The Odyssey

1315 Words Apr 23rd, 2008 6 Pages
The Odyssey has captured minds for over 2700 years, and the story of Odysseus shows his determination to fight and conquer obstacles with and without the help of the Gods. The story dates back before 1000B.c. (The Modern Library, 1950, p.VI) His creative and cunning tactics throughout the story show his determination to reach his homeland of Ithaca.
After conquering the Trojan War, Odysseus was told by Poseidon “man is nothing without the gods”. Poseidon felt Odysseus was not thankful for Poseidon’s help with the battle Trojan War. He felt Odysseus needed to be taught a lesson to be more thankful to the gods for their help. Odysseus appeared righteous and gloated that he had conquered Troy on his own. (Hallmark Home Entertainment, 1997,
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As the Cyclops threw boulders at the ship, they ended up sailing in the direction they needed toward Ithaca.
The third conflict was the return of Odysseus to Ithaca. He returned, disguised as a beggar to take back his throne and get Penelope back. With this example, he again received help from a god, the goddess Athena (Fagles, 1996, p. 300). After 20 years, Odysseus returned to Ithaca to learn that suitors had taken over his home in an attempt to steal his throne and gain Penelope’s hand.
When Odysseus landed on the sands of Ithaca, Athena told him she had a scheme to help him and warned him of the trials and suffering that had taken place at his palace (Fagles, 1996, p. 296). Athena for many years had vanished and he was leary of her words, he told her “you’re mocking me”, and he felt that Ithaca was just another kingdom and that was just another test (Fagles, p. 297).
Athena stroked Odysseus with her wand. She shriveled his skin, and covered his body from head to toe with wrinkled hide of an old man. She gave him a staff, a beggar’s sack, torn and tattered and sent him with Telemachus to regain his thrown. She told him she would be there beside him to regain his throne (Fagles, 1996, p. 299).
Athena’s frequent absence from Odysseus contradicted the quotation “man is nothing without the gods”. Athena complimented Odysseus in a worldly, and self possessed manner. She added she could not fight her father’s brother,
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