The Wrath of Poseidon in Odyssey Essay

1951 Words 8 Pages
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.
When he first sets out on his journey, Odysseus is setting out for war and by the time that war is over, he wants nothing
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Once they have successfully blinded the Cyclops, they ride out on the goats bellies to safety. It is here that Odysseus truly angers the Cyclops, by taunting him from safety on the deck of his ship; this causes the Cyclops to fire rocks at the ship, missing every time. When the Cyclops reaches his breaking point, he raises his arms up to the sky and prays to his father “Hear me Poseidon … if I really am your son and you claim to be my father grant that Odysseus, raider of cities, Laertes son who makes his home in Ithaca, never reaches home.” (Homer 228). Charles Segal states, “The spoken word of the prayer, the invisible and distant fulfillment, proves, after all, the more effective instrument of revenge.”(504). This highlights the fact that, with the wrath of the Poseidon placed upon him, Odysseus will have much more to overcome than just plain brute force of the Cyclops himself. Stavros Frangoulidis infers that it is this prayer that, “Marks the beginning of Odysseus’s troublesome journey back home and, therefore, his odyssey.” (45).
It is at this point in the epic where the anger of Poseidon is unleashed on Odysseus, and from then on, the journey is nothing but a struggle. He is trapped by the goddess Circe, who turns some of his men into pigs. Then, he is forced to make a trip to speak to the…

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