The Iliad

Topics: Iliad, Trojan War, Helen, Agamemnon, Greek mythology, Paris / Pages: 3 (713 words) / Published: Feb 7th, 2014
Acquisitiveness of the Trojan War In almost all instances of war the cause has been related to greed, or the gaining of land and possessions. Greed is presented in the very first book of Homer’s “The Iliad.” It isn’t displayed by the cowards, but the “heroes” of the war such as Agamemnon, Achilles, and Pandarus. The entire cause of the Trojan War is the result of the greedy and cowardly behavior of Paris. There are many factors that had sparked the war, including the interference of the gods; however, the main factor to be blamed for the war is greed. On the way to Troy, the Achaeans fought many smaller battles, raiding towns and taking whatever prizes they please. This act in itself seems greedy enough, but in the first three pages of the first book we see Agamemnon reluctant to give up his prize, Chryseis, despite the fact that it the cause of the plague and deaths upon the Greek army. Once he decides to give up his prize he immediately demands a new one when he says “fetch me another prize” (Il.1.138). Agamemnon’s greediness causes him to go on and steal Achilles’ girl, Briseis. Because of his actions, Achilles describes Agamemnon as “always shrewd with greed” (Il.1.175). This entire situation is the reason the war begins again. Achilles prays to Hera so that the Greek army realizes they need Achilles, a somewhat greedy act of Achilles. As the battle seems to be getting closer to a truce after Paris and Menelaus fight, the greed of Pandarus ruins the soldier’s hopes of an end to the war. Athena, disguised as a Trojan soldier, tempts Pandarus by saying “just think what thanks, what fame you’d win in the eyes of all the Trojans” (Il.4.109-110) in order to convince him to shoot Menelaus. Athena’s temptations worked, so Pandarus’ desire of fame and prizes caused him to shoot Menelaus. Once he shoots Menelaus all hopes of peace are ruined and full blown war breaks out again. The biggest and most important example of greed in the Iliad, is the entire

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