What impression have you formed of the Gods from books 1 and 3 of "The Iliad"?

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What impression have you formed of the Gods from books 1 and 3 of the Iliad?

The Gods appear to be just as complex as their human counterparts, experiencing many of the same emotions, just with a lot more power to influence the fate of those around them. These emotions, such as jealousy, anger and love, can be seen clearly in their actions throughout books 1 and 3.

In book 1, many of these emotions can be seen immediately from Apollo. He is angry that his priest has been dishonoured – this could suggest that he cares for Chryses, therefore helping us to relate to him, but it could also be that he is angry because if his priest is dishonoured it means that he himself is dishonoured. ‘Down he came from the peaks of Olympos, with anger in his heart’. Here the reciprocal relationship between men and Gods is seen for the first time, as Apollo sends a plague onto the Achaians, in order that his priest’s daughter will be returned to him. At first glance it may seem good of Apollo to rescue Chryses’ honour, but to do this Apollo is causing the death of hundreds if not thousands of innocents. This is rather unfair, I feel, because surely Agamemnon alone should be punished for taking Chryseis away? Instead Apollo is punishing his entire army for the honour of one man. This may be a sign of the Gods’ extravagance – they seem to like to go over the top when handing out fate.

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Similarly to humans, the Gods have mortals whom have captured their favour. An example of the Gods intervening in the lives of those they care for is prominent in book 1. Hera sends Athene to stop Achilleus from killing Agamemnon because she cares for both men equally. It seems that although thousands of lives can be wasted and mean nothing to the Gods, if one of their favourites is in peril they immediately leap to their rescue – ‘The white-armed goddess Hera sent me, as she loves both of you alike in her heart and cares for you equally.’ Another prime ...

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