The Iliad

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The Iliad Socratic Seminar
Is Divine Intervention beneficial to the characters in the Iliad?

Destiny is defined as fate. One cannot escape destiny. Divine intervention on the other hand is much different. One can at least beg for mercy or help. Divine intervention is a term for a miracle caused by a god's active involvement in the human world. Is Divine Intervention beneficial to the characters in the Iliad? From reading the Iliad, I believe that divine intervention is beneficial only to some characters. The gods in the Iliad serve as the instruments of fate, stepping into the mortal arena when necessary to insure that fate’s purposes are served. This leads on to divine intervention. Divine intervention plays a major role in The Iliad. The gods are extremely important to the Greeks and the Trojans, for they can both help or hurt them. They act as messengers, guides, and guardians, or if someone is not in their favor they can also harm them and force ill fortune upon them. In The Iliad this is reflected in many parts of the book. The gods picked whom they would favor for different reasons. “Rage—Goddess, sing the rage of Peleus’ son Achilles, murderous, doomed, that cost the Achaeans countless losses, hurling down to the House of Death so many sturdy souls, great fighters’ souls, but made their bodies carrion, feasts for the dogs and birds, and the will of Zeus was moving toward its end. Begin, Muse, when the two first broke and clashed, Agamemnon lord of men and brilliant Achilles (Fagles 77).’’ The poet evokes a muse to aid him in telling the story of Achilles, the greatest Greek hero to fight in the Trojan War. Essentially, the Gods' intervention in Achilles' reintegration is prompted by the appeal to Achilles' intense despair over the death of Patroklos. The Olympians recognize that this is a significant moment and to seize it by going after Achilles when he is at his most vulnerable will be critical. Hera, who has tried her best to get the Greeks to...
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