Term Paper 1
The theme of family in books 6 and 24 in Homer’s Iliad.
Family is very important in Books 6 and 24, but it is also one of the main themes throughout the Iliad. Book 1 begins with the vengeance taken by a father who has lost his daughter. The leaders of the Greeks are brothers, and Achilles’s revenge against Hektor is caused by the loss of the brotherly love of Patroklos. And even amongst the gods, the allegiances to the Greeks or the Trojans is decided along family lines. Artemis is on the side of the Trojans because her brother Apollo sides with them. This is why Homer’s Iliad is still popular and understandable among all of us. Every time people read it they realize the themes in the book are still relevant today. In all families brother will stand up for brother, and a father should always protect his wife and children. The families in the Iliad, mortal and immortal, have the same qualities. To outsiders they are fiercely loyal to each other, but within the families lay the groundwork for each other’s destruction. The passion of Paris for Helen not only destroys his family but a whole city. Achilles leads Patroklos to his death through his stubbornness and pride. Because the lives of humans and gods in Greek mythology are so intertwined, the bickering of the immortal families often spelled certain destruction for their human subjects. In Book 6 Athene ignores the women’s prayers of Priam’s family because she was slighted at a family function, a wedding. A noteworthy similarity between Books 6 and 24 is the intense love Priam has for Hektor even though he is one of his fifty children. Priam states, “I wish all of you had been killed beside the running ships in in the place of Hektor. I have had the noblest of sons in Troy, but I say not one of them is left to me… and all that are left me are disgraces, the liars and the dancers, champions of the chorus, the plunderers of their own people” (Book 24, lines...
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