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The Impact Gods Make Essay

1007 words - 5 pages

Reading the Odyssey, a reader will marvel at the wonderful feats Odysseus accomplishes. But behind all of these astounding adventures is the presence of the Gods of Olympus who either assist Odysseus in his journey to return to Ithaca or do their best to deter him from his mission. From the powerful gods of Mount Olympus to lesser-known gods, Odysseus seems to attract the attention of many powerful immortal beings. Odysseus is gifted with the ability to recognize the effect the gods have on his journey to get home, and thus, his life. It is said that Odysseus represents all people who live, because they are on their own journeys of life. The impact that the gods have on Odysseus’ life can be ...view middle of the document...

Together, they create a plan to purge Odysseus’ house of the suitors so that he can regain his rightful place as king of Ithaca. Disguised as a beggar by Athena, Odysseus is able to carry out the plan with her assistance. “Of course, I will stand by you; I will not forget you when we are about this business (169).” When the time arrives to fight the suitors in Odysseus’ house, Athena does not immediately step in to fight alongside him. Rather, she prefers to let him test his own strength. Once Athena steps in to fight, Odysseus and his son Telomachus easily win the fight. Although Athena is certainly Odysseus’ protector, she also wants Odysseus to be responsible for his own successes and triumphs.
Poseidon resents Odysseus for blinding his Cyclops son Polyphemus. “The gods were all sorry for him, except Poseidon, god of the sea, who bore a lasting grudge against him all the time until he returned (3).” For this reason, Poseidon wreaks havoc upon Odysseus’ life, so that it will be fraught with suffering. Although it is Odysseus’ destiny that he should return to his wife and son in Ithaca, there is nothing to prevent Poseidon from making his journey extremely difficult. Odysseus cannot escape from Poseidon, for he has to travel by sea to Ithaca. Poseidon creates terrible storms that come very close to breaking Odysseus’ spirit. Poseidon’s monster, the Scylla, kills six of Odysseus’ men. Then, the blind prophet Teiresias informs Odysseus that in order to be reconciled with Poseidon, he must make a journey to a place he has never been before and offer Poseidon a burnt sacrifice. Poseidon also resents mortals who are willing to help Odysseus in his journey back to Ithaca. After Odysseus is safely returned to Ithaca, the Phaiacians’ boat and its crew are turned to stone, and high mountains develop that enclose their island. Despite the numerous trials and tribulations Poseidon bestows upon him,...

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