The Character Role of the Major God Hera from the Iliad

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The White Armed Goddess Question 2Robin Spelber

Hera was the daughter of Rhea and Chronus. She married her brother Zeus. She really had no interest in Zeus, considering Zeus was her brother. However, he tricked her with his advances and she finally gave in because of embarrassment of the whole situation. Hera and Zeushad three children together. Ares was the god of war, one of the Trojan’s chief protectors. Hephaestus was the God of fire, a master craftsman and supporter of the Archaeans. Hebe was the goddess of youth and also servant to the gods. Even though Zeus and Hera aresupposedly married, Zeus was definitely not a faithful husband. He had love affairs with mortal and immortal women and therefore many illegitimatechildren. Because of Zeus’ infidelity, Hera usually was in turmoil and moody. Zeus and Hera quarrel much about many things, I feel because of the lack of trust on Hera’s part of her husband, which leads to many other altercations in their relationship and the life of the gods in general. In book 1, Achilles and Argamemnon were in a bitter argument regarding the fact that Argamemnontook the woman that Achilles was in love with and had fought for and won in battle. Just as Achilles was about to draw his sword and slice Argamemnon, Hera, who loved both men sent relief for Achilles in his time of decision making need. Hera was a supportor of the Archaeans, and loved both men who were warriors in the Archaean army. Hera indeed did not want either man killed. Therefore, Hera sent Athena down to try to calm Achilles down and help him control his anger. “Down from the skies I come to check your rage if only you will yield.. . . .Stop this fighting, now. Don’t lay hand to sword.. . . .one day glittering gifts will lie before you, three times over to pay for all his outrage. Hold back now. Obey us both.” 1.244-249. This action by Hera stopped Achilles from killing Argamemnon. Both of these warriors were spared because...
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