Greek Compettion in Illiad

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Baturalp Büyükateş 23 November 2012
21100438
Electrical and Electronics Engineering
Hum 111-10
Fall’12

In Homer’s Iliad, the most common topics are fights, wars and struggles. Those combats mainly originate from the feeling of revenge, the idea of defending motherland and protecting family or imposing superiority to someone else. Thus, almost all the poem takes place in battlefields. However, it could be wrong to say that the Iliad is all about war itself. When the Iliad is examined deeply the painful consequences of war and the motives that turn ordinary man into a cruel warrior could easily be observed. Therefore, analyzing the roots, motives and results of wars in the Iliad is crucial in order to interpret the poem. When it comes to examine the war concept of the Iliad, the way people think and feel is one of the most important issues because of the fact that human’s thoughts lie behind all the incidents at the battlefield. Analyzing the human thoughts with the help of both Nietzsche and Weil’s ideas can lead to a well-founded interpretation of the Iliad.

As Nietzsche argues in “Homer’s Contest”, the heart of ancient Greek civilization is the concept of contest (36). All the ancient Greeks try to prove their superiority over someone else while competing in any kind activity like sport, poetry or oratory. They think that contests are enjoyable and necessary to maintain their development. It is not a big surprise that the Olympics are invented by such a competitive people. The motivation element that makes ancient Greek people compete in almost all fields is named as “envy” by Nietzsche (35). The feeling envy refers some sort of jealousy of someone’s ability or talent. This envy constantly feeds the idea of competing and therefore contests, one of the main cornerstones of the ancient Greeks, can be sustained. Therefore, it would be logical to examine ancient Greeks’ attitudes with the notion of contests.

According to Greek manner, one...
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