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Intervention of Gods in Iliad

By thadude22 Dec 19, 2012 643 Words
Intervention of the Gods and Goddesses in the Trojan War
In the epic Iliad by Homer the Trojans and Achaeans are locked in a massive war over the princess Helena. During the war between the Trojans and Achaeans, the gods intervene and change the outcome of different battles. The majority of the interventions were to turn the tide of a battle toward the army the god or gods liked best. Another reason the gods would intervene is to protect an important hero in potential danger and the god who favored that hero would grant him special abilities or whisk out of harm’s way. The final way the gods intervene is not by force but by persuasion and trickery. During the war a few gods stand out because they constantly intervene in the battles to turn the tide in favor of the losing army. The god Apollo is seen on the battlefield fighting in favor of the Trojans, killing large amounts of Greeks with ease. Apollo is also portrayed raining plagued arrows upon the Greek camp to kill them before they reach the battlefield “he hit the Greeks hard, and the troops were falling over dead, the god’s arrows raining down all through the Greek camp”. Because of Apollo’s constant killing of the Greeks on the battlefield they would have had little chance against the Trojans. If it had not been for the goddesses Athena and Hera helping the Greeks on different occasions they would have most likely been dealt a fatal blow. All the gods in Olympus have many favorite sons and heroes who are warriors on both sides in this great battle between the Trojans and Achaeans. There are times in the “Iliad” when these sons and heroes lives become threatened and the god who favors them come down and help them. Usually the god helping the hero either takes him out of the battle or gives him great abilities to kill anyone against him. During a battle Diomedes is injured and prays to Athena for revenge “Athena now gave to Diomedes, Tydeus’ son, the strength and courage that would make him shine”. The saving of these heroes definitely changes the course of battle; there is one instance when Aphrodite saves Paris from death in a duel that would have ended the war between the Trojans and Achaeans “But Aphrodite whisked Paris away with the sleight of a goddess”. Two goddesses who fight in their own way by pulling the strings in the background are Athena and Hera. Both Athena and Hera are openly against the Trojans and invest a lot into the destruction of troy by the Greeks. During battles both of these goddesses inspire troops to keep fighting and guide their actions, the best example is when Athena disguised as a Trojan soldier tricks Pandarus into firing an arrow at Menelaus wounding him and reigniting the battle between the Trojans and Achaeans. Athens sways Pandarus by telling him “if you listen to me son of Lycaon, you would take a shot at Menelaus and win glory and gratitude from the Trojans”. Athena uses this same trick again to force Hector and Achilles into one on one combat by appearing to Hector as his brother Deiphobus making Hector think he will have help. How Athena intervenes not only continues the war between the Trojans and Greeks but gets many of the Trojan heroes killed who are seen as more loyal to the gods. The intervention by the gods in these different ways definitely changes the outcome of the war between the Trojans and Achaeans. The gods killing hundreds of soldiers is a big intervention by the gods in the Trojan war. But the gods who saved the heroes and forced the war forward changed the outcome the most and attributed to the inevitable destruction of a great and noble city.

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