Does Homer condemn or praise war in The Iliad? How does Homer view war?

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leagye's profile pic

leagye | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Assistant Educator

Posted on

Instead of looking for evidence that Homer was making a statement for or against war, pull back somewhat and look at what the message might be about war, period. In this case, the was necessary to preserve honor and avenge the injustice done to the King of Sparta after his wife was kidnapped by Paris. So, one message being delivered is that war is a necessary evil, or act, if it is in support of a noble cause. Time and persistence in war pays off (another way of describing Homer's attitude toward war). 10 years is a long time! (Hence, the EPIC nature of the story).

renelane's profile pic

renelane | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Educator

Posted on

Epic poems typically depict war as the celebration and glory of fighting an honorable and valiant fight. Homer followed this tradition, as well.

Homer does depict the glory and valor typically associated with war epics, but he also gives the readers the negative aspects of war- defeat, death, weakness in character, and the like. The death and destruction war brings is relayed along with scenes detailing bravery and triumph. Homer is careful to depict the vast complications that come with war between people.


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