EnglishTuesday, chains to bind down the lovers
EnglishTuesday, December 07, 1999Odyssey Thesis Paper”The Odyssey” by Homer, written in the late eighth or early seventhcentury B. C., was the first epic poem. In telling the story of a mannamed Odysseus, the narrative also describes his ten-year Odyssey home fromthe Trojan War. In the Greek culture, the god and goddesses ruled andcreated the destiny of all creatures, although they were very human-like intheir actions. Throughout Homer’s epic, the gods and goddesses showed anequal amount of human qualities as the people who obeyed and worshippedthem.
The first human quality that the gods and goddesses demonstrate inthe Odyssey is revenge, best demonstrated by three examples. First,Hephaestus takes revenge on his disloyal wife, Aphrodite, a situation thatwas described in a song by Demodocus, a blind bard. The act that causedHephaestus to take this human quality involved Aphrodite’s disloyalty toHephaestus in secretly sleeping with Ares, god of War. When Hephaestus wasnotified of this by the messenger god, Hermes, he acted in a vengefulmanner by making chains to bind down the lovers in the act. The loverswere bound to the bed with the chains, and, to further his vengefulness,Hephaestus and the other gods and goddesses mock and insult Aphrodite,calling her a “shameless b-tch.” The witnessing gods say, “Look howlimping Hephaestus conquers War Ares, the quickest of all the gods whorule Olympus,” thus ridiculing Ares for a second time. Hephaestus wasvengeful, a very human-like distinction, and, finally, he let Aphrodite andAres free from the chains.
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A second example of vengefulness is shownthroughout the book by Poseidon. When Odysseus was stranded in the cave ofPoseidon’s son, Polyphemus, a Cyclops, he was forced to blind the giant inorder to escape. Poseidon, god of the earthquake, was enraged by this actand prolonged Odysseus’ journey vengefully by creating a storm when hespied Odysseus sailing down the sea. This capsized Odysseus’ boat andforced him to swim to shore, almost causing his decease.
The third god,Helios, who also demonstrates revenge, prolonged Odysseus’ voyage in hiscomplaints to Zeus that Odysseus’ men were stealing his cattle. Heliosexplained to Zeus that he wanted revenge on the crew, and Zeus sent down alightning bolt, splitting the ship and causing Odysseus to lose his men andfind shelter on an island, where he would remain for years. Helios, Zeus,and Poseidon favored certain people vengefully, and they chose not to favorOdysseus.Favoritism is another human characteristic that the gods andgoddesses show in ruling the people of Greece. The first instance offavoritism in “The Odyssey” is Athena’s favoritism towards Telemachus,Odysseus’ son, and, in favoring him, she often gave Telemachus advice orinspiration to help him complete the task that he faced. At the beginningof the story, Athena “inspires his (Telemachus’) heart with courage” to goon a voyage to find his father and to control the suitors who plagued hishouse.
In telling him to “be brave,” and giving him advice about a crewfor his voyage, she favored Telemachus by helping him throughout thenarrative poem. The only other person who Athena favored in this mannerwas Odysseus, who Athena favored in a more physical manner, as opposed tothe inspiration that she gave Telemachus. Throughout the epic, whenOdysseus was journeying home to Ithaca, Athena favored Odysseus by helpinghim conquer many obstacles, and, to help Odysseus, Athena would oftendisguise herself and/or Odysseus. On such instance occurs when Odysseusreaches the shore of Ithaca, where he is dressed in the clothing and buildof a beggar to help him enter inconspicuously.
This act helped Odysseusenter his house and eventually kill the suitors to become King of Ithacaagain. The primary example of Athena’s favoritism towards Odysseusappeared at the end of the saga when Odysseus was fighting the suitors.”.
..Concentrating their shots, all six (suitors) hurled (spears) as one butAthena sent the whole salvo wide of the mark.” If Athena had not favoredOdysseus in this instance, he would have been killed by the multitude ofspears that approached him.Although the gods and goddesses controlled the people of Greece, theyalso showed lust towards them. One goddess who acts in this manner isCalypso, who, because she was in love with him, held Odysseus on herisland, Ogygia, forcefully, for seven years. While Odysseus stayed withCalypso, the nymph showed her lust for this mortal by detaining him on theisland and giving him “immortal clothes.
” In spite of the fact thatOdysseus cried every day with thoughts of returning to Ithaca, Calypso’slust was so strong that she dismissed this sadness and continued to detainhim for her own pleasure. Eventually, however, Hermes, the messenger god,told Calypso that she would have to let Odysseus go home; he had beenwithheld long enough. Circe is another goddess who demonstrates thischaracteristic, lust, in the narrative poem. When Odysseus and his menreach her island, she turned them into swine and shows lust towardsOdysseus. When Odysseus forced her to release his men, she lustfully madehim to sleep with her.
After releasing Odysseus’ men, they stayed withCirce for a year until she had to give up her lust for Odysseus by lettingthem go.Although the gods and goddesses of Greece were in a position ofabsolute power, they ruled the mortals with human characteristics. Inbeing vengeful, favoring others, or acting lustfully, the gods are asmortal as divine.
From Poseidon vengefully prolonging Odysseus’ trip toCalypso lustfully detaining Odysseus on her island, many gods and goddessesact in manners similar to mortals. Homer believed that the gods andgoddesses were very much like the people who worshipped them, and theOdyssey exhibits this fact. In conclusion, the gods and goddesses show anequal amount of human qualities as the people who obey and worship them.