Role Of Divine Intervention In The Odyssey

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Surya Govindaswaami Vidya Madavan English A HL 3 May 2016 The Influence of Divine Intervention on the Portrayal of Fate and Free Will in The Odyssey by Homer 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. Divine intervention is a phenomenon widely used in mythological epics. The gods play protagonistic and antagonistic roles; they essentially toy with the character until his fate is evident. Homer utilizes this right from the very beginning; we see Athena coming to the aid of Odysseus when Zeus refuses to have sympathy for him due to the fact that most heroes blame the Gods for their doom; “Aegisthus died the death he deserved… But brave Odysseus’ fate does break my heart” (p.4) Immediately, we witness the effect of divine intervention on Odysseus’ fate take hold. Even before we are introduced

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