The Role Of Gods In Homer's Odyssey

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In Homer’s epic poem, the Odyssey, we are presented to a number of characters of heroic features. We also meet several gods. However, the presence of these gods can be questioned. Are they really relevant to the plot of the story? As Kearns mentions, the poems are not about the gods, but they are rather about human beings. Indeed, the ancient Greek religion comprises of an utter belief in the gods, whereby devotion to them was the key to success. The gods bring Dike, that is, justice to mankind and decide of the people’s fate. This essay will put forward the idea that the gods as presented in the poem is not as necessary as it may seem. Despite being immortal, the gods have flaws. The poem, on the other hand, also involves feelings and relationships. We will also see why Homer has, therefore deliberately decided to include in the Odyssey, those gods who seldom bring a contribution to the poem. As Kearns mentions further: “If we were thus to reduce the storylines of the Iliad and the Odyssey to the bare essentials, the gods would not have to feature at all” . Humans in the poem…show more content…
127-128). Thus, this blindness causes the gods to be constantly mistaken as men, and vice versa. “Examples abound, then, to show that the gulf between divine and mortal eidenai reveals itself most clearly in men’s inability to see or recognize the gods.” One example would be, as we have seen previously, Athena disguised as mentor coming to help Telemachus find his father back. In Book 6 of the Odyssey, we find an uncertain Odysseus about the fact that Nausicaa is a goddess or a mortal woman. Moreover, in Book 16, Telemachus can barely believe that the man in front of him is actually Odysseus, and not a
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