Odysseus and Supernatural Beings
Throughout Homer's Odyssey, there are many supernatural beings that interact with Odysseus. These beings play an important role as either advisors, temptations or foes to Odysseus. Throughout his journey he is confronted with conflicts where he is either helped or hindered by these supernatural beings. Below are some examples of the beings that either helped or hindered Odysseus during his journey.
The goddess Athena, goddess of wisdom and war, is the most powerful intelligent and influential woman in Odysseus’s life. She is always at his side. She speaks on behalf of Odysseus, telling Zeus, her father, that her heart breaks for forlorn Odysseus. Odysseus longs to see the curls of smoke rising from his home fires in Ithaca, she says, but Calypso will not loosen her hold on him. She reminds Zeus that Odysseus dedicated many burnt offerings to him at Troy. Swayed by her words, Zeus sends the messenger god, Hermes, to Calypso’s island with a command to release Odysseus. Athena aids Odysseus in many ways throughout his entire journey, like when she changes the course of events that take place when he first meets the princess Nausicaa of Phaeacia. Athena changes the course of the ball that the girls are throwing so that it falls on Odysseus and wakes him up, leading him to meet Nausicaa. Many times Athena convinces Zeus and the other Gods that Odysseus is worth saving.
Perhaps the most formidable foe of Odysseus is the sea god Poseidon, who continually attempts to thwart the efforts of Odysseus to make a safe journey home. On one of Odysseus adventures he angers the great sea god, Poseidon, by blinding his son, Polyphemus, king of a race of one-eyed giants who inhabit the island of Sicily. In retaliation, Poseidon relentlessly torments Odysseus after he leaves Sicily, imperiling his voyage at every turn. He is aware that he cannot kill nor stop Odysseus but continues his efforts to make Odysseus...
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