Violence In The Odyssey

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The Hidden Meanings of Violence Violence is seen every day, all around the world. Be it through verbal communication, or physical, it impacts those involved in great ways. In a way, violence is necessary when in need to communicate a strong message or feeling to others. In Ancient Greece, violence was an aspect of everyday life and a common belief was that it was provoked by the Gods. The slaughter of the suitors and the stool throwings in Homer’s The Odyssey convey how violence is necessary to prove one’s worth and how such events are set to occur by destiny rather than by choice. The slaughter of the suitors exhibits the importance of power and how it is only attainable through the use of violence. Odysseus must defeat the suitors if he…show more content…
From early on in the book, Athene establishes her liking and sympathy toward Odysseus when speaking to Zeus, “‘Yet is my heart distressed for wise Odysseus, hapless man, who, long cut off from friends, is meeting hardship upon a sea-encircled island, the navel of the sea’” (2). She is worried about the hero and wishes only the best of fortunes for him on the rest of his travels back home. Along with these feelings of remorse for him, comes also a hate and distrust of the suitors, since they all long to court Odysseus’ wife, Penelope, and obtain the wealth he has. So, when Odysseus is killing the suitors, he is joined by the goddess Athene to ensure his victory in the slaughter. The goddess wanted the hero to be triumphant so much, that she aided him in the massacre. By Athene adding on to the violence and weakening Odysseus’ enemies, she conveys how the slaughter of the suitors was set to have a good outcome for the hero regardless of the gods (278). At first, the goddess refrains from helping Odysseus, and watches from afar disguised as a swallow, to see how the battle is turning out to be (277). But, when she realizes that the suitors greatly outnumber Odysseus and his crew, Athene joins the “war effort” and thanks to her efforts, the battle ends shortly afterward. If Athene…show more content…
Scenes were a large amount of violence is portrayed have deeper meanings than just to punish others. Besides verbal or physical harm, themes are prominently present when extreme emotion is shown. In Homer’s epic, The Odyssey, violence is utilized to demonstrate how to establish one’s position among others and to show how destiny is often determined by the gods rather than mortals. Every lash, strike, or blow given hides a hidden message between the lines. Just like in present day, people have ulterior motives to commit acts of violence, and they are long and complicated instead of short and simple. When faced with an apparent act of violence with inconspicuous meaning, one must think deeper into the situation, for there will always be an underlying

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