Justice In The Odyssey Vs. Justice In The Iliad Essays Examples

Type of paper: Essay

Topic: The Odyssey, Justice, Supreme Court, Law, Homer, Family, Iliad, Zeus

Pages: 3

Words: 825

Published: 2020/11/20

The Iliad and the Odyssey by Homer are two of the world masterpieces that have survived the times. In the Iliad and the Odyssey, much is made of justice as a recurring theme. In both stories, justice is divine as there are no courts to determine what are just and what is not. In the Iliad, during wartime, justice is seen as being corrupt or irrational while during peacetime, it is seen as a rational and acceptable. It is contradictory because, the lives of the characters in the epic are seen as divine and every individual is seen as a reflection of the gods.
In addition, as the gods takes care of the people, they might be right or wrong, and their god Zeus is not an exception. Therefore, in the Iliad, justice is served depending on the situation the gods are handling and it can either be rational or irrational as long as the situation is solved according to the will of the gods. A good example is when Zeus is confronted by Thetis and he even insults Zeus. Thetis says, “Can you be afraid to let me see how low in your esteem I am of all the gods?”(Homer, 1. 14-15). After the insult, Zeus leads Thetis into committing a trick against the Achaeans so that they can win the war, which is an unfair thing to do. In the Iliad, it is clear that, justice stands over the gods including Zeus who has to give the people their wishes even if it is in a corrupt and an unfair way.
In the Iliad, justice does not determine good or bad, it is the existence of conflicts in the story. For instance, in the story, Agamemnon and Achilles are characters who represent the hatred between the Trojans and the Argives. In the process, Zeus uses Agamemnon as a vessel to plan for a revengeful justice against the Trojans (Homer 78). Nonetheless, the plan by Zeus failed because Agamemnon acts unjustly and takes Briseis away from Achilles forcing Zeus to deal with multiple injustices. This is the reason why he had to offer Thetis his request even if it was a corrupt justice. In the Iliad, the gods impose their will on the characters in order to maintain moral order but in the process, there are many injustices done. Moreover, there is justice present in the Iliad where Achilles kills Hector in order to bring justice to his friend Patroclus. In the Iliad, justice plays the role of revenge because the characters revenge in the name of justice.
In the Odyssey, justice plays out on Odysseus and his crew, Telemachus, the suitors, and Penelope, the wife of Odysseus. In the story, justice is divine and it is fair and unfair at some instances. For instance, there is unfair divine justice when Zeus sends a storm to blow Odysseus and his crew to the land of the Lotus Eaters. This was unfair because, after this, Odysseus took ten years to get back home because this unfair justice made his journey back home long. In addition, Zeus was to give Odysseus justice after becoming a hero of the war, but instead, Zeus allowed Calypso to keep Odysseus on the island for seven years, away from his family. Nonetheless, Zeus actions against Odysseus and his crew can be justified because, they ate all the cows on Helio’s island and that was their punishment.
Justice in the Odyssey is also present when Telemachus stood his ground to protect his father’s territory. Telemachus took charge of the house hold in his father’s absence and this was justice to his father because he tried his best not to let the suitors take over. The suitors were doing an injustice to Odysseus by invading his wife and wealth while he was away. In addition, when Odysseus came back, justice was served to his wife because the suitors who frustrated her were killed and he was able to live with her husband again. Odysseus was able to get back home and live happily with his wife and son as he justly deserved.
The justice in the two stories, the Iliad and the Odyssey is not pure justice, there are hints of vengeance. For instance in the Odyssey, even though Odysseus was able to get justice and get his wife and possessions back, he avenged the suitors for trying to take over what belonged to him. In addition, his son Telemachus also took revenge on the suitors in the name of getting justice. Comparably, in the Iliad, Achilles went ahead to kill Hector as a way of seeking justice for his friend Patroclus, yet it was also a way of revenge against the Trojans. Therefore, the role of justice in the two stories is revenge.

Works Cited

Homer. The Odyssey. New York: Penguin Classics, 2003. Print.
Homer. The Iliad. trans. Robert Fagles. New York: Penguin, 1990. Print.

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WePapers. (2020, November, 20) Justice In The Odyssey Vs. Justice In The Iliad Essays Examples. Retrieved May 17, 2022, from https://www.wepapers.com/samples/justice-in-the-odyssey-vs-justice-in-the-iliad-essays-examples/
"Justice In The Odyssey Vs. Justice In The Iliad Essays Examples." WePapers, 20 Nov. 2020, https://www.wepapers.com/samples/justice-in-the-odyssey-vs-justice-in-the-iliad-essays-examples/. Accessed 17 May 2022.
WePapers. 2020. Justice In The Odyssey Vs. Justice In The Iliad Essays Examples., viewed May 17 2022, <https://www.wepapers.com/samples/justice-in-the-odyssey-vs-justice-in-the-iliad-essays-examples/>
WePapers. Justice In The Odyssey Vs. Justice In The Iliad Essays Examples. [Internet]. November 2020. [Accessed May 17, 2022]. Available from: https://www.wepapers.com/samples/justice-in-the-odyssey-vs-justice-in-the-iliad-essays-examples/
"Justice In The Odyssey Vs. Justice In The Iliad Essays Examples." WePapers, Nov 20, 2020. Accessed May 17, 2022. https://www.wepapers.com/samples/justice-in-the-odyssey-vs-justice-in-the-iliad-essays-examples/
WePapers. 2020. "Justice In The Odyssey Vs. Justice In The Iliad Essays Examples." Free Essay Examples - WePapers.com. Retrieved May 17, 2022. (https://www.wepapers.com/samples/justice-in-the-odyssey-vs-justice-in-the-iliad-essays-examples/).
"Justice In The Odyssey Vs. Justice In The Iliad Essays Examples," Free Essay Examples - WePapers.com, 20-Nov-2020. [Online]. Available: https://www.wepapers.com/samples/justice-in-the-odyssey-vs-justice-in-the-iliad-essays-examples/. [Accessed: 17-May-2022].
Justice In The Odyssey Vs. Justice In The Iliad Essays Examples. Free Essay Examples - WePapers.com. https://www.wepapers.com/samples/justice-in-the-odyssey-vs-justice-in-the-iliad-essays-examples/. Published Nov 20, 2020. Accessed May 17, 2022.
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