An Analysis Of The Reasons Why Homer’s Iliad Is Considered As A Morality Play

Homer uses the Iliad as a way to show that people are susceptible to malicious intent no matter what their moral compass says. The Iliad can therefore be seen as a play of morality. The Iliad, too, is considered a play of morality because it features characters who embody both virtue and corruption. The audience can also receive moral guidance from the play. The Iliad can be regarded as a morality drama because of the combination of all these features.

The Iliad’s main moral is that the inability to control human passion and reason is the primary cause of tragedy and discord. Man will experience irrational events if he acts irrationally. Nature and Gods work together to make man behave irrationally. Then tragedy occurs, which leads us to ask who is responsible for the fate of mankind. The ancient Greeks believed man was at the mercy and whims of powerful forces. He was also subordinate to Zeus. Men must also weigh their emotions against reason when making decisions. Achilles is preoccupied with wrath, and this is why he causes so much pain to his fellow warriors. His pride prevents him from joining their fight and many of them suffer and die as a result. Achilles is a victim of his own rage, which overwhelms him and causes him to die early.

The Iliad’s purpose is to demonstrate the value of human life in the struggle. Achilles, a true hero, is someone who emerges from the struggle as a stronger man. He is driven by anguish to first experience pride, then fury, then revenge. He loses both his honor and best friend due to his irrational and rash behavior. However, after he has charged into battle and realized that he was doomed for death, and he hears the father of Hector plead to return Hector’s corpse to him he makes a major transformation. He sees forces that are greater than him, and comments on how men are terrible and Gods with no concern for themselves are responsible for the misery in people’s lives. He grows from a simple man to a tragic figure as he realizes the true tragedy of his life. This transformation gives the audience the chance to learn morals and live a good life. Iliad includes characters who portray the corrupt and virtuous traits found in the epic. Odysseus’ actions reflect a misguided moral sense. He seems to have used deception and dishonorable tactics in order to gain an advantage during the Trojan War. The Odyssey shows that his lack of honor and cleverness allows him to advance in life. However, he will pay for it later in his journey to Ithaca. Odysseus is a good example of how retribution is a principle that is evident in the Iliad.

It is often called a morality drama because of the way in which the protagonist represents humanity or a particular structure. It’s also a morality story because it inspires its audience to lead a good life and provides moral guidance.


  • ewanpatel

    I'm a 29-year-old educational bloger and teacher. I have been writing about education for about six years, and I have a B.A. in English from UC Santa Cruz. I also have a M.A. in English from San Francisco State University. I teach high school English in the Bay Area.