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How Gods Intervene In Mortals' Lives, And How Fate And Free Will Are Not Mutually Exclusive And They Both Go On Throughout "The Odyssey".

1481 words - 6 pages

Throughout history fate vs. free will has been debated over and over. Do we really have control over our lives, or are there higher beings controlling our lives? When we look at Greek Mythology we often run into the gods of that era. Sometimes they are merely backdrops to the human element of the story, but in The Odyssey, the gods play a prominent if not vital role to the central themes of the story. We must ask ourselves if Odysseus was ruled by his own whims or if he was ruled by fate, this paper aims to open up possibilities and reveal that anything is possible. I would like to believe that there is something great out there and that fate and free will coexist harmoniously, this I believe is the happy medium between fate and free will.Fate has a place in the Greek world but its place is not the same as it is in other scenarios or worlds. It is important to understand the word before we discuss it. Fate as far as Greek mythology goes is not just fate. By most standards fate means that things occur for an unknown reason that no one has any control over. However, in the world of Greek Mythology fate does not just happen. The gods engineer fate and they interfere to make things happen that might not otherwise have happened. Since the players do not always know of the gods' involvement, things may actually appear to be fate but in reality be engineered happenings. Sometimes what they gods make happen is for the best of the person or people involved, but other times the gods just want to watch the mortals struggle and see how they get themselves out of certain situations. In The Odyssey, it is clear that Zeus is just sitting back watching things unfold. It is only after Zeus' daughter Athena involves herself, when Odysseus begins his journey home.Free will on the other hand is not engineered. It speaks to the concept of having full authority over one's aspirations and ultimate direction. The key there is "ultimate." The gods can make up the plan and choose the path, but the people had to walk it. Therefore, fate and free will are not mutually exclusive and they both go on throughout The Odyssey. Odysseus is given the opportunity to become immortal if he would stay with Calypso, but it is his choice to leave, therefore leading him down another path, but again, he had to walk down it.In The Odyssey life is one's own responsibility; instead of leaving all things up to fate, the characters had a significant influence upon his or her own existence. The gods in The Odyssey are the ones who held Odysseus captive for over eight years. They were responsible for his capture in the first place and then refused to let him go for almost a decade. When they finally decided he should be allowed to find his way home they made it known to his captor Calypso. However Odysseus still had to choose to leave. Calypso tried to keep him by offering immortality. Odysseus could have stayed but he chose to go. Some say that the gods knew Odysseus would not stay and that is...

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