In Homer’s epic poem The Odyssey, religion affects immensely people’s perceptions of others, because the Greek’s reverence for the gods is an integral part of their culture, and they way they communicate. In Greek culture there are only two options for a person’s character. Odysseus declares,“I want to find out what those men are like, Wild savages with no sense of right or wrong or hospitable folk who fear the gods” (9.170-1). People believe that others either fear the gods, and are therefore nice and hospitable people, or they don’t, in which case they are barbarians, with no ability to differentiate between right and wrong. Fearing and respecting the gods is an essential part of greek culture. As Homer revealed: “give us the gifts that are
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Homer incorporated themes reflective of polytheism, heroes, and society into his poems. Ancient Greek culture is incorporated into his themes by the Greek gods being key characters in his epics. Gods have no moral code or rules of conduct to justify their actions so they are always seen as just and right. This reflects the ancient Greeks view of higher power and that power upon man (Versényi 21). The gods are seen as all powerful except when fate is in play. The gods are seen as weak to the defining power of fate to the protagonist to demonstrate how death is inescapable (Versényi 28). A common theme seen through Homer’s use of polytheism is the lack of peace between each god and they all come together under a common cause, to help
A hero isn’t shaped by his strengths but by the values he possesses. Homer’s epic, The Odyssey, reveals the moral and ethical constitution of the ancient Greeks. Over time, certain cultures have grown to value a number of human characteristics. Those who acquire such values become respected heroes. After the fall of Troy, the protagonist of the epic, Odysseus, set sail for his home, Ithaca, where his faithful wife and son were waiting for him. Over the course of his journey, Odysseus faced some of the most ferocious opponents known to the Greeks. Even through this formidable journey, Odysseus and his family have stayed true to the diverse aspects of the ancient Greeks. The Odyssey exemplifies the human ideals of hospitality, loyalty and
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.
Homer’s The Odyssey and The Holy Bible, are writings from the ancient civilizations! The proximity regarding similar narratives between the two publications has produced curiosity in inquiring minds. Interchangeable associations of both texts have prompted an investigation to explain why this literary phenomenon has occurred.
Homer 's epic, 'The Odyssey ', is a lengthy poem that recounts the Trojan war hero, Odysseus ' arduous and protracted journey home to Ithaca. In it, Homer accentuates the somewhat feudal nature of his world, a societal structure that far more resembles his own than that which actually existed in Mycenaean Greece, less to supplement the story, but rather to serve as the primary focus. Despite the feudal qualities of the world that Homer relates, the poem is almost entirely devoid of class conscious thinking. Instead, the primary source of structure comes from the household. The 'Odyssey ' serves as something of a champion for the oixos (Ancient Greek for the household
Homer’s epic poem, “The Odyssey” reveals many aspects of ancient Greek life and culture through character and plot. Through each of the tales circling the life of Odysseus and the Greek people, Homer depicts the history, legends, values, and merits of the ancient Greeks. Greek culture is known to be one of the most flavored and thorough in history, and each facet of it—from religion to ideology to mentalities and beliefs.
In the “Odyssey”, Odysseus goes through obstacles throughout the book that a normal man couldn’t subside. One example is in book 9, his main obstacle that he is trying to face is to escape from being held hostage in a cave by a Cyclops better known as Polyphemus. Odysseus is a archetypal hero, he is also a role model, with an ambition to get to his homeland Ithaca. He goes through resisting temptation and using his intellect and physical strength to get him there, no matter the obstacle nor the negative flaws that he faces. Odysseus put himself and his men in that situation by being curious and wanting to know what kind of land his ship and the winds led him to. This was selfish of him because it cost him some of his men, but a leader and hero has to play that role and some lives will be dealt with on the way. Odysseus says, “The rest of you will stay here while I go with my ship and crew on reconnaissance. I want to find out what those men are like, Wild savages with no sense of right or wrong Or hospitable folk who fear the gods” (Homer 429). Saying this quote alone makes Odysseus a humble man due to the fact that not even a piece of land is going to slow him down on his journey back home.
The gods play an important part in Odysseus’ journey home, bringing him closer and farther from his homeland. They constantly intervene in the lives of the many characters in The Odyssey. Though Odysseus is a hero, the gods control his life. It is as if he were the main character in a video game and the gods are fighting over who controls his life. Personal responsibility is overshadowed by the gods’ eagerness to grab the controller.
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.
In the Hebrew Bible and The Odyssey there are heroic figures that play an important role through out each of the books. These heroic figures from the Bible and The Odyssey have many similarities and differences that reflect the different cultures they are from. These heroes are called upon by greater beings, such as gods, to complete difficult journeys and or tasks that the god has made them destined to complete. Each of these legendary heroes demonstrates a particular culture’s needs. Through these journeys and or tasks they are forced to overcome challenging obstacles and make sacrifices.
Homer’s epic poem The Odyssey follows Odysseus on his long journey home. The Epic also includes the stories of Odysseus’ family left behind: the travels of his son, Telemachus, and how plenty, of what we would now call “home wreckers”, suitors pressured his wife, Penelope, into marrying one of them. The characters are beautifully crafted and the story is truly epic. All the elements presented can bring in any reader from any century, the Cyclops, the Gods, the trickery of Penelope, and the disguises of Odysseus, are all legendary literary hooks . There are many things to learn—about writing, about the world around us, the world ahead of us, and the past behind us—from The Odyssey. (26) It is undeniably evident that this ancient text has
There has long been a fashion among critics and historians, including Sir James Frazier and Graham Hancock, to insist upon taking the account of Odysseus' voyage to Hades in Book XI of the Odyssey at near face-value as a description of people and places familiar to a Greek audience of Homer's day. Both linguistics and comparative history have been employed to discover exactly how accurately this originally oral epic conveys this gritty realism. Something, however, is not right with this purely empiric approach. What is missing is an examination through the lens of ancient religious practices. Surely a literary work so teeming with deities-wise Athena, spiteful Poseidon, impish
The stories told in the Iliad and Odyssey are based on stories handed down over several generations, for they preserve (as we have seen) memories of an already quiet far distant past. The two pomes show clear connection in their language and style, in the manner in which their incidents presented, and in the combination of agreement with level, which distinguish their creation.
Through the personification of the forces or in other words gods, Homer’s characters helped themselves feel more connected with both mortal and immortal worlds. Humans straddled two worlds, that of the animals and that of the gods. Homer’s humans came from the world of the animals a world of a non-questioning existence, and these humans were striving to reach the world of the gods in which lay the understanding of their inconceivable existence. By personifying the governing forces of both animals and humans, Homer’s characters were creating a link to both animals and gods, for the "...[gods’] power is over all"(140) . The gods helped the characters in The Odyssey feel comfortable with their position in between two worlds.
The Odyssey by Homer and the Old Testaments: King James Version are two of the most read and most sophisticated pieces of literature that have transcended through generations. While they share similar qualities; both greatly differ as well, especially when it comes to the women characters. Classical historian and professor of classical studies at Wellesley College, Mary Lefkowitz, makes a significant contrast between these two famous writings. She believes that a major difference between the women of each story differ dramatically when it comes to their personality and actions. “[Although] the notion... that a man should be active and aggressive, a women passive and subjected to the control of the men in her family, are expressed in virtually every Greek myth, even the ones in which the women seek to gain control over their own live.…[so] that it is possible to show that the Greeks at least attributed to women a capacity for understanding that we do not alway find in the other great mythological tradition that has influenced Western thought, namely, the Old and New Testaments." (Women in Greek Myth, Mary Lefkowitz). I completely agree with Lefkowitz statement on these characters, it’s very clear that most of the women in the Old Testament are very flat while the Odyssey is full of well rounded characters especially when it comes to Jacob’s wife Rachel and Odysseus 's wife Penelope.