Illiad Destruction Essay, Research Paper
Human nature is quite unpredictable and ever changing. As a result it leads tomuch destruction and creativity throughout life. Homer s epic poem The Iliad impliesthat the destructive aspect outways the creative aspect just as it does in daily events. Thedestructiveness in this poem is emphasized through greed, the intertwining of mortals andimmortals, and the actual accounts of battle. Greed is an underlying cause of the destructiveness in this poem. In book IAgamemnon displays his greed first as he is offered a shining ransom from Chryses forthe return of Chryseis, his daughter. Agamemnon proudly denies with his head held highwhich causes Apollo to send a plague on the Achaean army. Though his own people aredying in the masses, he refuses to give up Chryseis. After Agamemnon finally realizes hemust give up Chryseis his second display of greed is unleashed. Agamemnon gives upChryseis but his greedy nature forces him to request the hand of Achilles prize, Briseis. Achilles is fiercely outraged at the embarrassment he encounters and refuses to fight forAgamemnon. Agamemnon has again caused destruction to his defense by chasing hisstrongest leader away. On the other hand none of these events would have unfolded ifHera, Aphrodite, and Athena had not been greedy over being the fairest of all goddesses. Aphrodite is chosen the fairest which causes Hera and Athena to hold a destructive grudgetowards all Trojans which leads to Troy s downfall. As the poem unwinds the intermingling of mortals and immortals adds to thedestructive nature. Achilles is the very child of Thetis, an immortal goddess. ThusAchilles has strong ties with all immortals. After Achilles armor is taken by the Trojans,Thetis request from Hephaestus a grand set of armor be made for Achilles. Though thisshield is not any regular shield for it had been hand-crafted by a god. When Hector throws his spear it hits Achilles great shield with no sign that the spear had ever beenthrown. When Zeus sends Aphrodite, Hera, and Athena to a Trojan named Paris to decidewho is the fairest of all goddesses, Paris chooses Aphrodite. After Hera and Athena
encounter the decision of the mortal Paris, their influences go to the Greek cause. Thesetwo goddesses vow that when everything is said and done, the Trojans will pay for thechoice Paris has made. Now with his mothers help and the vengeance in Hera and Athena,Achilles has an overpowering edge as he enters battle. Athena instills within Achillesnectar and sweet ambrosia to ward off his hunger while he endures battle. Duringimmediate battle, Athena also returns a thrown spear to Achilles and lastly turns a fataltrick on Hector fooling him into death at the hand of Achilles. Finally, the actual accounts of battle are a result of man s destructive nature in thispoem. The actual battle lasts years which means the two cities are in constant destructionfor quite some time. Hector when speaking to Polydamas in book XVIII, claims howTroy used to be a beautiful place all rich in its gold and bronze, but he now talks of howthe city has fallen apart without the support of the army at war. Hector finds it depressingto return to his own city. In book IX Odysseus comes to Achilles begging for his returnto the war. In his efforts he describes Hector praying for dawn to come so he can unleashhis forces upon the Acheans again. …he ll rout and kill in blood! (131-line 294) isspoken by Odysseus which explains the horrendous nature of Hectors violence. As bookIX ends Patroclus falls to Hector in battle. Patroclus is stripped naked and mauled to bitsas they war over his remaining corpse. Lastly, Achilles battles with Hector until one ofthem dies. Hector is the one chosen to die and the account was quite destructive. Achilles takes his spear to Hector s open throat, slashing his neck yet failing to sever thewindpipe. After he dies every Achean army member comes forward to see his body andeach and every one stabs Hector before leaving. The final destructive event occurs asAchilles drags Hector s mangled corpse around and around the grave of Patroclus. Ultimately destruction in this poem is seen through greed, the interference of godsand goddesses with humans, and the descriptions of actual battle.