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Word Count: 551
The Immortal Sceptre Within the Iliad Homer portrays through association and symbolism the sceptre as a representation of divine power Agamemnon is the nominal owner of this sceptre on which much emphasis is placed in the early stages of the poem This relic a sceptre once owned by Zeus has a kingly and divine past and as a result is a symbol of authority power and recognition within the kingdom of Greece Homers discussion of the sceptre in Books I and II serves to elucidate these characteristics of the sceptre In the earlier stages of book II Homer establishes the godly and noble history of the sceptre Through a slight digression in the story line Homer gives the reader a brief overview of its former owners Hephaistus gave it to Zeus the king the son of Kronos and Zeus in turn gave it to the courier Argeiphontes and lord Hermes gave it to Pelops driver of horses and Pelops again gave it to Atreus the shepherd of the people Atreus dying left it Thyestes of the rich flocks and Thyestes left it in turn to Agamemnon to carry and to be lord of many islands over all Argos II 102-109 In naming Hephaistus Zeus Hermes and the kings of Mycenae Homer describes a legacy that enhances the sceptres image as a token of influence and power Moreover it is important to note that the sceptre was not conceived by a mortal but rather by Hephaistus Using the wood from a living tree in the mountains he constructed an immortal device for Zeus Hephaistus creation of the sceptre both bolsters the notion of the sceptres divinity and strengthens its image as a symbol of influence and recognition In Book I of the poem Achilles takes oath upon the sceptre In his oath Achilles states his intent to withdraw from the army and swears that the Achaians will one day regret their irreverence However
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