Homer's Iliad and Dante's Inferno are both epic poems that examine the negative consequences of unbridled human emotion—of giving in to unethical personal desires that harm others.
A big difference between the two works is the role of the gods and of destiny. A background story to The Iliad explains the role of the gods in setting up the conditions that lead to the Trojan War, the subject of the poem. Why does Paris of Troy abduct Helen, Queen of Sparta and wife of Menaleus, setting into motion the Trojan War? The goddesses Eris and Aphrodite had already set him up to carry out this brazen and selfish act. It was his destiny.
Sometime before the Trojan War begins, Zeus holds a banquet for the wedding of the goddess Thetis and King Peleus (parents of Achilles) and does not invite Eris, goddess of discord. She shows up anyway, determined to make trouble in revenge for the snub. She brings a golden apple for "the fairest." Zeus gives the touchy assignment of judging who is the fairest to Paris,...
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