context of the ongoing war, featuring the Achaeans versus the Trojans. This difference can be defined in how glory and worship affect their lives, but most importantly their underlying desire to experience their opposite nature: mortality and immortality. For one, the Gods gain glory for aiding their favored side, while humans attain glory through victory in battle. Moreover, Gods are worshipped for their ability to act, while humans are worshipped for their achievements. Immortal as they are, Gods symbolically die through forgetfulness, while humans die through mortality. Ultimately, the conflicting nature of glory and worship…show more content…
For one, the Gods are worshipped for their ability to act because their power far exceeds the likes of mortals, but also for their achievements. For instance, Hector sends prayers to Zeus, hoping to rouse him into participating in the annihilation of Achaeans, as shown by the following passage:
My hopes are rising now— I pray to Zeus and the great array of deathless gods that we will whip the Achaeans howling out of Troy and drive them off to death, those dogs of war the deadly fates drove here in their back ships!
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Consequently, it motivates Achilles to return to battle and swear revenge upon the Trojans, especially Hector. Naturally, Zeus, who was worshipped for his ability to act and his achievements, is now going to be overshadowed by Achilles who will soon be entering the battle and ultimately win all the glory. Zeus wishes to experience human’s mortality and therefore sets up this whole ordeal for Achilles to overshadow him in glory, which will then destroy his relevancy. Accordingly, Zeus will experience human’s mortality, albeit metaphorically. In contrast, humans die through actual death, which the only way to bring them closer to their primitive desire of immortality. For instance, Achilles is informed of his fate by his mother, Thetis, as indicated by the following passage: “If I hold out here and I lay siege to Troy, /my journey home is gone, but my glory never dies” (9.500.504). Achilles does in fact stay to decimate the Trojans in battle to win glory. However, death will be looming over his head for that time period, and when Achilles meets his fate, he will be eternally glorified. Although Achilles is physically dead, his achievements remains and will roar throughout the long future, making him immortal like the gods in a sense. In short, the difference of fate between the Gods and humans allows them to experience death, while achieving their underlying

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