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“The Iliad” by Homer: Using of Suppliancy


Suppliancy refers to the act of imploring someone in authority or power to have mercy over an individual or another person. It may also refer to the act of beseeching a higher authority as an attempt of seeking redemption, exemption or inclusion in an issue. Usually, subjects beseech their kings or queens to have mercy on them and stop punishing their communities. This essay illustrates how people supplicate through words and acts using a case study.

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Relationships between Suppliancy Words and Acts

There is a close link between suppliancy words and acts, and it is all right to say that they are inseparable. Whenever an individual supplicates there must be actions to show the level of submissiveness and obedience to the highest authority. In this case, the following words are a clear indication of how Thetis has stooped too low to the deity being referred to in the essay (Homer 492).

‘And Thetis answered, bursting into tears, “O my son, my sorrow, why did I ever bear you? All I bore was doom”…..’

The phrase above is an expression of remorse and regret by a woman (Thetis) who complains and laments about his son (Homer 493). The words used by the author accompany the actions being described and this makes the reader to get a clear picture of the events taking place in the story. Thetis says the above words while painful tears cascade down her cheeks. The reader is able to understand the emotional and physical pain the character is going through. In normal circumstances it is not advisable to let a woman shed tears especially when complaining about her child since this is the highest level of a parent’s pain. In addition, these words and actions have an inherent force that can make people to change their beliefs, perceptions and attitudes towards others. It is essential to explain that suppliancy is more forceful when words accompany actions that when they are used in isolation.

Secondly, the author has used suppliancy to illustrate the degree of the character’s emotions and feelings. This language is very emotional since it gives a picture of pity, sympathy and concern towards somebody or something being discussed. Parents experience a lot of suffering while bringing up their children and end up being frustrated by their behaviour (Homer 497). She is in pain at how her son has wasted his life by engaging in useless activities and describes him as being worse than people who are still alive. She describes him using the following phrase.

Doomed to a short life, you have so little time. And not only short, now, but filled with heartbreak too, more than all other men alive-doomed twice over,’

The above words are used to give a clear picture of the emotional pain this woman is going through in trying to find answers to her son’s misfortunes. In addition, suppliancy entails the use of short sentences that are occasionally interrupted by gestures and pauses for the message to be understood by the audience. Most ancient Greek writers used suppliancy in poetry and short stories and this became a unique identification mark amongst writers from various regions of the world.

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The author has successfully managed to use suppliancy on behalf of the character (Thetis) to seek sympathy from her authorities. This shows that words accompanied by actions are powerful and can even break a heart as hard as a rock.

Works Cited

Homer. The Iliad. Westminster: Penguin Classics, 1991. Print.

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StudyCorgi. (2022, January 3). “The Iliad” by Homer: Using of Suppliancy. Retrieved from


StudyCorgi. (2022, January 3). “The Iliad” by Homer: Using of Suppliancy.

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"“The Iliad” by Homer: Using of Suppliancy." StudyCorgi, 3 Jan. 2022,

1. StudyCorgi. "“The Iliad” by Homer: Using of Suppliancy." January 3, 2022.


StudyCorgi. "“The Iliad” by Homer: Using of Suppliancy." January 3, 2022.


StudyCorgi. 2022. "“The Iliad” by Homer: Using of Suppliancy." January 3, 2022.


StudyCorgi. (2022) '“The Iliad” by Homer: Using of Suppliancy'. 3 January.

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