“War: Inevitable or Unavoidable?”. I chose this title because it sounded cool to me when I first thought of it. After looking up the definitions of inevitable and unavoidable and doing more thinking about it, I thought it would be the perfect title for what I will be posting about this quarter. Inevitable and unavoidable have the same dictionary definition but different connotations. The connotation of inevitable is that the word implies fate, the event was meant to happen and no matter what choices the person makes, there is only one ending. The connotation of unavoidable is that an event happens due to free will. The idea that you are in control of your own destiny and end up on a certain path due to the choices you have made.
When I ask if war is inevitable or unavoidable I am asking, was it a choice to go to war, a decision made after a chain of events or was it fate, predetermined before anyone involved thought of it as a possibility. This is a question that can be posed very frequently throughout The Iliad. An example of a time when this question can be asked is during a dialogue between Hera and Zeus, about whether or not Zeus should save his son from being killed in battle. Hera says that Zeus’s son, Sarpedon, is supposed to die in battle. ” a mere mortal, his doom sealed long ago? You’d set him free [. . .]” (The Iliad, B. 16 524-525).Her is essentially saying that dying is battle is apart of Sarpedon’s predetermined path. This quote raises the question of whether dying in battle was inevitable or unavoidable for Sarpedon. Was fate that lead Sarpedon to the battle field, something completely out of his control no matter choices he mad prior or was it his own choices that led him to the battle field, a series of decisions that unintentionally put him on a path to war. A question that I think will be very relevant as we read Homer’s “The Iliad” this quarter and explore the themes and messages it provides.