Theme Of Manipulation In The Odyssey

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To manipulate is to control or influence a person or situation cleverly or unfairly. Greek literature demonstrates the captivating theme of manipulation at best through the manipulation of mortals by gods and goddesses. Specifically, The Odyssey by Homer illustrates the various ways this theme is portrayed through the main character Odysseus by gods and goddesses who detest him on his journey home to his home, Ithaca. Further, these influences in his life change his fate, mainly as determinants. Evidently, one can see an instance where Odysseus’s fate is influenced for the worse where Poseidon, god of the sea, swears to make Odysseus’s trip home a living nightmare. At a separate juncture, Zeus strikes a lightning bolt on Odysseus’s ship, killing…show more content…
After being trapped with his men inside the cave of Polyphemus, the cyclops, Odysseus uses his metis to devise an escape plan. Odysseus and his men carve out a stake and stab Polyphemus in his only eye while he is passed out from drunkenness. Moments after this task is carried out, Polyphemus prays to Poseidon by bellowing, “Hear me Poseidon...grant that Odysseus...never reaches home. Or if he’s fated to see his people once again...let him come home late and come home a broken man- all shipmates lost…” (Homer 228). Poseidon immediately hears this wish. Because Polyphemus is his son, Poseidon is enraged and carries out this wish, as demonstrated throughout the book. The phrases “never” and “broken man” indicate that both Polyphemos and Poseidon crave the worst possible fate for Odysseus. Poseidon has clearly conveyed his hatred for Odysseus, fueling his course of action for Odysseus’s destruction. All in all, Poseidon is ensuring that his influence will ruin Odysseus and impact his destiny negatively. The journal The Adventures of Odysseus by Ernst Abrahamson demonstrates a similar idea and is exactly about what the title suggests: Odysseus’s journey, travels, and adventures. One specific paragraph of this journal states, “The Wrath of Poseidon means in Homeric language nothing but a hostile sea,” (Abrahamson 316). “The Wrath of Poseidon” alludes to the god of the sea’s rage over the stabbing of Polyphemus's eye and his stopping at nothing to make sure Odysseus pays the price for his actions. In addition, “nothing but a hostile sea” refers to the fact that Poseidon’s revenge will be carried out while Odysseus and his men are still at sea. Both quotations from the novel and the journal manifest corresponding ideas: Poseidon’s outrage and fury from the stabbing of his son’s eye is
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