Human Mythology 130
The roles the gods played in the Iliad and Troy
The gods were more involved in the Iliad than in the movie Troy. In the Iliad they manipulated people’s emotions, the weather, the outcomes of battle; they would disguise themselves to trick the characters into the move they wanted them to make, physically trip them up to give the opponent a better standing. In the movie the gods had no visible role they were more of a believe system and a thought process. The characters believed that there were signs from the gods letting them know how to proceed. An example of this is when determining wither to go into battles after a farmer saw a sparrow with a snake in its talons. The examples that will be used are the relationships between Agamemnon and Achilles; Hector and Achilles; and Achilles and Prium. The information shown will show not only the differences in the interactions of the gods, specifically Zeus, Hera, Athena, Apollo, and Thetis, but how the lack of interaction changed the story slightly. The scene in both versions of the argument between Agamemnon and Achilles is very different from the written hero epic of the Iliad to the modern day Hollywood movie of Troy. In the Iliad the gods played a more active role in the argument between the two men than in the movie Troy where there was no direct interaction outside of Thetis prophecy to her son at the beginning where she informed him he would be remembered for his greatness if he went to war or he could stay home be loved. If he chose to stay home his name would be forgotten after a few generations. The argument in the Iliad began after Chryseis’s father the priest of Apollo’s temple approached Agamemnon with a “rich ransom” to beg for the return of his daughter in the name of the far shooting Apollo and was refused. This angered Apollo so the god began to use the hatred between the two men to create dissention that allowed the death of numerous Greeks. Apollo shot the men, mules and dogs with invisible arrows that carried disease that made them die after the priest had prayed to him asking to repay the Greeks for his sorrow. The book elaborates that so many died that for nine days the funeral pyres burned. By the persuasion of Hera, Achilles called a council with the Greek leaders to suggest to Agamemnon that they should ask one of Apollo’s priests to tell them how they had angered the god and what they needed to do to appease Apollo to end the plague. Calchas who feared Agamemnon pleaded with Achilles to protect him if he told the council why Apollo was angry. After Achilles assured Calchas that no one would harm him he told them that Apollo was punishing the Greeks because of the dishonor Agamemnon had shown his priest by refusing the priest ransom and to return his daughter. He said that until Chryseis had been returned to her father without any compensation the plague would continue. Agamemnon began to fuss about how he loved her but he would rather see the Greeks living than dead. If he were to give her up he expected to receive another “prize of war” for he couldn’t be the only man without one especially since he was the greatest of all Greeks. This is when Achilles pointed out that everything has already been distributed and it wouldn’t be right to take away from someone what he had been given. If he would give Chryseis back to her father that the best of the spoils would be given to him first. Agamemnon then threatened to take Achilles, Ajax or Odysseus’s prize of honor by force in retribution for the release of Chryseis. Achilles became angry at the dishonor that Agamemnon was showing him as the greatest warrior in Greece. The men argued until the point that Agamemnon got so angry he said he then decided that because Apollo had taken Chryseis from him he would take Briseis from Achilles to prove to everyone else they should never argue with him or think they were equal to him....
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