How Does Homer Depict War in “The Iliad?”
In “The Iliad”, war is the honorable thing to do. It seems glorified but on the other hand Homer shows the brutality and injustice of it. From the beginning of “The Iliad” we are immersed in the middle of a war that started nine years ago involving the Greeks and the Trojans. A lot of items have occurred preceding to the get started of “The Iliad” for example Homer alludes to the reality that Agamemnon has had to sacrifice his daughter in order for he Greeks to attain Troy. The war has brought on a lot of discomfort and suffering to both the Greeks and the Trojans. It is shown in its harsh reality, it is not glossed over we see families loosing their loved ones and we see men die gruesome deaths:
“Death reduce him brief.
The end closed in about him, swirling down his eyes,
choking off his breath. Patroclus planted a heel
against his chest, wrenched the spear from his wound
and the midriff came out with it—“(Book XVI 93-97)
According to Homer to fight in the war is the noble point, the ideal issue to do. To sit on the side lines and do nothing about it is cowardly and shameful. Homer feels the war is justifiable and the appropriate way to settle the dispute. It is a valiant and commendable endeavor. When a man is dies in the poem it is the gallant way to die and be remembered, the winner of the duel is glorified and the loser dying with honor and pride is remembered throughout he poem. We especially see this after Patroclus is killed in battle by Hector. Achilles spends some time mourning his death and vows to avenge him:
“But now I’ll go and meet that murder head-on,
that Hector who destroyed the dearest life I know.”
(Book XVIII 135-136)
Homer does not let go of the harshness, the reality of death and war. The gruesome pictures of the dying men and the harsh language utilized to describe the corpses bring particular realism to the poem.
Homer shows that the war not only plays a part in everyone’s life but it also rules their life. Men are judged based on their bravery and their potential to fight and win battles. They need to have to bring honor to their families. Anytime Homer describes guys his language usage is robust and vivid:
”…his helmet flashed
and the lengthy dark hide…