Athena asks Zeus "will you save a man whom the fates appoint to die?" How does this question relate to the overall theme in the iliad?


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gods goddesses save humans in iliad

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In the Iliad, the question asked by Athena to Zeus about saving a man appointed to die by the Fates relates to the overall theme of fate and the gods' involvement in human affairs.

Throughout the epic, fate is portrayed as an unchangeable force that determines the destiny of mortals. The Fates, represented by the three sisters Clotho, Lachesis, and Atropos, are responsible for weaving the tapestry of life and determining when and how individuals will meet their end.

However, the gods in Greek mythology often intervene in mortal lives and can alter the predetermined course set by fate. In this case, Athena is questioning Zeus about whether he would save someone destined to die, despite the Fates' decision. This raises the question of free will versus destiny and the extent to which the gods can interfere with mortal lives.

This theme is explored extensively throughout the Iliad, as the gods frequently intervene in the Trojan War, supporting and influencing individual warriors and their fates. The gods' involvement often leads to significant consequences and outcomes in the epic, reflecting the intricate relationship between fate, divine intervention, and the choices made by mortals.

The question asked by Athena to Zeus in the context of the Iliad relates to the overall theme of fate versus free will. In Greek mythology, the Fates, also known as the Moirai, are believed to control the destinies of individuals, including when they are appointed to die. By asking if Zeus would save a man appointed to die by the Fates, Athena is essentially questioning the extent of his power and control over human fate.

In the Iliad, fate plays a significant role in driving the events of the epic. The Trojan War, which serves as the backdrop for the story, is believed to be the result of fate and the gods' will. However, the characters within the epic also possess free will and make choices that shape their own destinies. Thus, the question asked by Athena highlights the tension between the predetermined outcomes by fate and the ability of the gods to intervene and alter one's fate.

Overall, the question explores the theme of the existential struggle between the belief in an inevitable destiny controlled by higher powers and the human desire for agency and control over their own lives. This theme is central to the Iliad as it examines the consequences of human actions in the face of an uncertain and fate-driven world.