The Odyssey was full of wonder, power, and surprises. It is packed with epic heroes, creatures, gods, and goddesses. The gods, goddesses, and creatures had supernatural powers that effected the lives of Odysseus, his crew, and his family. Their actions proved to be powerful, beneficial
, and deadly.
The gods, goddesses
, and creatures in The Odyssey on many occations
proved to be powerful. Zeus, leader of the gods, was a prime example of this. When, "Zeus the lord of cloud roused in the north/ a storm against the ships, and driving veils/ of squall"(p.444, 66-68) , many of Odysseus men died. Another account when Zeus was very powerful was, "Zeus Cronion piled a thunderhead above the ship....then the squall struck whining from the west, with gale force, breaking both forestays"(p.465, 678-682) destroying the ship. When Odysseus tells the Cyclops "Poseidon Lord, who sets the earth a-tremble,/ broke it up on the rocks.....a wind from seaward"(p.450, 254-256) it shows how Poseidon was very powerful. Also how Aeolus gives Odysseus a bag of winds that his men unleash that throw them off course.
Although the gods and goddesses were powerful they were also beneficial .
Zeus was beneficial in the way that he helped Odysseus, "Then Zeus thundered/ overhead, one loud crack for a sign."(p.478, 1032-1033), this sign told Odysseus to start attacking the suitors. The way Circe helps Odysseus in warning him of dangers to come, "Circe foresaw
for us and shared with me,/ so let me tell her
forcast: then we die/ with out eyes open."(p.459, 528-530) She warned of the Sirens, Charybdis, Scylla, and the island of the sun god. Also Athene help Odysseus fight the suitors and win. She also disguises Odysseus to hide him from the suitors and Penelope.
In The Odyssey the gods, goddesses, and creatures proved to be deadly. The six-headed monster, Scylla, killed six of Odysseus' men, "whisking six of my best men from the ship.....She ate them as they shrieked there."(p.464, 652-662) Not far from Scylla was a deadly whirlpool called Charybdis, "dire gorge of the salt-sea tide.....all the sea was like a caldron/ seething over intense fire......when she swallowed the sea water down/ we saw the funnel of the maelstrom."(p.464, 639-645) Also when Zeus was throwing thunderbolts at the ship killing all his men "Zeus let fly/ a bolt against the ship....and all the men were flung into the sea."(p.465, 688-691) Also the Sirens, sea nymphs, lured men to their death on the rocks with sweat songs.
In The Odyssey the gods, goddesses, and monstrs influenced the lives of Odysseus, his men, and his family with their supernatural powers. They showed to be fierce, helpful, and lethal. These episodes in The Odyssey came together to make one of the greatest epics of all time.
Homer. The Odyssey. Understanding Literature. New York: Scribner
Educational Publishers, 1987.