Essay on Divine Intervention in Homer's Epic Poem, The Iliad

Essay on Divine Intervention in Homer's Epic Poem, The Iliad

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    The gods and goddesses that the Greek people believe in make up the

Greek mythology studied today.  These divine characters represent a family

living on Mount Olympus who intervene frequently in the lives of the human

characters in Greek plays.  They are omnipresent, for they are always observing

mans actions and working through human nature.  The gods are a higher power, and

provide explanations for otherwise unexplainable events.  The gods help humans

in trouble and give them guidance about the future.  The Olympians influence men

on earth both psychologically and physically.  In Homer's epic poem, The Iliad,

the intervention of such divine powers as Athena, Apollo, and Zeus play

significant roles in the lives of the characters and the events of the Greek-

Trojan War.


      Athena plays a very influential role in the Greek-Trojan War.  She is

the most constant divine supporter of the Greeks and divine enemy of the Trojans.

Athena's function is to be a goddess of pro-Greek warfare.  She came to the aid

of the Greeks many times throughout the war.  For instance, Athena came down

from the sky to stop Achilleus from attacking Agamemnon (Steiner).  Andre

Michalopoulous confirms this action by quoting what Athena says to Achilles :

       I came from heaven to stay thine anger, if perchance though wilt
       hearken to me, being sent forth of the white-armed goddess Hera,
       that loveth you twain alike and careth for you.  Go to now, cense
       from strife,  and let not thine hand draw the sword.(65)

      Achilles listens to Athena's request, and therefore he returns his sword

to its sheath, and withdraws from ...

... middle of paper ...


Works Cited

Graves, Robert Myths of the hero. New York: Orion Press, 1962.

Michalopoulous, Andre. Homer and the Heroic Tradition. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1958.

Edwards, Mark. A Historical Introduction to the Iliad and the Odyssey. Newark, Del.: University of Delaware Press, 1981.

Homer: Iliad. Trans. Stanley Lombardo. Indianapolis: Hackett Publishing Co., 1994.

Mueller, Martin. The Iliad. London: Allen & Unwin. 1986.

Schein, Seth L. The Mortal Hero: An Introduction to Homer's Iliad. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1984.

Scott, John The Iliad : A Commentary. Vol. VI: books 21-24. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 1993.

Steiner, Malcolm, and Fagles, Robert, eds. Homer: A Collection of Critical Essays. Twentieth Century Views, ed. Maynard Mack. Englewood Cliffs, N. J.: Prentice Hall, 1962.

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