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Iliad’s Conflict

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In the poem Iliad by Homer, Homer begins the epic by asking the goddess to sing about the rage of Achilles. That is the main theme of the poem. The reason why there is so much anger and conflict in the Iliad is because the Homeric law of honor and respect is being insulted which results to rage, honor and conflict. The honor of every person in Homeric culture is very important. To the hero, their honor is supreme. They cannot tolerate any kind of insults; they feel like they have to protect their reputation until death. As a hero in the Greek times, they would rather die with honor than live with dishonor.

During the battle, nearly a decade after the start of the Trojan War, the Achaeans capture two beautiful maidens Chryseis and Briseis. Chryseis is the daughter of Chryses who is a priest of Apollo in a Trojan- allied town and Briseis is a war prize of Achilles, The most powerful warrior in the Achaean army. When Agamemnon, leader of the Achaean army is forced to return Chryseis to her father, he appropriates Briseis as compensation, sparking AchillesЎЇ great rage. Therefore, Achilles is angry at Agamemnon because he insulted his personal honor by taking away his war prize. In response, Achilles withdraws from the war, which produces greater anger both personally and in the background of the war because in order to gain glory and honor in battle, one has to fight to get to the top. Since Achilles wasnЎЇt able to perform his ability as a great warrior to gain glory and recognition therefore he is more enraged. Chryses offers Agamemnon a ransom for his daughter, but the Greek king refuses to accept it. As a result, Chryses appeals to Apollo. Under the priestЎЇs request, Apollo sent plague to punish the Greek army.

Throughout the epic, everybody is either angry or conflicted with one another; therefore revenge also plays an important part in the plot. Later, Achilles is angry at Hector, the mightiest warrior in the Trojan army, because Hectors kills Patroclus, AchillesЎЇ companion. Patroclus continues to attack Troy despising ApolloЎЇs warning because he is eager for glory. In the end, he is hit by a shaft from Apollo and then struck down by Hector. As an act of revenge, Achilles did not honor the Trojan heroЎЇs corpse. Near death, Hector pleads Achilles to return his body to the Trojans for burial. Instead Achilles abuses HectorЎЇs body and drags it around his dead companionЎЇs tomb and lets the dogs and scavenger birds attack the Trojan hero. In an act of respect, the Trojan heroЎЇs corpse should be in proper burial where the city men can honor it. To show that honor is important to the heroes.

Although we talked about anger within mortal heroes, we have to also considerer the quarrels and conflicts amongst the divine gods and the immortals. Contradiction is also talked about. Zeus tries to bring a peace truce among the Trojan and the Greeks. In the epics, Zeus

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