Essay Exam 2 Written - 1 In Homer's Iliad although Zeus is...

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1.In Homer's Iliad, although Zeus is the king of gods and men, it is questionable if even his will is above fate. Give two instances in the Iliadwhere events happen contrary to Zeus' will, and discuss the reason why Zeus is not able to intervene. How does Homer's representation of Zeus compare to that in Hesiod's Theogony? Lastly offer an explanation as to why this representation of the chief god was acceptable to ancient Greeks. Fate and destiny rule Homer’s world. Zeus is the supreme god, but he is not the creator ofthe universe or of life or man. Zeus is personified as strong, resilient and cunning and through these traits able to gain power over the gods and the universe. Consequently, he is in a permanentquest to maintain his power and show the other gods who is who on Olympus. In Book 8, he proclaims his power by challenging the other immortals to test him. He states “by that much am Igreater than gods and men.” Zeus has a lot of power and is privy to what fate holds in store. This can be seen in situations where he weighs fates on his sacred golden scales. However, Zeus’ possibilities are not unlimited. Although Zeus is Homer’s supreme god, he does not always knowwhat is going on in his kingdom and can be deceived. For example, Zeus attempts to keep neutrality in the Greek-Trojan conflict. Hera and Poseidon, on the other hand, were in the pro-Greek camp. Hera undermines Zeus power via trickery. She seduces him into taking her to bed then with the help of the embodiment of Sleep puts him to sleep. While he sleeps, her brother, Poseidon, god of the seas, is free to influence the war in favor of the Greeks. Thus, the two gods behave against Zeus’ will and Zeus is unable to intervene because he is none the wiser. At other times, Zeus can be seen yielding to fate even when fate contradicts his own desires. A stunning example of this can be seen in the death of Sarpedon. Sarpedon - Zeus’ own son - was allowed todie at the hands of Patroclus while Zeus looked on, unwilling to break fate to save even his own son. Zeus pondered saving him from the battlefield but was dissuaded by Hera who convinced him that it would serve only to anger the gods or arguably even worse, encourage them to intervene on the behalf of their own mortal loved ones - entrancing immortals in mortal affairs. Thus, Zeus is forced to succumb to fate reflecting the fact that gods cannot change fate as easily as mortals might believe.In general, Homer’s gods, including Zeus, are more humanistic than in the practice of Greek religion or in Hesiod’s Theogony. They possess not only human physical traits, but also human emotions. The Gods in the Iliad have many purely human characteristics. They can be petty, capricious, cruel, fickle or unfair. Sometimes they can be characterized as crybabies - such as in the case of Aphrodite and Ares who run back to Olympus crying to “father” Zeus after being wounded on the battlefield. They are subject to lust, greed, pride and ego. Moreover, we can say that Homer’s Iliad is much more literature that it is mythology. He talks about gods in

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