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The Iliad Themes

The Iliad Themes

Fate and Free Will

(Click the themes infographic to download.) From the very beginning of the Iliad, when the poet asks the Muse to reveal how "the will of Zeus was accomplished," we know that the events we are wit...

Pride

(Click the themes infographic to download.) In the warrior society of the Iliad, pride is what makes the world go round. Nearly all of the book's male characters are motivated in some way by cons...

Mortality

(Click the themes infographic to download.) The Iliad doesn't pull any punches in its portrayal of mortality. Not only is death in battle depicted as extremely painful and gruesome, there isn't a...

Competition

(Click the themes infographic to download.) If reputation and pride is what every warrior is after, then competition is the way to get the goods. People in the Iliad compete in just about everyth...

Compassion and Forgiveness

(Click the themes infographic to download.) For most of the Iliad, we see less compassion and forgiveness than their opposites. For example, when Achilleus rejects the gifts Agamemnon is offering...

Friendship

(Click the themes infographic to download.) Friendship is an important motivation for many characters in the Iliad; at times, it can make them act in ways that you wouldn't expect, given their ot...

Love

(Click the themes infographic to download.) Part of what gives the Iliad its deep humanity is its sensitive portrayal of love in a variety of forms. Some of the most touching moments in the poem...

Hate

(Click the themes infographic to download.) In the world of the Iliad, hate is viewed as such a powerful force that it even gets personified as a divinity. The goddess Hate (worst goddess ever) m...

Warfare

(Click the themes infographic to download.) Over the years, some scholars and critics have described the Iliad as the first piece of anti-war literature. This is true in some respects, though ult...

Religion

(Click the themes infographic to download.) In the world of the Iliad, gods and goddesses are a daily presence in people's lives. In fact, many of the book's characters are either children of div...

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