The gods in the Iliad are portrayed to have features like human beings and other attributes, such as super-powered, miraculous, heroic, and deceptive in nature. The Iliad tells a story of a War that is referred to as the “Trojan War” which took place many years ago, whereby gods of the land had a crucial role. The behavior of the gods in the Iliad cannot be condoned as ethical even in the context of the Homeric ages. However, their behavior is depicted by Homer as moral and uncaring. The Iliad’s tragic vision puts emphasis on the amoral gods of myth (Kip, Maria and Taalman 395). The gods in the Iliad are recognized as an influential spiritual power because of their attributes and roles. Female gods in the Iliad sometimes appear powerful than their male counterparts due to the roles that they play and the attributes that they posses.
Predominant feminine presence in the Iliad is a clear manifestation that the female gods in the Iliad sometimes appear more powerful than the male gods. The feminine presence shows a powerful feminine force that plays a vital role, without which the war could have been lost. Female gods in the Iliad use their powers and attributes to play a vital role for the well being of the society through the successful accomplishment of their missions. The gods act fairly but often become partisan when they are provoked whereas the characters in the Iliad are respectful of the gods until a god acts against them. The gods in the Iliad have supreme control over the life of all mortals, and thus, they have all the powers for the successful execution of their duties. Zeus, one of the gods of the Iliad, combines his power with his wife’s cunning intelligence to become the most powerful god (Gagarin 310). This shows that the power of the wife plays a crucial role in making him more powerful that the rest, and thus, it is a proof that the female gods of the Iliad were the most powerful. From the Iliad, It is evident that a woman gives birth to the heroes, and hence, she is the first to bring her child to the world. From the Iliad, a male could never be sure if the child is from its blood, and therefore, this knowledge is a power of the females, an authority that no male can ever control.
The Greeks in the Iliad believe in many gods who have specific powers and gifts that are known by people. Zeus is the supreme god in their religion and is the King of Olympus and her daughters, like Athena who is also powerful in various aspects of life. The three powerful goddess are Hera, Athena, and Aphrodite, who represent three different types of women with different attributes and powers in the society. It is clear from the role of the goddess who is female that they are more powerful than their male counterparts. Aphrodite and Athena, who are the goddess of love and wisdom respectively, are powerful as it is evident from the roles and powers they are given. Love and wisdom are essential to the well-being of any society, and thus, the goddess had a vital role in the well-being of the society. Aphrodite was a powerful goddess who had the power to tame other gods, human beings, and animals (Bloom 51). The power that Aphrodite possessed is a clear proof that the female gods were sometimes powerful than their male counterparts in the Iliad.
Athena was another powerful goddess in the Iliad who was born armed from the forehead of Zeus, the most powerful and Chief God who had power and controlled all the other gods. From the Iliad, it is also evident that Athena has an influence on other gods and mortals, and thus, she demonstrates the power of civilization. The attributes that are evident from the behavior of Athena is a clear manifestation that she was very powerful as compared to other male gods. The goddess Athena in the Iliad is sometimes portrayed as cruel, bitter, and almost always devious against the Trojans because of her immense power. Athena, the goddess of wisdom, is strongly associated with success throughout the Iliad because of the successful missions that she can accomplish (Myrsiades 163). The association of Athena with success is also a clear manifestation that the female gods in the Iliad sometimes appeared to be more powerful than their male counterparts.
In the Iliad, the female gods appear to be human as seen from their behavior, for instance, they argued amongst themselves and took sides in the conflict that was raging in Troy. The lack of principle of Aphrodite is as a result of her sheer loveliness whereas Athena is a wise and compassionate lady with ideas that are cunning, and reliable to her male counterparts.
Competition for power amongst the gods is continuous throughout the Iliad, and it is from this struggle that female gods appear powerful than their male counterparts. From the Iliad, the attributes, powers, and missions that are accomplished by the goddess are a clear manifestation that the female gods sometimes appear powerful than the male gods.
Bloom, Harold. Homer’s the Iliad. New York: Chelsea, 2009. Internet resource.
Gagarin, Michael. The Oxford Encyclopedia of Ancient Greece and Rome. Oxford [u.a.: Oxford Univ. Press, n.d.2009. Print.
Kip, Maria A, Van Earp Taalman. “The Gods of the Iliad and the Fate of Troy.” Mnemosyne 53.4 (2000): 385-402. Academic Search Premier. Web. 16 Mar. 2016.
Myrsiades, Kostas. Approaches to Homer’s Iliad and Odyssey. New York: Peter Lang, 2010. Print.