Characteristics of War in the Iliad

Topics: Trojan War, Iliad, Menelaus Pages: 2 (704 words) Published: February 16, 2006
Wars are often complex in nature and are fought for diverse reasons. In the Iliad, powerful gods, great nations, and heroic people all fight for different reasons. Each has private motivations to fight the war. These private motivations are of special interest, because they help define the consequences and outcomes of the war. The universal war of the gods, social war of the Greeks and Trojans, and the war for Achilles' honor are private motivations of the Trojan war. These private motivations seem to influence and shape each other to show the nature of war in the book. "What god drove them to fight with such a fury?" Book 1, line 7. This quote shows the connection to the gods and mans war.

•The fighting in the Novel seems to occur in sporadically with no real discernable pattern. This shows both confusion and chaos which can be attributed to both the length of the war, which demoralizes soldiers and the lack of compassionate leadership on both sides. At times it seems the soldiers want to call a truce but it is the commanders like Hektor and Diomedes whose pride blinds them to the needs of their own armies. At times the leaders even forget the reason for starting the war, showing the pettiness of the entire situation.

•The fighting in the novel only gets worse a the story progresses and the reason for this is the desperation by the commanders to be victorious in the war. As time goes on and both sides become locked in a stalemate the leaders on both sides raise the stakes to bring about a quick and victorious end to the war regardless of cost. In their opinion it is worth sacrificing 10,000 men at once to possibly bring an end to the war which, if continued would sacrifice 100,000 men.

•The battles in the Novel shown that war and death are both real occurrences and everyone must confront them eventually, this is even true for the leaders such and Menelaus and Paris who had near dealt experiences at times, Menelaus with the arrow grazing...
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