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Compare the treatment of the Gods in the Iliad and the Odyssey.

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  • Essay length: 2346 words
  • Submitted: 22/12/2003
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AS and A Level Classics

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Compare the treatment of the Gods in the Iliad and the Odyssey

The Gods in both the Iliad and the Odyssey are important figures. This essay will concentrate on Zeus, Poseidon and Athene who feature in both texts. Reasons of space prevent full exploration of the whole divine machinery.

The role of Zeus in the Iliad is of the all-powerful figure, the king of all the gods. The other Gods give him the uttermost respect and fear making him angry. So when he returns to his house "all the gods rose up from their chairs"(I.533-534).

Zeus has the power to drive the action forward. It is his agreement with Thetis that creates that catalyst for the climactic battles. His plan to bring about the redemption of Achilleus creates the plot structure. He sends the false dream to Agamemnon in which a figure in the form of Nestor persuades him that he can take Troy. Although he is neutral in the mortals conflict he is often brought into mediate matters, as he has the final say.

Zeus in the Odyssey plays less of a role in the actual direction of the

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