Dichotomy between War and Peace

Dichotomy between War and Peace

Dichotomy between War and Peace

Dichotomy between War and Peace

The Iliad is a story of Trojan war which begins after the Greek forces siege Troy. The conflict starts when Troy’s king captures a beautiful girl named Helen from Achaeans. The Achaeans travel to Troy to bring her back, and they begin by attacking cities and taking women into captivity while grabbing treasures. Apollo of Apollo named Chryses approaches Achaeans and begs for the release of his daughter who is among the captives, but Agamemnon, the leader of Achaeans, refuses which makes the priest to punish the army with a plague. What follows is a series of war coupled with a desire for revenge and betrayals. The fight only ends after Achilles one of the greatest warriors from the Greek side kills Hector a warrior from Troy in retaliation of the death of his friend Patroclus. Leaders, both in the Iliad and the society today, always have the option of choosing peaceful alternatives but most of them prefer chaotic options. 

A dichotomy refers to two contrasting visions of life. Homer, the author of the book, brings out a tragic dichotomy severally in the poem. First, there is the dichotomy since in the lives of Achilles and Hector who had the option of avoiding the war by choosing a peaceful life, with average wealth and respect for humanity. A quiet life seems possible judging from the several cases when the Trojans and Greeks meet in harmony and whenever the heroes question the significance of the wars. On the other hand, there is the greed for extreme wealth and glory. Like the author puts it, “the warriors rage like something more than a man.” Achilles’ shield bears the most pronounced view of the author’s tragic dichotomy. It carries a peaceful city and a chaotic city. If the judges spoke justice, there was a chance for a city full of happiness and merry, but the love for heroism surpasses the love for humanity resulting in a town of war.

The contrast between suffering and understanding/ war and peace witnessed in the Iliad is very significant to the world today. First, there is the issue of leaders who are hungry for power and will stop at nothing to obtain it. Political instability is mostly witnessed in the African continent when president’s lose elections and refuse to step down leading to civil wars and forcing the rest of the world to intervene (Holslag, 2011). There have been cases of altering election results even in some western countries which always results in enmity and hatred since people are denied their constitutional right to have democratically elected leaders. 

Corruption is also reducing countries to skeletons. Citizens trust their leaders with the public facilities, but the leaders use the facilities for their gains. Embezzlement of federal funds and keeping them in offshore accounts while citizens suffer has become so common among leaders (Ankamah & Manzoor, 2018).  It is unfortunate that today, there are people who go without basic needs despite paying taxes to governments. Besides, it is the responsibility of the government to offer social amenities like health facilities to its citizens ( Phakathi, 2018). The issue of corruption has increased the cost of living across the globe while fueling the rate of inflation.

Leaders have the option of choosing peace by accepting the results of elections and becoming content with their incomes. However, most leaders prefer power and wealth leading to chaotic nations full of bloodshed. Also, there are cases where millions of people including children die out of hunger while a few people keep billions in their accounts which would otherwise promote agricultural activities or purchase food for the suffering. It is unreasonable to learn that there are people who die from diseases like malaria today. In conclusion, the rate of dichotomy in the world today summarizes the economy into a man eat man society.    


Ankamah, S. S., & Manzoor E Khoda, S. M. (2018). Political will and government anti‐corruption efforts: What does the evidence say? Public Administration & Development, 38(1), 3–14.

Holslag, J. (2011). China and the coups: Coping with political instability in Africa. African Affairs, 110(440), 367–386.

Phakathi, M. (2018). An analysis of the Responses of the African Union to the coup in Burkina Faso (2015) and Zimbabwe (2017). Journal of African Union Studies, 7(3), 129–145.

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