The Odyssey Essay : Fate In The Iliad And The Odyssey

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Fate in the Iliad and the Odyssey Within Homers’ The Iliad and The Odyssey, a recurring theme is the relationship between the will of the gods, and the will of the mortals. The Greek gods, who support and infuse mortals with strength, are shown to have many thoughts about what the future holds. To what extent are these ideas proof of the future? If mortals are fated to do something by the gods, do they have any choice, or free will, in the matter? The gods are involved in the lives of their favorite mortals, and through that, many prophecies and fates surface. Fate is a suggestion from the gods which mortals interpret selfishly. Mortals revere the Olympian gods as the highest power in Greek society; they refer to the gods in every…show more content…
After Odysseus told the suitor of the coming fight, the suitor realizes the danger and begins to leave, but Athena uses her power to stop him from leaving. Odysseus knows of the bloodshed Athena intends for him to cause, but still wants to save someone he believes to be worthy of mercy. Athena, by giving Odysseus this suggestion allows him to not blame himself for any of the bloodshed that he would cause. His ignorance of his own blame is shown after the battle when he orders the disfiguring of Melanthios and does not give a second thought when looking at the carnage he has created. Following the suggestion of a god allows mortals to place the blame of the action, not on themselves, but on the deities that suggested it. This instance of a seemingly fated moment shows that mortals can interpret the words of gods in any way that seems rational to them. Odysseus takes the word of Athena as something that is working toward the goal of bettering his life, which is a self-centered way of understanding her words. By recognizing Athena’s word as a suggestion, Odysseus reveals that no matter what the gods tell mortals, mortals will warp their words into something that benefits the mortal themselves, as well as something they cannot be blamed for. The suggested fate by Athena was interpreted in a way of benefit by Odysseus. During the Trojan War, Achilles is made aware of the circumstances surrounding his death. His death seems to be strictly fated, but it was
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