Ramayana and the Illiad

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Yogesh Tekwani
Professor
November 22, 2011
Second Writing Assignment
Ramayana and the Iliad are two important literature pieces from Greece and India, both plays are set in time when Gods were known to make appearance on normal basis. The plays are main characters are Achilles and Ram, Achilles is a demi god and Ram is an incarnation of God Vishnu. In the Iliad, Achilles is an arrogant warrior who goes to war to claim glory and fame. In the Ramayana, Ram is a prince who is exiled to the forest. So what is the nature of injustice to the hero in these epics? What customs/values inform the heroes’ responses to this injustice? How do differences in customs/values inform differences in Greek and Hindu literature? What do arête and dharma mean in these cultures? What roles do the gods play in these heroes’ predicaments?

The Iliad starts off with sacking of a Trojan’s allied town and two maidens are taken as prized possession from the town, one for Achilles and one for Agamemnon. During a plague, Agamemnon is asked to return his prize and in anger asks Achilles to give him his prize. In anger Achilles draws sword toward Agamemnon’s men and is about to slay when Athena appears to control his anger. Achilles stops fighting for Agamemnon and tells his mother to ask Zeus for revenge on Agamemnon’s army. The Ramayana starts off with Ram, who was the prince of Ayodhya was on his way to get crowned to become a king. Ram who is known for his kind nature is asked by his mother in law to go the forest and live there for 14 years because she wanted her own son to be crowned king. Ram without hesitation accepts the decision and heads to the forest with his wife and his brother. In these two epics we can compare the customs/values that each individual have learned and how they use those customs/values towards their injustice. In the Iliad, when Achilles is told to give up his price, he angrily points his sword at Agamemnon and is ready to kill anyone who...
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