Revenge is a reoccurring theme throughout the Odyssey. Nearly every motivation for conflict within the Odyssey is because one of the characters is craving revenge. The three main areas of revenge in the first twelve books are as follows. Initially, Zeus prevents Odysseus and his men from returning home. Poseidon also continually chastises Odysseus throughout the entire story. Finally, the key account of revenge the reader sees in the story is from Telemachus in that he feels the need to make the suitors compensate for their impudence to his house as well as his mother. Therefore, each of the characters in the story is put through many hardships which pushes them to seek revenge. However, the major reason why Odysseus and his men are put …show more content…
Fortunately for Odysseus, he had Athena on his side. She pleaded with her father, Zeus, to allow Odysseus to go home and reunite with his family. At this point Zeus finally chose to help Odysseus reach home. Regrettably, Zeus was not the only one holding Odysseus back. In addition to Zeus, Poseidon held Odysseus at fault for blinding his son, the Cyclops. Although, Odysseus and his men had to fight off the Cyclops to survive Poseidon still blamed Odysseus for faulting his son after the fact. When Odysseus and his men arrived they found a monster’s cave which they entered and were unable to locate the host. They observed his cave and found many types of cheeses which they indulged themselves in. When the Cyclops returned, “he hoisted overhead a tremendous, massive slab—no twenty-two wagons, rugged and four-wheeled, could budge that boulder off the ground.” (Homer, 362). The Cyclops, feeling no conscious, ate many of Odysseus’ men. Finally, Odysseus decided to take action. He realized they needed the Cyclops to move the door, but needed to stay alive as well. After Odysseus and his men made the Cyclops very inebriated, they heated a stake and thrust it into the Cyclops eye. After the Cyclops had been blinded the men hid under his sheep as they wandered out into the pasture. At this point on the island, Odysseus had been very smart and told the Cyclops his name was Nobody.
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Homer's great literary classic, The Odyssey, represents and illustrates many emotional and mental values. All of these values can be classified under three different main themes that are constant throughout the epic tale. These themes are: A boy's struggle to be a man, a king's struggle to reclaim his kingdom, and a man's struggle to return home. As one reads this book it will become more and more evident to them that a man's struggle to get home is the most important theme throughout Homer's adventure.
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
Also, in book twelve: Scylla and Charybdis fate is demonstrated once again. Thirdly in the text, at this point Odysseus men disobeyed his order not to eat the plumed sheep’s, and Zeus help him realize that his men are not promising. Odysseus says on page 166, lines 372 to 373,”…so it was to ruin me the [Zeus] lulled me into a cruel sleep, while left to themselves my men planned this awful crime.” Zeus put Odysseus in a deep sleep so that Odysseus could see that his men are not promising; Odysseus men lack strength and they are very greedy. They only care for themselves! Furthermore, Zeus was punishing Odysseus and his men completely by destroying their boat. Odysseus says on page 167, lines 414 thru 416,”… Zeus thundered and struck the vessel with lighting. The whole ship reeled from the blow his bolt and was filled with the smell of sulphur…” This shows that Zeus is the reason why Odysseus couldn’t get home overall, because throughout the book we seen Zeus take charge more than once and that he is above all gods; therefore, Zeus is the reason Odysseus couldn’t get home.
Again, the gods’ warned of revenge if Odysseus’ men did not obey them in not eating the cattle. Yet, while Odysseus was sleeping, Eurylochus convinced Odysseus’ men to eat the cattle (Homer 408). When the Sun god Helios found that Odysseus’ men had slaughtered his cattle, he rallied to the gods to strike revenge on them. Helios sought out revenge by asking Zeus, “’Father Zeus! The rest of you blissful gods who never die-punish them all, that crew of Laertes’ son Odysseus…’”(Homer 409). Zeus responded with vengeance by striking Odysseus’ boat with a lightening bolt and killing his men (Homer 410). By Zeus striking Odysseus’ boat with a lightening bolt and killing his men, the reader is definitely aware of the severity of revenge associated with disobeying a god; especially the most powerful of all gods. This severity greatly shows the important role that revenge plays in the poem and the affect revenge has on Odysseus.
Because of Athena, Odysseus shall sail “home to his native country unharmed” (Book V, line 30). At this, Zeus sends Hermes to tell Calypso she is to let Odysseus go, and allow him to return home.
We know that Odysseus has had problems with the god of the sea Poseidon, as with his son the Cyclops. When Polyphemus eats two of Odysseus’s men, “He knocked them dead like pups.” (Page 220, Homer) the crew knows that he is trouble. Odysseus gets the giant drunk, and when the cyclops asks Odysseus what his name is, he says that he is “Nobody”. The men shove a sharpened stick into the Cyclops’s lone eye and escape. This Cyclops, being Poseidon’s son, was not someone that Odysseus should have crossed. We also see Athena, daughter of Zeus, take pity on Odysseus, and helps him and Telemachus many times, though disguising herself as mentor when talking to
The monsters of Homer’s The Odyssey as written by Robert Fitzgerald all share traits in common, but there is always the small differences which make each close encounter more gripping than the last. When the not-so-glorious Odysseus, son of Laertes just manages to elude the cannibalistic clutches of the blinded Kyklops (IX) and takes to the high seas, he becomes arrogant and taunts his nemesis. He does not realize this, but the very words he uttered then sets the holy executioner upon the necks of his crew. Every island he passes or makes port at, his men become feasts for native monsters; however upon the beautiful island of Aiolia his men are not eaten, nor do they die at the hands of any mortal or immortal foe. What is so significant
The way that their ship was destroyed by Zeus shows how they were punished for actively disrespecting Helios, which conveys how important reverence of the gods was to the Homer and the Ancient Greeks. Lastly, in what is perhaps the epitome of Poseidon’s wrath, Homer conveys the importance of respect for the deities. This value is portrayed in book 13 when Poseidon attacks the Phaeacian ship after they bring Odysseus home, “[striking] her to stone,” and, “[rooting] her to the ocean floor,” (291). This act of violence by Poseidon illustrates just one example of how mortals are punished for disrespect throughout The Odyssey. Because the Phaeacians chose to help Odysseus, thereby contradicting Poseidon and in a sense disrespecting him, they were punished which again, illustrates how disrespecting the gods, however unintentionally, can have disastrous and even deadly consequences. Homer’s use of violence by the gods in these three instances helps to convey the cultural norm of reverence of the gods in Ancient Greece.
Many forms of popular culture today are inspired by themes, characters, and other references in various types of classical literature. John Denver's song 'Calypso'; is about the relationship between men and women, and he bases this comparison on the relationship between Kalypso and Odysseus in Homer's the Odyssey. In 'Calypso'; Denver portrays women in general as being superior to men by using the beautiful and enchanting goddess, Kalypso, from Homer's epic. John Denver encompasses all women in his song by providing Kalypso as a universal symbol. Along with the relationship between Odysseus and Kalypso and men and women, there are other interpreted allusions from the Odyssey to Kalypso's song.
Odysseus’ hubris played a negative role when Odysseus revealed his identity to Polyphemus. Odysseus and his crew had just managed to escape from the Cyclops, Polyphemus, after driving a stake into his eye. But then, Odysseus told the blinded Cyclops his identity by shouting, “Cyclops – if any man on the face of the earth should ask you who blinded you, shamed you so- say Odysseus, raider of cities, he gouged out you eye, Laertes’ son who makes his home in Ithaca” (9, 558-562). Odysseus managed to tell Polyphemus his name, father, and home. Polyphemus then prayed to Poseidon, his father, to get revenge on Odysseus. Poseidon ended up killing Odysseus’ entire crew and delaying Odysseus for 10 years. None of those terrible consequences would have happened if Odysseus had suppressed his enormous pride. Odysseus’ hubris resulted in a lot of suffering for many people. Odysseus’ hubris prevents Odysseus and his crew from getting back to Ithaca again when Odysseus did
The Odyssey gives a great outlook on how a person can develop through time as well as how one’s actions can cause the trouble later and lead to unfortunate circumstances. In the book, there are several cases when Hubris, an excessive pride and arrogance as characteristic of a particular, is shown by different figures. Consequently, this is often followed by Nemesis, as justice has to be determined by the gods for the actions taken to maintain a heroic status, most of the time in form of a punishment. In “The Odyssey” by Homer, Hubris is exhibited by the main character and hero, Odysseus, in the Ancient Greek world, who proves it by his self-confidence in his adventures. Homer uses inter alia alliterations, similes, concrete details, and vivid imagery throughout the
Throughout the Odyssey, the struggles of Odysseus are revealed to the reader through the well written epic. His journey is very difficult and he is haunted with the loss of his entire crew and seemingly impossible task of getting home to his family. While journeying homewards, Odysseus makes the mistake of harming the Cyclops, who happens to be Poseidon's son. Poseidon is so angry at Odysseus for the harm he inflicted on the Cyclops, that through the influence of all powerful Zeus, he punishes Odysseus along with his other children, the Phaeacians, who can be seen to parallel as well as contrast with the Cyclops.
The life of a God, forever bliss, complete happiness: Odysseus slights all of these things in order for him to return to his loving wife and son. The concept of true commitment was a very commendable quality for a Greek hero to possess. With this character trait, Odysseus models the ideal husband, father, and leader. Unfortunately, in today’s society, one rarely encounters such outstanding morality. Being raised in an explicit society, a decrease in certain morals has become fashionable. In particular, the college experience has become accepted as the “wild times” of one’s life. Certain activities ordinarily shunned are now perceived as a learning experience when involving a college student. Drugs and alcohol abuse are commonplace around
Odysseus is no god. He is man, and with that comes the mistakes and errors in all of us. In many situations Odysseus' mortal side is seen. An example of the power of Odysseus coinciding with his human flaws is his battle with Polyphemous the Cyclops (son of Poseidon). After escaping the lure of the lotus-eaters and their island, Odysseus and his men find themselves on another island, rich with food and shelter. After feasting, the men grab a large container of potent wine and go off exploring the new island. Later in their search they stumble across a large cave filled with food. Curious where the owner's whereabouts are the men encourage Odysseus to steal the food. Odysseus (showing his hospitable and genuine character) decides to instead wait for the