Iliad Vs. Bible Essay

3362 words - 13 pages

"The Role and Portrayal of Women and Gods in The Iliad and The Holy Bible" People once, and may continue to focus their beliefs and live their lives according to the two great pieces of literature known as The Iliad of Homer and The Holy Bible, King James Version. The collection of stories or "myths" in The Iliad is an epic of the identity of the individual while The Holy Bible is an epic of national identity or theocracy. The beliefs in both books are almost completely opposite from the other. One does not have to carefully scrutinize the books to realize the Greeks view women and their own Gods entirely opposite from the way the Jews see theirs.Achilles is a great hero and the epic of The Iliad of Homer shows how he defines himself individually. Constantly, the myths of The Iliad are concerned with what the individual is thinking or how he or she feels. In Book One, Achilles is concerned about the Greeks and to characterizes Agamemnon as arrogant and insensitive. Also, in The Iliad, each individuals death is describe thoroughly to show exactly how they were killed. When Patroklos kills Kebriones with a stone (Book Sixteen line 740) the description says that the stone "Smashed both brows in on each other…but his eyes fell out into the dust there at his feet". Then, it goes on to say how Kebriones fell like a "diver" leaving his bones. The death of Kebriones is just one example showing how one person is described even to the particulars of his death. However, in The Holy Bible, individuality has no meaning because one must define himself with God mostly for reason of religion. The Jews take on a sense of nationalism and must stick together. This means they cannot reproduce children of a different bloodline or religion than their own. In essence, Moses becomes a spokesperson for God when God tells him "Go, and I will be with thy mouth, and teach thee what thou shalt say"(Exodus, Chapter 4 vs. 12). Because of this, it is like a theocracy and more of a national epic rather than individual as in Greek Mythology.Another significant dissimilarity in The Iliad and The Bible is the role in which women play. The Goddesses of The Iliad are feared, desired, respected and generally beautiful. They are the instigators of most of the action that goes on in this book and many times the story revolves around feminism. Then entire Trojan War is a result of the kidnapping of the female, Helen. Goddesses like Athena, Hera and Aphrodite all have tremendous power and influence over other Gods and mortals. Aphrodite is especially gorgeous because she is the Goddess of love, beauty, and fertility. In book one of The Iliad Athena is sent by Hera to stop Achilles from physically fighting with Agamemnon. It is like an epiphany when Athena swoops down and grabs Achilles by the hair to get his attention. This is an example of a female God taking charge and giving the male orders. Also, Thetis, the mother of Achilles, is a very powerful sea nymph. Because of her...

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