People in ancient Greece, like many modern religious individuals, blame their misfortune on their gods. Unlike modern theology, though, Greeks also have Fate to blame. The gods and Fates both work together and against each other to control human lives in Greek literature. The Fates’ prophecies set outlines for human lives, like when they survive, who they kill, and how they die. The gods have the power to effect all other aspects of human lives. Humans can, in some ways, reject the attention of the gods. In The Odyssey, Odysseus deals with all three in order to return home. The cause of Odysseus’ decade long journey home from Troy cannot be narrowed down to one entity; instead, it is caused by a complex combination of the gods’ meddling, the fate’s predictions, and humans’ free will. The Fates, gods, and humans in The Odyssey each have a certain role in Odysseus’ problems. In ancient Greece, the Fates are three immortal women who spun every humans’ future. Their prophecies were unavoidable and gods were not allowed to interfere, although they may have the power to. Instead, the gods delay or quicken the Fates’ decisions. They set events into motion, prevent something from happening, or even effect other deities’ actions to change mortal’s lives. Humans, however, seem to have more power over their lives than the gods. They can accept or reject the deities help and even affect the gods’ actions. They are trapped by their destiny, though; every decision they make is in
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In my eyes a hero is a person who shows courage, is humble, does not give up, and is someone everybody can relate to. The protagonist in “The Odyssey” by Homer, Odysseus is a hero because although he is emotional throughout the book and lets his emotions take over his actions, he displays immense courage and perseveres through his journey and hardships.
Gods played a great role back in ancient civilizations and still do so to a certain extent, just not as intensely. Today, we have many different gods and religions, but for the most part, they are not nearly as serious as they were back in the days of Odysseus. Gods were believed by all to run the whole show and could end lives if they chose. Whatever humans did had to reflect on what the Gods would think of it since it was they who controlled the thin line between life and death of every living soul. The relationships between men and Gods are shown as a serious topic in the Odyssey for several reasons and are also shown through several examples. Athena is shown to be the most kind and helpful Goddess for Odysseus and this is shown by her doing all in her power to help him get back home to his family as
In Homer’s Odyssey, the idea of fate is more significant than the idea and sense of duty. Odysseus’s journey begins when Poseidon learns that Odysseus blinded his Cyclops son, Polyphemous while trying to escape from his capture. This enrages the already hot-tempered sea god, damning Odysseus, his men, and his voyage. Poseidon attempts to delay and keep Odysseus from his home, Ithaca. His anger towards Odysseus is so great that Zeus has to step in to save him from the sea-god. Zeus, after Poseidon complains to him about the Phaenecians aiding Odysseus, states “Since for Odysseus now I vowed that he his home should win through many a misery yet utterly bereft not his return; for such your purpose was and decree.” (Homer, Book 13, st. 45) Zeus, in the Odyssey, acts as the hand of fate by preventing Poseidon from further stalling Odysseus’s return home. This is unlike Jupiter in the Aeneid, who dispatches Mercury to remind Aeneus of
The Book of Job and The Odyssey are stories in which two men experience extremely trying times and attempt to navigate their ways’ through it. They face obstacles daunting to anyone such as a cyclops that imprisons Odysseus and his men in a cave and tries to eat them. Odysseus does whatever he can to overcome the obstacles in his journey. Job is faced with watching his entire family and livestock die from natural disasters and marauders, seemingly out of nowhere. Job does what he knows best to overcome his journey. Both Odysseus and Job eventually make it through their journeys, and receive happy endings. They do it in very different ways however. This is because they have differing beliefs on destiny. Here in lies the most significant difference between Odysseus and Job. Odysseus believes his destiny is in his hands and in suit does whatever it takes to control his destiny. In contrary, Job believes his destiny is in the hands of God, so he places his faith and goodwill with God. This essay will examine the differing beliefs in destiny between Odysseus and Job as well as their drastically different behaviors that support this claim.
If life, ones actions can determine the depths of their fate. In Homer book of the Odyssey this fate appeared throughout the entire book towards Odysseus and his men. Odysseus and his men couldn’t get back home because of the enigmatic gods. Therefore, fate does control Odysseus life; in particular his journey back to Ithaca.
Every day people make decisions. Some are more important than others, but all decisions have consequences, no matter how small. The decisions that you make, and the decisions others make could affect your life. They may have positive effects, but they may also have negatives effects like in The Odyssey by Homer. In general, Odysseus and his men made some decisions that lead to some very negative effects.
Over the centuries, the concept of fate is constantly being changed to adapt to our current way of living. In modern times the concept of fate is usually connected to the themes of love and romance. However the ancient Greeks recognized fate as an inescapable reality that shaped their lives. The famous playwright, Sophocles, adopts the idea of fate in his plays to control the character’s actions. In both plays, “Oedipus the King” and “Antigone”, the writer uses the concept of fate to show human’s inability to conquer the will of the gods.
Finally, perhaps the most vital and well-known aspect of Greek culture is its religious beliefs and ideologies. Deeply pious in the gods, the Greeks believed the Zeus guarded the world with other Olympian gods, and these higher beings determined each individual’s future. Fate and destiny were believed in, and sacrifices were constantly committed in order to please the gods and gain their favor. Prayers to the gods for aid and help were common. Prophecies were numerous, although accurate ones were rare. And of course, the Greeks believed in the Underworld, a dreadful land with Hades as its ruler. “The Odyssey”, being in a Greek lifestyle, is naturally filled with references to these religious beliefs and thoughts. Odysseus and his companions often made sacrifices to the gods. He visits the Underworld to speak with the blind prophet Tiresias who accurately predicts Odysseus’s travels. Because of the prophet’s words, Odysseus is able to make his journey safely.
As the suitors, Odysseus and anyone who has messed with the gods could tell you, stay on the god’s good side. Odysseus’ journey home in The Odyssey was a great example of how the gods can change everything in a moment.The gods intervening was a big part in the ups and downs of Odysseus’ journey home. The painting Fisherman by the Sea by J.W.M. Turner shows two ships in the ocean fighting strong waves, looking at a light far away. The painting is showing a hopeless ship fighting waves and trying to get home to the light. It connects to the main point because of the long journey caused by the gods.Also, Geoffrey Philp, in his poem “The Cattle of the Sun God” shows a similar point of the power and what can happen if you do not listen to the gods. In Philip’s writing, the poem shows how awful the punishments the gods give can be. “The cattle of The Sun god” is about Odysseus’ crew making a dumb decision and the gods acting as their own system of justice. In the poem, Philip uses the consequences of the mortals mistake to demonstrate the power of the gods.
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.
The Odyssey is an epic poem that showcases the heroic actions contrasted with the grave disasters of Odysseus, a tragic hero on his way home from the war in Troy. The author, Homer, shows through Odysseus’ actions that even a hero such as he, has flaws. Flaws that if not acknowledged and learnt from, can spell grave disaster in the journey yet to come. Many Greeks recognize Odysseus as the most renowned hero of the Trojan war, thanks to his own accounts of his years away from Ithaca. Following the Greek beliefs, many believe that Odysseus couldn’t have kept himself away for so long, for only the gods can do something like this, and Odysseus can’t be the cause of the crew’s deaths, only the gods could be so cruel. While
It is consistently difficult to understand in old world literature, from Homeric epics to Virgil's work, The Aeneid, what the relation of fate is to the Pantheon of gods. There seems to be an ongoing debate within the texts discussing whether "fate" is the supreme ruling force in the universe and the controlling element of the lives of men, or whether fate is the will of the king of gods, Jupiter. In, The Aeneid, several situations and instances of the use of fate are presented to the reader. The direction and destination of Aeneas's course are preordained, and his various sufferings and glories in battle and at sea over the course of the epic merely postpone his unchangeable destiny.
The concept of fate and the influence of gods on mortals’ lives are prominent aspects of Greek mythology. While the gods of Olympus are commonly presented as the primary manipulators of human lives, the Fates are the true creators of destiny. Gods may be able to affect human lives in monumental ways, but predetermined destiny and the Fates’ intentions ultimately reign. The gods have respect for this authority, as well, as they’re aware that a limit on their ability to intervene is necessary to maintain the order of the universe. This leaves one to question the amount of knowledge that the gods themselves have of fate, and whether they have their own free will to refrain from intervening or if they truly must submit to the authority of the Fates and their plans. The gods do have some knowledge of the Fates’ plan, but they are also wise enough to avoid too much interference and therefore don’t necessarily need to be commanded; they sometimes help guide mortals by sending them messages and symbols—and sometimes even influencing them for their own advantage—but ultimate fate cannot be avoided.
The role of the gods/fate in human affairs is a central theme in most works of literature. In Greek literature, particularly, the will of the gods is commonly attributed to human experiences. In Oedipus the King, for instance, the oracle’s message that Oedipus will kill his father and marry his own mother suggests that he was a puppet in the hands of the gods, who manipulated the events that led to his fall. However, the character’s fate is not entirely attributable to the work of the gods. In the play, Oedipus meets his fate due to his determination to unravel the mysteries surrounding the king’s death, despite warnings by the prophet Tiresias and his wife/mother, and his quest to prove the oracles wrong in their declaration that he is
Sophocles’ play “Oedipus Tyrannus” is about how Athenians view their gods and their fate. Athenians believed that their fate was not left up to man, but that is provided solely on the whims their gods. The interesting aspect of this story is not that one believes that fate is real but that fate can be changed by not following the predictions of the oracle (seer/mediator for the god. If fate does take place for whatever reason than one took the wrong step in changing it.