Fate and Justice in the Odyssey

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The gods in the Odyssey, though they are gods, do not always act in ways showing they are of a higher power then the mortals. They act out in anger and make rash decisions just like any mortal would. Except for the fact that they have powers way beyond that of any mere mortal, and their actions can have monstrous effects on civilizations. It seems as though they try to fairly dish out punishments to those deserving of them and act in ways befitting of gods, but yet at the same time they still rely on basic emotions and are easily influenced to do things that often create disaster. The gods seem to believe that mortals can for the most part control their own fate and that they are merely there to punish those that do wrong or to sometimes help those that may be meant for greater things and begin to stray from their intended path. They can control the fate of the mortals but do not always choose to. Only when such a mortal is important to the future of a certain situation will the gods interfere. They do however very much so act as sort of a justice system to punish but also reward. Poseidon severely punished Odysseus when he blinded the Cyclops by sending him to Calypso’s island for 10 years and not letting him return home. He then sank the Pheacians ship as it was returning to the harbor to punish them for helping get Odysseus home. Yet at the same time Athena helped Odysseus by going to Zeus and pleading with him to let Odysseus return home. If it wasn’t for Athena’s interference with Odysseus’ fate he would have never completed his journey home. What happened with Odysseus shows perfectly that the gods do not have a set code of morals. They do as they please and punish who they feel deserving, they even contradict each other’s punishments. If one god feels a mortal should be punished, but then another god thinks they shouldn’t the gods will work against each other so that each of them can have their way. The gods feel the same basic emotions that mortals do....
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