Criticising write: What role do the gods play in the iliad
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The goddess Ceres also known as Demeter is searching for her daughter Persephone, who has been kidnapped by Hades and carried off to his grim domain in the Underworld. In the course of her quest Ceres arrives at Eleusisnear Athens, and a young ih and her father ask her why she is there.
What on earth, we may ask, is happening here? Ovid enjoys presenting his readers with paradoxes, and here is a good example: gods cannot cry but this one apparently does. At first sight it may seem simply untrue. The broader context can be read, in Latin and Lliad, at the foot of this page.
Big of him, needless to say. A key notion in Greco-Roman literature is that the life of the gods is infinitely happier than that of humans. But Homer also uses his divine characters as foils for the heroes that are the real focus of his poem.
The gods of his poem live an essentially carefree existence on Olympus, while the heroes suffer and die, and their fate seems all the more tragic for the contrast. But the Trojan ally Sarpedon adds another dimension, in a pep talk to his comrade Glaucus Iliad If we were like the gods and could live for ever, Sarpedon says, there would be no need for us to do what we do, fighting and risking our lives. But as it is, the only way we can win immortal glory, the only kind of immortality that mortals can aspire to, is to fight in the frontline.
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It is their fundamental inferiority to the gods that makes the heroes as great as they are, we might say. Virgil does something very beautiful with this constellation of ideas. So Jupiter speaks, and turns his eyes away from the Rutulian fields.]