Sort of society is discussed in The Iliad. “The Iliad” is Greek mythology. It is about an epic poem written by Homer. The ten years-long war between Greeks and Trojans, and the reason for this war is Helen.
There were lots of great brave warriors who participated from both the Greek and Trojan sides. In “The Iliad” we found different types of elements in Greek society.
Where we found love, friendship, war, revenge, inner conflict, fate and downfall, faith in Greek God and Goddesses, and a soldier’s duty to his country.
When Patroclus was killed by Hector, Achilles got very angry with him. Then Achilles went near the walls of the city of Troy and challenged Hector for a duel.
Hector had no other option but to accept his challenge. Because if Hector refused his challenge then it would show his cowardness.
And eventually, it will break the morale of the Trojan army. In addition, not only Hector but also the entire troy will lose its reputation.
So these are the main factors that forced Hector to accept Achilles’ challenge. Moreover in ancient times, on the battlefield, if any soldier challenged any other soldier for a dual that soldier cannot refuse it. Because it is all about reputation and braveness.
The dual was a kind of “fight to death” battle. Everyone from both the Greek and Trojan sides was sitting down and watching their fights and none of them interfered in their fight.
When the dual between Achilles and Hector was happening, no one came and tried to save Hector from the wrath of Achilles, and eventually, he was brutally killed by Achilles.
So refusing anyone’s challenge was not taken as a goodwill gesture in Greek society.
Sort of society is discussed in The Iliad
In the Greek epics, we found that the reason for the downfall of a protagonist is his fate. which means the protagonist suffers or dies for some external supernatural influence.
And in Iliad, we found that the God and Goddesses proactively participated in the Trojan war. which hasten the war.
We know that Greek Gods and Goddesses are famous for kidnapping, cheating, killing, injustice, raping, etc. Which goes against the social rules and regulations in human society.
These things are considered evil activities for which we punished bad people. And there is a question that if these things are bad in humans then how could they be good in God’s?
So the scholars of that time said that it will be better for them not to adore these Gods and Goddesses. Instead of it, they could listen to their inner voice which will tell them what is true and what is wrong.
And if they do not know the answers then they have to keep asking themselves until they find the truth with proper logic and arguments. And this is how “The Iliad” portrayed Greek society.
Author: Tonmoy Debnath
Institution: Notre Dame University Bangladesh
Member of ‘Future Writers’