Essay about Free Will and Fate in the Odyssey

1574 Words Oct 18th, 2011 7 Pages
Homer’s View of Free Will and Fate in the Odyssey 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 …show more content…
All their afflictions come from us, we hear. And what of their own failings?" (Homer 210). Zeus’s take on the way that man blames everything on the Gods is that, truly, it isn’t the Gods’ fault. It is almost like the Gods think that man should take responsibility of their own doings, and not just blame everything on the Gods. In that same tirade, Zeus questions Aigìsthos, because mankind blames the Gods for everything, yet Aigìsthos didn’t take the advice of the well-known messenger Hermes; "We gods had warned him, send down Hermes, our most observant courier, to say: .... Friendly advice-but would Aigìsthos take it?" (Homer 210). So, mankind blames everything on the Gods, yet when presented with advice given by the Gods to man, in this case, Aigìsthos, he doesn’t take it. Odysseus’s fate is still to go home, but it isn’t just because the Gods made his supposed fate to be so, it is because Odysseus is the loyal hero that made the faithful decision. Free will is represented by the choices able to be made by those involved in the myth. In example, when the suitors take over the house of Odysseus, the choices they make to be disgusting, rude, and vile hits them with the violent repercussions that they deserve, meaning slaughter at the hand of Odysseus and his men. The Gods had the choice to interfere with the choices that the suitors were making, but knew that once Telemachus told Odysseus of how
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