The personalities of the gods are as broad as there are stars in the heavens, and as such the ways that these gods interact with mortals vary. The purpose of gods intervening with the days of man comes down to two things, good or bad; there are gods who are caring and loving towards mortals while others view man as pawns which they can use for their own personal agenda. A few gods that capture and exemplify the various personalities of the gods can be found in Ovid: The Metamorphoses of Ovid and Homer: The essential Homer: Selections from the Iliad and the Odyssey. Although the ways man and the gods communicate and get each other’s attention are different, there are reoccurring and overarching themes such as desire, and loyalty that make each intervention between gods and mortals similar.
To begin with the differences, both mortal and immortals have their own way of communicating and getting the attention of the another. When the gods wish to communicate and get the attention mortals, they do it in a manner that is a testament to their power. For instance, in The Odyssey, Athena, after helping Odysseus get back to his home island Ithaca, she uses her godly powers to transform herself into a young man so that she could address and answer Odysseus’s questions. This not only shows readers the abilities of Athena but it shows a unique method that the gods can use to get the attention of mortals.
In like manner, when Odysseus and his men were on the island of Thrinacia and were
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Through the sampling of readings from The Norton Anthology of World Literature book, one could come to the realization that in a majority of those stories, the deities seem to influence or even control the outcomes of the heroes, often in a negative manner. In the first epic, Gilgamesh encounters the gods at various times, and in The Iliad, the gods manipulate the Greeks and the Trojans for their own desires and wants.
In ancient Greek culture the gods were seen as taking a very active role in the development and course of human history. The entire Olympian pantheon, as well as many other less important divinities, meddles in human affairs to no end. The people of the many city-states that composed Greece firmly believed that every aberration from normalcy was due to an act of the gods. Homer, the author of The Iliad, coined the prevalent religious beliefs of the time in his epic poems, showing the gods as temperamental and willful, meddlesome and dynamic. Homer’s entire poem is replete with instances of divine intervention in mortal lives, and no single major occurrence comes to pass unless it is the will of one of the many Olympian gods. Few major decisions are made without consulting the gods first, and the handful of instances in which one leader or another takes initiative almost always fails miserably. Life, according to the Greeks, is almost entirely rooted in their religion, as there is a god or goddess governing every aspect of the universe, and also because the gods so actively involve themselves in the everyday lives of mortals.
The relationship between the gods and humanity in The Epic of Gilgamesh and The Odyssey are the same. In each saga, the gods seem to live nearby and are always present. Both epic poems portray humans as simply at the mercy of the gods. The gods feel that it is their duty to intervene if they feel that man is traveling off course from his destiny. However, the gods are not all powerful.
The relationship between gods and mortals in mythology has long been a complicated topic. The gods can be generous and supportive, and also devastating and destructive to any group of humans. Mortals must respect the powers above them that cannot be controlled. The gods rule over destiny, nature, and justice, and need to be recognized and worshipped for the powerful beings as they are. Regardless of one's actions, intentions, and thoughts, the gods in Greek myth have ultimate power and the final decision of justice over nature, mortals, and even each other.
In Greek Mythology hubris is never a good thing to have especially when dealing with a god or goddess. When hubris is exhibited by a human it results in life altering or fatal punishment by the gods and goddesses. The Odyssey and Ovid’s Metamorphoses have human characters who exhibited hubris by boasting, thinking themselves is better than a goddess, and not taking heed to warning which lead to punishment.
In ancient times, gods were a holy image in people’s mind. Each god had its own role in the universe. Such as the role of creation, the controller of the nature, and the role of the destiny control. The gods had extreme powers, and controlled everything in the world. Worshiped gods became a daily routine for ancient people. In the minds of people in ancient times, worshiped their gods were to prevent these gods became furious, and punished them with their extreme power. Even though the gods were extremely powerful, in many epic texts we could see they also had emotions and characteristics that were just like humans. However, there were still some major differences between the gods and humans.
Many authors have employed the religious beliefs of their cultures in literature. The deities contained in Homer’s Odyssey and in the Biblical book of Exodus reflect the nature of the gods in their respective societies. Upon examination of these two works, there are three major areas where the gods of the Greek epic seem to directly contrast the nature of the God of the Israelites: the way problems are solved, the prestige and status that separates the divine from the masses, and the extent of power among the immortal beings.
Many people believe that everything happens for a reason. Some people believe there is a God out there deciding their fate, and others believe it’s their actions that create the path they will take. No matter the idea, everyone has a different relationship with what they believe in. In Gilgamesh, edited by Steven Mitchell, demigod Gilgamesh struggles with his relationship to the gods. When the council of gods kill his best friend, Enkidu, Gilgamesh goes on a difficult journey aiming to become immortal and truly equal to them. His relationship with the gods is complicated because without them, Gilgamesh cannot succeed. Yet somehow, they are also the only thing in his way. In this epic, the relationship between gods and men is filled with tension because the gods have immense power over the humans, including the ability to decide the fate of their entire world.
“Gods can be evil sometimes.” In the play “Oedipus the King”, Sophocles defamed the gods’ reputation, and lowered their status by making them look harmful and evil. It is known that all gods should be perfect and infallible, and should represent justice and equity, but with Oedipus, the gods decided to destroy him and his family for no reason. It might be hard to believe that gods can have humanistic traits, but in fact they do. The gods, especially Apollo, are considered evil by the reader because they destroyed an innocent man’s life and his family. They destroyed Oedipus by controlling his fate, granting people the power of prophecy, telling Oedipus about his fate through the oracle of Apollo, and finally afflicting the people of
Not anything like this event can be found in the Odyssey. The role of the Gods in the affairs of humanity is much greater in the Iliad then in the Odyssey. In the Iliad, the Olympians are continually interfering in the conflict between the Greeks and the Trojans. At best, they view mortals as hilarious pets to be cared for, played with, and loved. At worst, humans are just trade in to be dragging your feet around, sacrificed, and set against each other in order to resolve inter-Olympian ego-clashes.
The concept of fate and the influence of gods on mortals’ lives are prominent aspects of Greek mythology. While the gods of Olympus are commonly presented as the primary manipulators of human lives, the Fates are the true creators of destiny. Gods may be able to affect human lives in monumental ways, but predetermined destiny and the Fates’ intentions ultimately reign. The gods have respect for this authority, as well, as they’re aware that a limit on their ability to intervene is necessary to maintain the order of the universe. This leaves one to question the amount of knowledge that the gods themselves have of fate, and whether they have their own free will to refrain from intervening or if they truly must submit to the authority of the Fates and their plans. The gods do have some knowledge of the Fates’ plan, but they are also wise enough to avoid too much interference and therefore don’t necessarily need to be commanded; they sometimes help guide mortals by sending them messages and symbols—and sometimes even influencing them for their own advantage—but ultimate fate cannot be avoided.
Ancient Greece was filled with so much character, from their religion to even the stories that followed them through generation to generation. One important thing to remember is how they took their religion very seriously and believed very much in their goddesses and their gods. This strong belief carried out into their everyday lives, where they began to believe that everything that happened within their day, was from the gods. With such a love and respect for these gods, they held them up on a pedestal and gave them all their respect and looked at them only as positive. These gods that play a role in their life, often act more as a spiritual guide more than anything. They take on mortal disguises to allow them to help the world without becoming noticed. As we can see in The Odyssey, the relationship between gods and mortals is close knit, but the main difference that is evident, is the power between the two. The gods may not be able to cause death upon a mortal, but they can do everything to lead towards that. In the book, the gods can make or break your day. We see within several relationships between the gods and mortals, that the power from the gods can be not only positive, but also negative. Each mortal has been influenced in some way by the gods, for either the greater good, or bad. Which goes without saying, that the Greek take their theology in believing in the gods, very seriously.
Homer and Ovid are two of the oldest, most influential poets that have ever lived. Although they are both poets, they have several differences in their writings. Homer, a Greek poet, is most famous for his epic poems Iliad and Odyssey. Ovid, a Roman poet, is most famous for Metamorphoses a 15 book poem containing over 250 myths. To compare and contrast these two poets and their writing styles, I will use Achilles’ battle with Hector in Homer’s Iliad book 22 and compare it with Achilles’ battle with Cycnus in Ovid’s Metamorphoses book 12. The comparison of these battles will give us a better understanding of these poets different views on the Trojan War.
In comparison, of Terence’s Andria (The Girl from Andros) and Ovid’s Metamorphosis (Transformations), the audience can understand two distinct roles of women from these authors’ works. Additionally, the audience can also come to see a general role of women in Roman literature. The role of women within these works show slight changes in plays and poetry to represent stronger female characters and developing their own voice.