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.
They are expected to serve the suitors and put up with their rude demeanor. Furthermore, social traditions like xenia for example are strong, important and sacred. That is the most important reason why Penelope and Telemachus can’t take the suitors out of the palace, despite their disgraceful behavior. This typical realistic scene of Ancient Greece blends with the supernatural throughout the epic. In fact, there are many examples in the Odyssey when fantasy is present in the epic’s reality:
The Odyssey teaches many interesting themes all through the book. I believe the most evident theme was an individual's relation with the gods. “No, it’s the Earth-shaker, Poseidon, unappeased, forever fuming against him for the cyclops whose giant eye he blinded…” (Zeus/page 79/lines 81-83). This piece of evidence proves that Odysseus’ relationship with Poseidon is very poor. Poseidon
Throughout the Odyssey, Odysseus is known through many names from the characters he encounters. For instance, he is known as “raider of cities” (561) implying that Odysseus’ reputation will be known toward other islands that he has blinded a Cyclops. This means that other people will know and they will beware of Odysseus. Odysseus’ idea of heroism is him spreading his name so people would be terrified of him. Odysseus also says he his is “Laertes’ son” (561) which is saying that he is the King of Ithaca and related to the god, Zeus.
At book 1, she told Telemachus that she is Mentes, lord of Taphian, in order to provide information about Telemachus' father (1.208-246). The reason behind this is obvious: the suitors would notice their conversation and thus would bring great danger to the prince. However, Athena's guise is nothing as the ordinary deceits that mortals have performed, her practice is not all about practicality but also a divine privilege, or it might be Homer's notion of
Who are the Angels and the Devils? In The Odyssey, Homer employs a variety of characteristics to differentiate those who are good and those who are evil. Since The Odyssey takes place in Greek times, the Greek gods must be respected and feared by the mortals and those who disobey their rules are evil and are punished. In addition, The Odyssey is written by the victors, thus depicting Odysseus as the hero who follows the conventions of a traditional hero as good and survives to pass down tradition. In Homer’s The Odyssey, good is depicted by Odysseus who is victorious by following the conventions of traditional heroism and respecting the gods meanwhile, evil struggles to meet this criteria.
The stories of Arachne, Hippolytus, and Odysseus consistently show the disastrous effects of defying social hierarchal norms like irreverence toward one’s superiors. The epic of Odysseus showcases the potential of reward after the dismissal of hubris and the reinstatement of devotion to the gods. While one may be justified in one’s egotism, these stories in classical mythology send the message to citizens of ancient Greece and Rome that above all, one must abide by the rules within hierarchal power structures and pay due respect to those at the heads of
King Theseus accuses Creon of hubris and says, "I know / How guest to host ought to comport himself. / But you disgrace a state, that deserved better --- / Your own ---- by your own act;" (The Theban Plays, 89). Theseus is acknowledging that it is a religious act to provide refuge for those in need. The god of all gods, Zeus, has the epithet God of Guests which shows the importance of refuge. For Creon to take Oedipus and go against this religious act is hubris to the tenth degree.
An example of this is in Homer’s ‘The Odyssey” where Odysseus tries to persuade his crew to bypass Thrinacia, the island of the sun god Helios, but they were too stubborn and insisted on landing. Due to their ignorance, and refusal to listen to Odysseus they accidentally angered the god Helios and to appease Helios Zeus sent down a thunderbolt on their ship killing all of Odysseus’s crew except himself. This is proof of how this was not entirely his fault, and how his name and reputation of being a hero shouldn’t be
Apollo’s critiques reveal some of the reciprocal nature of Homeric relationships between mortals and the divine, as well as honor’s transactional role in that relationship. Hektor, in life, did the gods honor through pious sacrifices of “oxen and unblemished goats”, yet the gods do Hektor dishonor, by allowing his body to be mercilessly brutalized by Achilles. Here, honor works as a currency, something that can be owed by the gods to mortals. Later in the passage, it is revealed that honor can equally be owed by mortals to the divine, through Achilles’ relationship with the gods. As Apollo’s speech progresses, he addresses why the gods are unjust in their support of Achilles because Achilles’ actions, themselves, are unjust.