Payback and Punishment - the Tale of Revenge in the Odyssey

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The Odyssey
Taylor Wynia
Period 1
English, Mr. Casey
10-26-10
Edmond Dantes, played by Jim Caviezel, gets his revenge against the people who wrongfully sent him to jail and ruined his life in Kevin Reynolds The Count of Monte Cristo. In The Odyssey by Homer, all the characters in Ancient Greece seemed to have some kind of vendetta either against or for the main heroin Odysseus. What factors add up to all this vengeance though? Payback and a need to deliver punishment can force anyone to hold a grudge against someone.

Almost all the characters in The Odyssey, seek payback against somebody. People fear Zeus enough not to disobey the old Greek tradition that he started. Odysseus mentions this as he and his men are in the cave with the Cyclops, son of Poseidon; god of the sea and earthquakes. For example, Odysseus says, “Have care for the Gods' courtesy or Zeus shall avenge the unoffensive guest.” The Cyclops ignores this, causing Zeus to become angered and give Odysseus the power to defeat the one eyed beast. If Odysseus had not wanted revenge against the monster as well, he surely would not have accepted the Gods assistance. In addition, when Odysseus returns home to Ithica he finds over a hundred suitors outside his home hoping for Penelope to marry one of them. He dresses up as a beggar and kills all the suitors in a fight scene with the help of his son, friends, his bow, and Zeus. Zeus was once again angry at someone for not respecting his tradition. Odysseus used his brains, brawn, and the Gods' help to conquer his enemies. Characters in The Odyssey show their need for payback through the Cyclops denying Zeus' tradition, and when Odysseus found the suitors at his home.

The need for punishment is also a huge character trait in The Odyssey. No one likes to be wronged or not listened to, thus they will go through unspeakable and rueful acts to make someone pay. For example, when Odysseus attacked the Cyclops, who, may I remind you, is son of...
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