Essay on Revenge in the Odyssey

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The Greeks, as portrayed by Homer, are a very vengeful people. Throughout The Odyssey, a theme of vengeance is dominant. These displays of retribution come from different entities for fairly different reasons. So why is revenge such a factor in The Odyssey? Fear and the overwhelming feeling of payback are two answers. Homer gives numerous examples of how certain characters demonstrate their power in a fury of rage. He writes of the payback Zeus gives to those who break the rules, of Poseidon’s hatred towards Odysseus, and of Odysseus’s revenge to those who have dishonored his home. Zeus is the most powerful of all gods. All the Greeks with sense know not to cross him. A major practice in their culture is to invite in…show more content…
When Odysseus tries to make it onto the shore of Skheria, Poseidon “…calls up wind / from every quarter, and sends a wall of rain…” (89). Consequently, it is a safe assumption that Poseidon will really have it in for Odysseus. He states, “I thought he should suffer all the way [home]” (233). After Odysseus returns home, Poseidon talks to Zeus and says he wants to put a mountain ring around the city and crush the ship of the Phaiakians. Zeus persuades him otherwise to just turn the boat to stone. For Poseidon, this was all for naught since Odysseus is safe on his home island of Ithaka. Odysseus, now home, must keep his true identity under wraps until he gets rid of the suitors. He also wants to find out for himself how faithful Penelope has been to him. He enters his old palace under the disguise of a beggar; in fact, he gets help from Athena to help him change his physical appearance. Once in the palace, he sees how the suitors have totally overrun his home. He also finds that Penelope has been faithful to him, even using trickery to hold off the suitors for all this time. Odysseus gets his revenge near the end of the story by killing the suitors with his great bow. He also kills every maidservant who has gone to bed with a suitor. This is also a great example of how Zeus puts doom on someone (or in this case a whole group) who abuses the host-guest relationship. With this deed now
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