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Decision Making in The Iliad

Decision making in ‘The Iliad’ by Homer is provided by mostly by Gods, as they were the most powerful creatures, who could construct peoples’ lives and change their destinies according to their fads.

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Life is created in such a way, that people should always make decisions. The decision making process has penetrated in people’s life so much that it is we do not always get that we are making decisions. The process of decision making may be perfectly followed in the works of literature, when a thorough analysis of the text takes place. Decision making in ‘The Iliad’ by Homer is provided by mostly by Gods, as they were the most powerful creatures, who could construct peoples’ lives and change their destinies according to their fads.

Starting the discussion with the significance of Gods in the ancient Greece, it may de stated that their power was incredible, and they could act as they wants, intrude in people’s life and provide the correctives to their destinies. People were like the marionettes in Gods hands, who could spin them and play according to their satisfaction.

Divinely born son of Laertes,
resourceful Odysseus – try lifting me,
or I will try lifting you. And we will let Zeus
decide the outcome (Homer 518).

The quote is rather capacious and informative, which tells that Gods’ power was huge and people submitted to that power without any oppositions. People knew that they could not confront Gods and did nothing in order to make their life free of Gods and their anger was devastating and could lead to unpredictable and terrifying effects. So they lived, submitted to Gods’ power and their desires, without any attempts to provide their decisions and relying to Gods’ decisions.

People still could provide some decisions, if they can be named so, as these decisions were based on the Gods one, and did not have any direct influence on the situation development, as all had to be so. They were all constructed according to Gods’ will and were consequential, without any importance. People most had the right whether to follow gods’ instruction and advices or not, but they mostly relied on them and did according to their will. Patroclus decides to change his appearance and to fight, without thinking about the consequences. This decision lead to his death, as Hector, thinking that it was Achilles, kills him, vaunting, that he is the best warrior, as he could kill Achilles, without knowing that he was mistaken. Patroclus himself decided to go to fights and died (Homer 368).

Agamemnon also had to make decision himself, and this decision was to sacrifice his daughter in the benefit of the city. Providing this decision, Agamemnon showed himself as the politician, who cared about people more, than about his personal life and parental feelings. Achilles having decided to left the fight and never return to the battle field changes his mind, when had heard about his companion death, starting his argument

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Then let me die, since I could not prevent
the death of my companion. He has fallen
far from his homeland. He needed me there (Homer 399).

Providing the decision to return to the battle field, he was killed, and this was his personal decision. The same was his decision when he had the option to live a long life and die in the old age, but he chooses fights and dies. Hector’s decision, when he decides to save others and goes to fight with Achilles, is the right one, as he is a real hero, who sacrifice his life for the benefit of others. He had to fight and this obligation was created by his firm decision (Homer 475)

Supporting the idea that Gods still decide everything, the fact that the decision to destroy Troy came from Gods and this were they, who directed people in this action, they tried to do everything to make Troy disappear from the Earth. The main decision, made by Zeus, is that all Gods are forbidden to help both Greeks, and Trojans, which creates the quarrel on the Olympus. The battle continues without Gods’ interference, but there are a lot of ways to overcome the decision, and when Zeus sleeps, Hera make up the decision to help Greeks. Then Apollo interferes with his help to Trojans, causing plague through Greeks. The death of Hector was possible only by Athena’s help, who concluded that she had such power.

In conclusion, all the decisions, made by people in “The Iliad” were promoted by God’s actions. Gods have created the sort of a game and tried to help their loves, without considering that there were people, who loved, wanted to live and tried to make all possible to save their nation in the fight, which did not have any aim, if to think deeper, just Gods wanted to decide which power is greater, and whose hero will win the battle. The decisions, even those which had consequential nature, from both people’s and Gods’ sides, led to people’s death, while Gods had fun on the havens. Providing some actions, Gods did not understand that they decided not only the question, but people’s life, what was promoted by the fact that they were powerful and possessed people’s character features, such as envy and malignance.

Works Cited

Homer. The Iliad. Tr. by Ian Johnston. Arlington: Richer Resources Publications, 2006.

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