Most societies, both past and present, worship one or multiple deities. The powers and characteristics of these gods vary among cultures, and the personalities of one society’s deities directly influence the culture and beliefs of its people. The discrepancies between the religions of different civilizations can be observed through the literary works of their religion and mythology. The Judeo-Christian God, who is shown in the Bible to be absolute both in power and in judgment, is antithetical to the Greek gods, who are depicted as having human traits and flaws. In Homer’s Odyssey, many gods are shown to act on their own self-interest, keeping favorites among the mortals and conspiring against other gods. Zeus, however, is portrayed as just
John Ruskin once said, “The first test of truly great man is his humility”. In The Odyssey, an epic poem by Homer, the central character Odysseus learns humility through his failures and growth in obedience making him a hero. Odysseus reaches a heroic status through the lessons learned on his journey, which ultimately taught him the value of obedience and the dangers of arrogance.
There are many themes in both O Brother where Art Thou and the Odyssey which seem to be strongly similar. Many similarities between the characters and their actions surface through their actions. In my essay I will not only compare and contrast the most important elements of the mentioned works, but will also discuss the importance of heroic figures and the less favored themes, such as revenge and foolish fearlessness.
Homer uses the Gods and Goddesses impact on Odysseus to show how redemption can be earned which is illustrated through Foster's quest theory. Circe, Zeus, Poseidon, Athena, and Helios are gods that symbolize mythological ideas, whereas in the Odyssey they symbolize lessons Odysseus needs to learn. Odysseus is a man that is judged by the gods all the time, he is on a journey to get home to his family from war. Odysseus does not always make the best decisions and it gets himself in big trouble. Circe, the goddess of sorcery, “informs him that in order to reach home he must journey to the land of the dead, Hades, and consult the blind prophet Tiresias” (Homer 699). Circe tells Odysseus the future and lets him make the decisions. When he goes to the land of the dead he must make the right choices that will help him reach his stated reason for his quest, which is to go home. Circe symbolizes the idea of Odysseus having to learn to be a better leader and make smarter decisions. He needs to show the gods he is worthy of redemption since he has angered them. Later, Odysseus must go through challenges and trials in each place Circe foretells him to go in order to learn self knowledge, gain his
Throughout the story of Odysseus’s journey told by Homer, there are many defining examples of interaction between humans and their gods. The gods primarily interact with humans by either siding with or against them. The gods would often side with humans since they wanted to help them such as Athena, Goddess of Wisdom, helping Telemachus, Odysseus’s son, whereas the gods seeking revenge such as Poseidon, who sought revenge on Odysseus for slaying his son Polyphemus, would turn against them. While actual interaction between gods and humans seems to be a rather risible idea, there was much guidance given to humans by the gods throughout the Odyssey.
Poseidon, Apollo, Athena, Zeus, and Hermes are all Greek Gods that appear in the epic poem The Odyssey by Homer. These gods all play a significant role in The Odyssey by both helping and hindering Odysseus on his 10-year journey home. Homer illustrates the theme of divine intervention in The Odyssey using Poseidon’s wrath, Athena’s providence, and Hermes’ guidance.
The relationships between the Greek gods and mortals have always been complicated. The gods can be generous and supportive, but also harsh and destructive towards the humans. They claim to be all powerful beings with unlimited power and influence, but in truth, they are far more human than they are perceived. They meddle with human lives, not because they are wise, but because of their own selfish reasons. In Homer’s The Odyssey, gods like Athena and Poseidon interfere with humans to satisfy their own desires, showing that they are just as imperfect and flawed as the mortals that they rule over.
Although Zeus is surrounded by gods who prioritize their own desires and self-interest, Zeus remains the main enforcer of morality which manifests in the forms of enforcing the code of hospitality and the upholding of justice. His sense of morality overrules his self-interest and partiality towards his fellow gods. Zeus maintains his moral values and does not fail to act upon these values when dealing with both gods and mortals, despite the fact that his connections to the gods are deeper than his relationships with humans.
The Odyssey is not only considered one of the most prolific mythological epics of all time, but one of the greatest texts written by man. It recounts the arduous journey of the war hero Odysseus, in which he faced a multitude of adversities and obstacles that he had to overcome, as well as numerous challenges upon his arrival. Divine intervention, or the role of the gods, plays a predominant role in the development of the eventual fate of the main characters; Odysseus, his son, Telemachus and his wife, Penelope. Homer is able to effectively incorporate the employment of divine forces as facilitators in destiny, as well as efficiently engage the readers through his vivid description of the various predicaments faced by Odysseus.
It is often wondered how words are formed or created. Many of our words are derived from different older cultures, like the civilization of Ancient Greece. An example of this is the word museum which comes from the word muse. The Muses were greek goddesses of the fine arts who were prayed to by philosophers, musicians, and artists who seeked inspiration. The Greek poet and author of the famous stories The Iliad and The Odyssey was one of them. In the epic, The Odyssey, Homer displays Ancient Greek values and virtues through his character/hero, Odysseus. Odysseus is a true hero in the eyes of the Ancient Greek Civilization because he was intelligent, loyal, and extremely religious.
The belief system and the presence of God is one of the things many cultures and people have taken for granted. In Homer’s Odyssey, there is a presence of the gods which makes mortal to have the ability to talk to them, see them and even feel their presence around them. In this epic, what fascinated me is how the gods showed love towards odyssey throughout his journey. In the Greece empire, the power of the gods is the most constantly praised which
In the epic poem The Odyssey, Homer portrays Greek gods and goddesses as possessing human qualities and faults. Through their actions and emotions, Homer emphasizes the detrimental effects of lust, envy, wrath, and greed in ancient Grecian society. He also never fails to remind readers of the importance of respect for holy figures because of their powerful abilities to create chaos and wonder". Homer wants to prove that gods and humans share a variety of traits, and the only difference is that god don’t allow these flaws negatively to impact their society. To help further his argument, we can compare Greek gods and goddesses to that of Christianity. These almighty figures are the world’s greatest thing because they never harm humans, they don’t desire sexual needs from mortals, and they don’t expect endless gifts and sacrifices.
In the beginning of the Odyssey, the invocation of the muse brought the reader into the book. In O Brother, Where Art Thou?, it started the mood of the movie. In the Odyssey, Odysseus he 's tremendous pride which can serve as a negative factor in many situations, In the movie, Everett has pride of what people think about him with his over care of his hair. Also, when the men go to the river because they heard the women singing, they were in danger. In the Odyssey, sirens were beautiful women who in the end was a threat , just like the in the film. From what we have seen so far, the similarities between this book and this movie proves that O Brother, Where Art Thou? based the movie on The Odyssey.
The division between humans and gods has always been prevalent and prominent. However, when the actions and motives of these gods are truly analyzed, it will become evident that the gods of Greek Mythology merely behave as humans with supernatural powers. The lives of the gods were motivated the same basic factors of love, anger, and envy. Although their situations with these factors were more drastic due to their abilities, the gods still reacted and behaved similarly to humans.
In Greek society, there are many valued characteristics of the hero Odysseus which are still valued today. These traits may not be as important in today’s modern world, but there is no doubt that Odysseus is an epic hero. In Homer’s The Odyssey, Odysseus proves that he is an epic hero through divine intervention in the Call, where he blinds Polyphemus in the Challenges, and the Atonement, where he goes through a transformation.