1) What first impression does Book I give us of the gods? How much of a role do they play in human affairs? What seems to motivate their actions?
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The characteristics of the gods are established in Book 1. All of the gods are incredibly willful, concerned with achieving their goals. The interplay between gods and men is a complex and important theme throughout the Iliad. Gods intercede constantly. In Book 1 alone, a huge number of divinely influenced events occur. Hera is responsible for Achilles having the idea to call the assembly, Athena stops Achilles from killing Agamemnon, Apollo brings plague on the Achaeans. Gods constantly aid particular warriors. Fate and human will have a paradoxical relationship. The Gods are omnipotent yet possess all the frailties and fickleness, pride, and passions of mortals.