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Lack Of Free Will In Homer's Odyssey

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For those who fail to adhere to any form of a decree by the Gods, experiencing heightened free will comes at the cost of suffering some form of punishment. Having adequately warned them of perchance of crossing roads with a dangerous fate, Odysseus had reminded his crew-mates to not harm the Cattle of the Sun; however, his starved crew eventually disregards the prophecies of the Gods and the insistences of Odysseus. Although the crew exercises a form of free-will by choosing to do as they wish, starvation compels their subsequent action, not the Gods. In doing so, they trigger the wrath of Helios and Zeus. Homer highlights the severity of disobeying a divine mandate and develops a destructive and punitive tone with the use of utterly obliterative…show more content…
In this case, the misgivings following the escape of the cyclops-inhabited island were the wrath of Poseidon. And while enduring the punishment of one god, Odysseus admits to a lack of free will, “hardly landlocked of…free will,” then reasons, “I…have angered one of the… gods,” and interrogates a nearby immortal, “which one of you blocks my way” (Homer 2006: 148). However, critics might point out that Odysseus was not a definitively pious hero considering his infidelity, excessive cruelty, and tensions with Poseidon, and Odysseus only sought divine intervention in dangerous situations. Where he lacks in piety, Odysseus makes up for in favorable traits–heroic characteristics that appeal to others in his society as well as a number of Gods including Athena, “[Odysseus is] far the best at tactics…and I am famous…for wisdom” (Homer 2006: 389). And with what diminished piety and favorability among the Gods Odysseus has at the end of his journey, he still admits to losing free will when the Gods
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