Homer’s invocation of a muse to aid him in telling the rage of Achilles seems appropriate for the poem about mortals and immortals. Paying respect to the gods becomes one of the most important things the mortals can do in order to remain in the gods’ good graces. The fight between Agamemnon and Achilles is ridiculously blown out of proportion due to both character’s large sense of pride and stubbornness. Once again it is sacrifices made to the gods that makes the plague on the Greek camp happen. The gods seem to meddle in too much of the mortals’ lives only causing more conflict. Also it is interesting to note is that Hephaestus, Hera’s son, convinces his own mother not to start anymore fighting—usually it’s the other way around.
Agamemnon’s test as to whether his soldiers had courage backfired horribly as he witnessed all his soldiers run happily back to the ships. There just isn’t any progression in the war without the help of the gods. Therefore, Athena inspires Odysseus to lecture the soldiers back into the rightful attitude about the war. Nestor is one of the wise and eldest Greek heroes and his advice does not stop yet. He proposes to Agamemnon that the army be split into sections of friends and kin—very good idea so that everyone is fighting with their comrades, which gives them a better sense of community and will to fight.
Paris’s non-courageous personality really gets to shine in this Book. When confronted with a one on one duel instead, Paris meekly refuses after realizing his opponent would be Menelaus himself. Later convinced by Hector, Paris prepares to fight Menelaus. However, the gods once again meddle in the affairs of humans and end up escalating things instead of making them better. Aphrodite saves Paris from his duel with Menelaus (which could have prevented the entire war) and takes him back to Priam’s palace with Helen. Helen scolds Paris for being a coward but then ends up going to bed with him—can anyone make up their mind?
Just as much as the soldiers want glory, honor, and fame, the gods want to feel important and revered. The gods are the reason why the truce is broken and fighting commences. Now the Greeks are ready for a fight and they do not like to back down. The will of the gods is so fickle it can change in any point in time as long as one can convince Zeus. Even then the gods proceed to do what they want most of the time regardless of what they are told because they too are proud. The details and names of all the fighters and battles are a bit overwhelming. How could an oral poet memorize all of this material?
Ares and Athena try to help their Trojan and Greek allies but only help to make the fight even more stalemated than before. As the mortal Trojan and Greeks are combating, the gods are combating amongst each other as well. Athena gives Diomedes directions to not fight any immortal unless it is Aphrodite because she is on the Trojan side. Pandarus is killed after trying to mock and kill Diomedes. Though the gods keep interceding on behalf of the Greeks or Trojans, Zeus and others warn the mortals about fighting against the gods—it is never a good idea, you will always lose. Trojans are favored at this point but not until Hera and Athena realize it. Ares is slightly wounded and complains to father Zeus. Almost like children playing and bickering with one another the gods of Olympus as well have their conflicts.
More fighting ensues and the gods on both sides are helping the Trojans and Greeks. After various elaborate fighting sequences, the gods take away Glaucus’ good sense and let him trade his armor with Diomedes’ lesser armor as a form of friendship. Can that really happen if everyone else seems so bloodthirsty? Andromache has a tough time saying goodbye to Hector. Hector is the greatest leader the Trojans have. Not only is he strong and powerful, but also he is a...
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