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Graded Take Home Exam

Graded Take Home Exam - Arika Bourbina Engl 203 Take Home...

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Arika Bourbina Engl 203 2/12/2008 Take Home Exam #1 The Role of Gods vs. Free Will (question # 5) Democracy and free will are two integral concepts in modern day thought, particularly American thought. However are these two things that people living in our time have come to take for granted? In ancient Greece free will was not a theory that was integral to every day life. In fact; everything was controlled by forces beyond human control—The Gods. This is clearly demonstrated by Homer’s The Iliad and the character of Helen. Across the world during the time of Homer, people were not thought to be in control of their own actions. There was always something metaphysically bigger than human beings which controlled everything from nature to our thought processes. Written evidence of rationality and philosophy did not show up until the 6 th century B.C.E. in texts from China, and later in Greece (Nichols). Lack of rational thought among the Greeks is most evident through Helen. By today’s standards, Helen would be perceived as nothing short of a lying cheating adulterer. However by ancient Greek standards, Helen leaving her husband for a younger, more handsome man was Aphrodite’s doing. Helen was completely innocent due Aphrodite’s scheming ways. Evidence of this can be found in the third book of the Iliad, when Aphrodite saves Paris from battle because she loves his beauty, and forces Helen to submit to infidelity with Paris. “…Aphrodite spoke to Helen: “Over here. Paris wants you to come home. He’s propped up on pillows in your bedroom, so silky and beautiful you’d
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never think he’d just come from combat, but was going to a dance, or coming home from a dance and had just now sat down.” (Lombardo 40) When Helen tried to protest against Aphrodite’s will, Aphrodite responded in anger: “Don’t vex me, bitch, or I may let go of you, and hate you as extravagantly as I love you now. I can make you repulsive to both sides, you know, Trojans and Greeks, and then where will you be?” (41) This gives proof
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