Portions of modern society believe fate to be concrete and unchanging. However, in ancient times, it was believed to be influenced and guided by the actions of the gods. Similarly, in The Iliad by Homer, the actions of the gods influence the life, death, and fate of each and every individual. Gods such as Zeus, Athena and Apollo take great influence in human affairs in The Iliad. These actions cause life, death, sorrow, and triumph to befall various individuals of the story. Achilles’ fate results, solely, from these actions the gods undertake. In particular, the gods influence on Achilles’ fate shows when the gods keep Achilles from killing Agamemnon, staying out of the war, and holding onto his rage.
Free will and fate are both prominent in the Odyssey. In the Odyssey, free will is depicted whenever characters make decisions. In example, Odysseus blinds the Cyclops, Polyphemus. Fate, in the Odyssey, is the consequences that are dealt out due to certain actions. In the case of Odysseus and Polyphemus, the consequence is that when Odysseus is on a ship heading home to reach Ithaca, Poseidon, being the father of Polyphemus, sends a storm at Odysseus being angry that Odysseus blinded his son. In that scenario, Odysseus makes the decision to blind Polyphemus to escape, and in turn, the consequence is that Poseidon attempts to hit him with a storm in the sea. The contrasting themes of
The Iliad and The Odyssey are two epic poems with both similar and different styles to the structure of the poems, as well as each poem having the same gods incorporated into the stories intervening with the day to day lives of the mortals.
The population of mortals have been guided to believe that they possess the ability to construct their own paths on the journey of life -- guided to believe. According to Webster’s dictionary, to guide is to “show or indicate the way to”, however, in reality, it is to be led throughout life. Mortals are constantly overseen by the gods, repeatedly shown the way, continuously led through life, as displayed within the course of the Odyssey. Throughout life, many men have got down on one knee, and turned to the heavens with helplessness, conveying their need for guidance, declaring, “God, give me a sign”. Our submission to the God’s will, even in prayer, illustrates the importance of the idea of fate in our contemporary lives.
Antigone by Sophocles follows an adamant, strong-willed woman attempting to defend her ideal towards death by providing her brother and a traitor to the state, Polynices, a proper burial against the positive law asserted by the King. In the play, Ismene, Antigone’s sister, best exemplifies the suffering engendered by authoritarian repression and over-dependency on the role of fate versus the role of free will. The ramifications pertaining to the characters’ subdued and powerless individuality presents a modern-day parallel to the compulsion Syrian civilians are facing under the tyrannical rule of Bashar al-Assad.
The discussion of free will has been a long-standing debate. Some people believe that humans do not make their own decisions and that they are subject to a higher power’s whim. Well-known author of The Aeneid, Virgil, happens to be one of those people. From reading Virgil’s The Aeneid, you can witness this belief based upon the impact the gods have on the mortal characters. From the god’s interference, Virgil shows that a person’s decisions are not solely what rules their lives.
In Song of Achilles Patroclus and Achilles face the fact that knowing their fate doesn’t scare them; it enhances their perception of the war and their relationship; while their own free will makes the book compelling and down to earth as we read it in their own perspective.
Fate and free will played major parts in creating the characters and stories in many of the Greek mythologies and tragedies. The Greeks believes that the Gods and the Oracle's could predict a person's fate before or after birth, and that no one, even the Gods could intervene in that person's fate. They also believed that a person's or God could not create their own fate. This belief stems from the three fates: sisters, The Moirai or Fates were three sister deities, incarnations of destiny and life. Because of these three old women, fate could not be avoided or altered. As such with these stories, in the Iliad fate leads Achilles down his path of glory and his early demise, and cause Oedipus to sleep with his own mother and kill his father. Free will is the power of acting without constraint and fate; acting by one's own decisions. Even though Achilleus and Oedipus have fate, they both also have free will. For instance, Achilles has a double fate: if he goes home, he will live long without glory or if he stays at Troy, he will have lots of glory, but a short life. As such, in Sophocles Oedipus the King, when Oedipus was born he was fated to kill his father and lay with his mother, thought his ability of free will caused his fate to come true.
The Odyssey is a good example of how fate and free will are interwoven.. In the Odyssey the gods are responsible for controlling many aspects of where the story goes, but the people still have to choose to go. The gods in the Odyssey are who held Odysseus captive for over eight years. They were responsible for his capture in the first place but then refused to let him go for 8 years. They were responsible for his capture and then refused to let him go for almost a decade. When they finally decided to let him go, they told kalypso, his captor. However Odysseus still had to chose to leave. Kalypso tried to keep him with her by offering immortality. “You would stay here, and guard this house, and be immortal” (Homer 267). Odysseus could have stayed but he chose to go. Some say that the gods knew Odysseus would not stay, and that is why they chose to let him go. However Knowledge of a fat does not take away from the fact Odysseus hose himself. That difference between having fate and accepting fate is free will.Once
During the difficult journey Odysseus went through, he solely relied on his strong courage to get through the hard times. When Odysseus and his crew met the cyclopes, he was very intimidating, one because he was much larger than the humans and he could easily kill them all. “His hands reached out and seized two of them, and smashed them to the ground like puppies” Odysseus was surely frightened by this act but, he showed no fear and instead he made a plan to slay the “pitiless hearted” cyclopes.
In life, human nature is the only thing that never changes, even as humans progress and evolve. Humans all have the same wants and needs. We need love, compassion, and we want to be happy. In Homer's the Odyssey, the characters have strong opinions and act out of their own free will, but at the same time, the will of the gods keeps coming up as a force that directs events. Although the gods have power against the mortal's, free will is a force much greater then any other power known to mortals and even the gods.
The third example of fate is when King Agamemnon takes a beautiful woman named Chryseis. Chryseis father Chryses was a priest who favored the god Apollo. He prayed to Apollo, he wanted the Greeks to suffer until his daughter was returned. Apollo answered Chryses’s prayer and he shot one of the greeks with an arrow. That arrow was laced with a plague. It spread through the Greek camp and brought death to many soldiers. On the tenth day King Agamemnon was informed on what apollo had done. He only agreed to give Chryseis back if Achilles gives him his prize as compensation. Achilles didn’t agree but that night King agamemnon sent Chryseis on a ship back home (pg18). The plague was lifted but this is not the end to the Greeks suffering. This is
How does the passage fit into the work from which it is taken - where does it occur, how does it advance the plot, who is speaking, to whom is it addressed?
Oedipus the King by Sophocles is the story of a man who was destined to kill his father and marry his mother. The story continues in the tradition of classic Greek plays, which were based upon the Greeks’ beliefs at the time. The ancient Greeks believed that their gods decided what would ultimately happen to each and every person. Since those gods destined Oedipus to kill his father and marry his mother, Oedipus’ life was definitely fated. However, the gods only decided where Oedipus’ life would eventually lead; they never planned the route he would take to get there. All the decisions that Oedipus made in order to fulfill his destiny, and the decisions he made after the fact, were of his own free will,
Homer’s epic The Iliad, is a great tale of war and glory. It takes place during the last year of the ten year Greek-Trojan war. The Greeks have been fighting with the Trojans for quite some time, and just when peace seemed like a possibility, the youngest prince of Troy, Paris, acts out selfishly and steals the beautiful wife of Menelaus, Helen. This instigates the fighting again. Throughout The Iliad, Homer tells of two heroes, both similar, but also very different in their character; the great and powerful Greek, Achilles, and the strong, loving father, Prince Hector of Troy. In Homer’s The Iliad, Hector and Achilles differ as heroes in regards to pride, duty, and family love, the latter being self-centered and prideful, while the