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Copy of Fate and Free Will in the Iliad
Transcript of Copy of Fate and Free Will in the Iliad
Fate: the development of events beyond a person’s control
Freewill: the power of acting without constraint and fate; acting by one's own decisions.
How Theme Contributes to and Enhances the Meaning of The Iliad
Main Factor: Cause and Effect
Many of the key events in the poem are affected or caused by fate and free will.
Fate causes one to act in a certain way and make certain decisions through freewill.
Example: Achilles wants to have the fate of a long life and refuses to fight. This leads to Patroclus to wear Achilles armor and pretending to be Achilles by his own freewill. This eventually leads to his and Hector's death.
Other Contributions to the Meaning
The interaction between Fate and Free will contributes to every single event in the poem.
Shows how though fate is already determined, individuals still hope it will go in their favor or to still try and win.
Ex. Though the war's outcome is already determined- the dedication, loyalty and the importance of glory to the Trojan Soldiers remains strong though they know they will die.
The Interaction between Fate and Free Will
In Greek Mythology
the Moirai (three fates) - Control life between birth and death
Once decided, Fate is final.
Only gods can decide fate of the mortals
Freewill can be used to try and alter fate but it ultimately will not affect it.
Fate affects Mortals and sometimes Immortals
Note: Divine Intervention is NOT fate and it does not affect the final outcome.
" written by Homer
Daly, Kathleen N. "
." Greek and Roman Mythology A to Z, Revised Edition. New York: Facts on File, 2004. Ancient and Medieval History Online. Facts on File, Inc. Web. 13 Nov 2013.
Example #1: Fate
In the Iliad, when Odysseus encourages the Achaean army to fight the Trojans by reminding them the prophecy that Trojan city will fall on the 9th year:
"Calchas swiftly revealed the will of Zeus: 'Why struck dumb now, my long-haired Achaeans Zeus who rules the world has shown us an awesome sign, an event long in the future, late to come to birth but the fame of that great work will never die. As the snake devoured the sparrow with her brood, eight and the mother made the ninth, she'd borne them all, so we will fight in Troy that many years and then, then in the tenth we'll take her broad streets'" (Book 2)
Fate is predetermined, cannot be changed and is the destiny of the mortals in the Iliad.
Freewill is the act of doing something without constraint or fate.
The interaction between fate and freewill adds to the poem by...
establishing a relationship with the Gods and mortals
shows irony of situations
shows insight into the characters decisions
Example #3: Freewill and Fate
Though the Trojans are destined to fall and Helen is to return to Menelaus, Paris says:
"'Stop Antenor!... Now I say this to our stallion-breaking Trojans, I say No, straight out- I won't give up the woman! But those treasures I once hauled them home from Agros, I'll return them all and add from my own stores'" (Book 8)
Example #2: Fate and Freewill
(said by Hector to his wife Andromache)
"My dearest, do not grieve too much. No man will send me to my grave unless it be so ordained. But destiny is a thing which no man can escape, neither coward nor brave man, from the day he is born. ... War shall be men's business, and mine especially of all those who are in Ilios." (Book 6)
Example #4: Fate
Zeus outlines the events to come and how he cannot change it, even the impending death of his mortal son, Sarpedon. (Book 15)
Example #5: Fate
The speech that Patroclus says to Hector before he is killed, "'No, deadly fate in league with Apollo killed me... You came third, and all you could do was finish off my life... One more thing... you won't live long yourself, I swear. Already see them looming up beside you- death and the strong force of fate, to bring down at the hands of Aeacus' great royal son... Achilles!'" (Book 16)
How it enhances the meaning of the Poem
Insight into Characters
how they respond to fate
Shows Irony of situations where characters (like Paris) try to use their freewill to alter their future even though fate cannot be altered.
Shows the relationship between the mortals and Gods and how the Gods' power overrules the wishes of mortals.