Role of gods and goddesses in Iliad – Role of Greek gods and goddesses in Iliad

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The blind poet Homer is the father of Greek Literature. In the period of Homer, gods and goddess were the main elements of all kinds of writings. In the literary Trojan War of the Iliad, the Olympic Gods, goddess and demigods fight and play great roles in human warfare. Homer is the very man who formed on idea about the Greek Pantheon Gods and goddess exercised great influence upon Homer. He has given us a distinct picture of them on the model of a human being. So A clear discussion will show role of god and goddess in iliad.

Role of Twelve important gods and goddess in Iliad

Homer speaks of twelve important gods and goddess in Iliad and brings out a fine picture of their functions. They are Zeus, Hera Apollo, Aphrodite, Athena, Hephaestus, Hermes, Poseidon, Demeter, Artemis, Ares and Dionysus.

The story of the epic is a war between the Trojan and the Greek. All of these gods and goddess tool part directly or indirectly in this war. Homer is utterly slanderous about the role of gods and goddesses in iliad.

role of god and goddess in iliad

Read More: Use of Myth In Auden’s Poetry

Zeus Greek God and Fate in Iliad

Zeus is the king and father of all the gods and goddess. He is the god of the sky, weather and light. His personality was created in Homer’s Iliad. He himself was subject to fate and considered the destinies of Achilles and Hector. He was also the distributor of good and evil. Homer relates in the Iliad and at the gate of his palace there were two jars, one containing good and the other containing evil or devil. The laws of the world were nothing but thought of Zeus.

“Sit there in silence and be ruled by me

Or all the god in Olympus will not be

Strong enough to keep me of and save you

from my unconquerable will”

Hera Greek Goddess in Iliad

Hera, the wife of Zeus, was portrayed as jealous, violent and vindictive. This is Hera who had participated in the beauty contest with Aphrodite and Athena with Paris acting as judge. In the Trojan war she sided against the Trojan in revenge for Paris refusal to award her the prize. She became Achilles protectress. She also extended her protection to Menelaus and gave him immortality.

Athena Greek Goddess of Wisdom and War in the iliad

Athena was the goddess of war. She was the bold quick witted goddess of craft intelligence and skill. In the epic, Athena fought on the Greek side, supporting Diomedes, Odysseus, Achilles and Menelaus. It is Athena who helped Achilles to kill Hector the prince of Troy.

Apollo Greek God of sun in Iliad

Apollo who is an Olympian Sun god, was the song of Zeus and Leto. In the Iliad he fought for the Trojans against the Greeks and protected Paris and it was his involvement which led to the death Achilles. Here the role of god and goddess in iliad is also vivid.

Aphrodite Greek Goddess of beauty and love in Iliad

Aphrodite is known as the goddess of love according to Greek, granted her protection to the Trojan and to Paris in particular because she became the winner in the beauty contest by the judgment of Paris. In the war she snatches Paris from danger. But all her protection could not avert the fall of Troy and the death of Paris.

Greek God Hephaestus god of fire and Poseidon god of sea

Hephaestus, the god of fire was the son of Zeus and Hera in Iliad. His name is linked that of Charis. Poseidon is the god of sea and one of the Olympians was the brother of Zeus. He participated in the construction of the wall of Troy.

Demeter Greek Goddess, Artemis mistress of wild of animals, Dionysus god of wine

Demeter is the mother of goddess of earth. Artemis is described by Homer as the mistress of wild of animals and Apollo’s sister. Hermis was the son of Zeus and Maia. Dionysus was the god of wine, of the vine and of the mystic ecstasy.

The gods figured very prominently in early literature and society. No traditional stories in Greece were imaginable without gods. The gods had all the weakness of the morals.

Gods and men formed one society in Homeric age. So role of gods and goddesses in iliad is very vivid. The religion that we read about in. Homer is actually the religion we know practically nothing about the religion of common man and their attitude to the god or goddess.   

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