The Odyssey - the Role of the Gods

Topics: Odyssey, Odysseus, Greek mythology Pages: 2 (608 words) Published: April 16, 2013
The Role of the Gods
The role of the Gods is very significant in the Odyssey. The ancient Greeks believed that the Gods were the source of all ideas, and everything that happened, good or bad, happened because of the Gods. However after the Trojan War, Odysseus claimed to the Gods that he did not need them, and he came up with the idea of the wooden horse on his own. This is the sin of hubris and arrogance, one of the sins that angers Gods the most. It is because of this that Poseidon vows to show Odysseus that he is nothing more than a mortal man, and men need the power of the Gods to survive. However according to Zeus, Poseidon cannot kill Odysseus, he can only hinder his journey. It is because of the Gods that Odysseus’ journey home was, in fact, an odyssey. The main Gods that play a part in Odysseus’ journey home are Zeus, Poseidon, Athena and Hermes, however there are also some minor Gods and Goddesses including Circe and Aeolus. Each of these plays their own crucial part in the journey of Odysseus. The role of Athena is to be a guardian to Odysseus, and to guide Telemachus. There are many ways in which Athena helps Odysseus: She is the one that persuades Zeus to free Odysseus from the island of Calypso, she also calms the stormy winds sent by Poseidon. Also, Athena appears to the daughter of King Alcinous in a dream, convincing her to wash her clothes so that she will discover Odysseus washed up on the shore. Finally, when Odysseus arrives home to Ithaca, she disguises him as an old beggar, so he can roam his kingdom unnoticed, and spy on the suitors of his wife. Athena also plays a crucial role in the life of Telemachus. When Telemachus wants to find more information on his father, Athena appears to him as a family friend Mentor, encouraging him to seek the wisdom of Nestor and Menelaus. She also sends favourable winds to help him on his way. The role of Poseidon is equally as important. It is his job to set obstacles and tasks to prevent Odysseus from...
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