Why Are Mommy and Daddy Fighting?

4 April 2015
An analysis of the tension between the gods in Homer’s Iliad.

This paper details some of the conflicts that occur between the Olympian hosts while the battles rage below them, and how those conflict are both caused by and influence the decisions of mortal man.
The battle between the gods starts in full force in book twenty-one, but it is actually precipitated by the gods’ entering of the Achaean/Trojan fray in the previous book. Up to that point, they had not actually battled for or against the Trojans legally, every time someone stepped in on either side, one of the higher-up gods such as Zeus or Hera would get angry. It’s almost as if a huge spring of godly tension has been coiling and coiling, and Zeus releases the tension in book twenty-one when he steps up and acknowledges to Poseidon that he understands the needs of the gods to interfere with the conflict below and gives them free reign to do so.

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