Iliad Questions and Answers
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What is the moral of the story of the Iliad of Homer?

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Bruce Bergman eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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As readerofbooks suggests, there may be many morals in a work of such length and complexity as Homer's Iliad. As his post also suggests, "the costs of pride" can be argued to be the central moral of the tale. I would offer the idea that "right action" is the central moral of the epic poem. 

By "right action" I intend to refer to the idea that one's essential nature determines both one's social status and a resulting mandate for certain behavior in the context of Homer's Iliad. 

There is a notion at work in the poem that is closely related to the idea of dharma - who you are, at root, determines what is "right" for you to do. What one can do and what one is allowed to do is a function of one's essential being, which is reflected in one's social status. Morality and identity are closely linked.

In the ancient Greek context, position is very important. We notice that the range of one's abilities is always equal to one's stature. One's "rights" to property and one's range of acceptable...

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