Theme Of Fate In The Iliad

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Fate and Glorified Death in Homer’s The Iliad
In Homer’s The Iliad, talk of fate is frequent and influential. While only some characters know what is fated for them, all acknowledge that their destiny has already been laid out for them. Despite the psychological and emotional effects the accepted idea of fate had on the characters, they continue to engage in the bloody ten-year battle. Homer evokes this motivation in the characters to keep supporting the war despite little incentive, through the significance of glory and its relation to fate as an ultimate end rather than a governing force. This leads to the Iliad’s own message on fate being based on a warrior’s form of death and legacy rather than a fixed way of life. The Iliad further poses the question of whether the actions of the mortals seen throughout the text was free-will or pre-determined. While fate is treated by the gods as an unchangeable power, it is referred to ambiguously and gives the reader an open view on fate, leaving the reader to decide whether the often referred to, “will of Zeus,” is the absolute truth for the humans. These gods and goddesses seen in The Iliad are said to act upon in fate when evidence shows their intervention causing actual altering of the characters own free will. Thus, the gods become the direct cause for the demise of many warriors with a serious significance being placed on an honorable and glorified death. Leaving fate as something rather engineered by the gods themselves.
In Robert C. Solomon’s article “On Fate and Fatalism,” he refers to fate in literature as a way to place significance on the overall ending or resolution, as if no other possible reality could have occurred. More specifically, the Iliad shows the “will of Zeus” (...

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...f glory “Thus it is with good reason that the Iliad speaks of death as coming at ‘the right time’” (Solomon 449) Just like Achilles chose to die young for the glory and Hector knowing the fight between Achilles and him was his time to fight for his honor.
In conclusion, Homer’s the Iliad shows denial of fate being something that is enforced by the gods and as an unchangeable path to be taken by humans. While most of the characters in the Iliad do not know what fate has in store for them, they continue to fight, aspiring to have a glorified death, the type of honorable death that gives life meaning and makes warriors go down in history such as Achilles and Hector. The Iliad is quick to refer to fate when speaking of the action that unfolds, however, these perfect circumstances that combine to create the classic Homer epic cannot give all the credit to simply fate.
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