Essay on Free Will of the Gods in "The Odyssey"

1374 Words 6 Pages
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.

In the Odyssey, the gods and the mortals defiantly had major issues with each other. The gods and goddesses know they have extreme power and feel the need to prove it as many times as possible. I believe it's a whole
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The mortals are the ants, and Odysseus is the leader ant.

Though the gods have the power to play with the mortals in any which way they choose, the mortals have something stronger, free will. Free will is truly the only thing that mortals have over the gods. Odysseus' free will is what drives him back to Penelope. When Odysseus is with Kalypso on her island he wants to get back to Ithaka especially to be with Penelope. Even the goddess can't make change his feelings. Odysseus might tempererly forget but, something always triggers his memory to remind him of what his heart really longs for, his wife.

"His eyes were never wiped dry of tears,

and the sweet lifetime was drained out of him,

as he wept for a way home,

since the nymph was no longer pleasing to him.

By nights he would lay beside her, of necessity,

In the hollow caverns, against his will, by one who was willing,

But all the days he would sit upon the rocks, at the seaside,

Breaking his heart in tears and lamentation and sorrow."

(Homer, Bk. V, 151-158) Therefore, Kalypso being the philanthropic goddess she is gave

Odysseus what he wanted. She could no longer hold him against his will. The goddess was not enough to make him forget what he missed. Odysseus knows better than anyone does how hard it is to resist temptation.

"For in truth Kalypso, shining among divinities,