Structural decided to startthe war again, and he
Structural Levels of The IliadWars are often very complex in nature and are fought for many diversereasons.
The school boy may fight in order to get money for college, thepatriot may fight to bring life, liberty and justice to some poor soul, and acoward may fight because he was drafted by force. In the Iliad, powerful gods,great nations, and heroic people all fight for many different reasons. Thiswide variety of fighting results in unique situations, problems, and structurallevels to the war. These structural levels are of special interest, becausethey help define the consequences and outcomes of the war. The universal war ofthe gods, social war of the Greeks and Trojans, and the private war of Achilles’honor are structural levels of the Trojan war. These structural levels seem toinfluence and shape each other in many distinct ways.
The universal war between the gods over the apple of discordconsequently lead to the social war between the Greeks and the Trojans. Forexample, Aphrodite promised Paris that he could have the most beautiful woman inthe world if he gave the apple of discord to her. He did so, and decided to goand get his reward. Unfortunately, the most beautiful women in the world, Helen,was the wife of the Greek King Menelaus. The abduction of Helen by Paris leadto the Trojan war.
The promise made by Aphrodite to Paris in order to get theapple of discord resulted in the abduction of Helen and the start of the Trojanwar. Therefore, Aphrodite, in the universal war, set the stage for the socialwar of the Greeks and Trojans. Another time the gods influenced the social warwas when the Greeks and Trojans had a one on one battle to decide the outcome ofthe war.
The Greeks chose King Menelaus and the Trojans chose Paris. Menelausand Paris fought, but when Paris was about to be killed he was whisked off byAphrodite. Both sides agreed that the Greeks had won. Zeus decided to startthe war again, and he sent Athena to trick Pandaros to shoot at Menelaus,breaking the truce between the Greeks and Trojans. This intervention by Zeuslead to another outbreak of war between the Greeks and Trojans.
The universalwar of Athena and Hera versus Aphrodite had Zeus so caught up in it that he didnot want the social war to end. A god in the universal war once again createdthe social war between Troy and Greece. The universal war was the cause of thesocial war of Greece and Troy.The private war of Achilles’ honor was an outgrowth of the social warbetween the Greeks and the Trojans. During the social war, Apollo grew angry atthe Greeks for the abuse of his priest, Chryses. The Greeks had abused Chryseswhen Agamemnon took Chryses’ daughter, Chryseis, during the raid of the townof Thebes.
Agamemnon wanted a replacement for Chryseis, so he took Briseis fromAchilles. This deeply wounded the honor of Achilles, and he decided to stopfighting in the social war until his honor was amended. Achilles was angered byan event that occurred in the social war, thus providing the need for Achillesto reclaim his honor. The social war was the cause of the private war ofAchilles.
The opportunity for Achilles to carry out his private war came afterthe death of his comrade, Patroclus. Because Achilles would not fight,Patroclus asked him if he could wear his armor. Patroclus thought that thismight make others think he was Achilles, so that the Trojans might be scared andthe Greeks might gain courage and confidence.
Achilles consented, and duringthe ensuing battle Patroclus was killed by Hector. Achilles now had a way to goout and fight gloriously, in order to avenge Patroclus’ death as well as to mendhis honor that was so wounded by the ransack of Briseis. The social war theninfluenced the outcome of the private war of Achilles. Events that occurred inthe social war created and influence the private war of Achilles to reclaim hishonor.The universal war of the gods was deeply impacted by the private war ofAchilles. In some instances, the private war of Achilles fueled the universalwar of the gods. An example of this was when Achilles was killing Trojans leftand right in the river Scamandros.
All of the dead Trojans in the water madeScamandros angry, and he chased Achilles with a huge wave. Athena and Posiedonboth saw this, and they called on Hephaistos to burn the river with fire. Thismassive conflict between the gods was fueled by the result of Achilles’ privatewar. Essentially, Achilles’ private war was a source of major conflict betweenthe gods. The universal war of the gods was also resolved by some of the effectsof Achilles’ private war.
The universal war occurred mainly because Hera andAthena felt that Aphrodite should not have received the apple of discord. Thisresulted in a symbolic social war that mirrored the war of the gods. Achilles’effect on the social war, during his private conquest, caused the social war tocome to an victorious end for the Greeks.
In a way, the victory of the Greekswas a reward to Hera and Athena, in order to compensate for the fact thatAphrodite had received the coveted apple of discord. The private war ofAchilles swayed the social war to the extent that it effected the resolution ofthe universal war of the gods. The private war of Achilles motivated the gods tofight and to resolve the universal war.All of these examples show the numerous consequences and influences thatthe structural levels of the Trojan war had on each other and the outcome of theTrojan war. The universal war of the gods over the apple of discord created thesocial war between the Greeks and Trojans.
This social war lead to Achilles’war to redeem his honor. Achilles’ private conquest then had a enormous effectin giving the Greeks victory of the social war. The resolution of the socialwar eventually lead to peace on Mt. Olympus. The three structural levels of theIliad thus created, carried out, and concluded the Trojan war.