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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It also shows that he is very aggressive at times, and is willing to wipe out many men in an act of revenge. Odysseus’s plan of death can even reveal his quick temper and rash thinking. He immediately thinks of a plan that would kill every suitor instead of forgiving
Athena was with the suitors, but she never gave both sides an easy way to win. Athena would let the suitors miss Odysseus and in return, she tested Odysseus knowledge of how to win in a battle based on his experiences. Every one of the suitors tried, at least tried to kill Odysseus and one of them was the son of Damastor named Agelaus who was killed by the spear that Odysseus had used in the battle (“Homer”). Odysseus would never harm anybody without any reason, but in this case, he needed to protect his family and carry what the deities wanted him
Imagine being apart from your family for over ten years, fighting for your life in a war, and in the many battles and problems you will face on your way home from war. Would you be able to fight a cyclops, pass a dangerous whirlpool and have to face the fact that your crew betrayed you? In the novel The Odyssey written by Homer, Odysseus must do all of these things and more. He has been away from his wife, son and many other family members for over ten years now, fighting for his life on his journey home after fighting in the Trojan war.
Odysseus has grown from the man he was before, as now he finds comfort and safety in obeying the gods when in the past he did not consider their wishes. Odysseus has only returned due to Athena and he has recognized that and his compliance is founded in his appreciation and respect for her. Odysseus is now a hero due to the obedience he now has to the gods, founded in a sense of humility. Through Odysseus’ experiences on his journey, he learns the value of obedience and dangers of arrogance and ultimately, become a hero through the lessons learned.
Their jealousy got in the way of what was truly right. When finally landing in Ithaca, he learns that loyalty is something that shouldn't be broken, especially when some of the suitors are from Ithaca, Odysseus' own homeland. This means that the suitors are disloyal to their King because they are courting his wife, stealing all his food, and slaughtering his animals for their feasts. Most importantly, they are plotting to kill Telemachus and Odysseus if he is ever to return to the island. He learns that the only way he can show that he is a firm leader is to reveal to all of Ithaca who he truly is.
Homer’s poem The Odyssey is about a warrior who has not been home from the Trojan War in twenty years. He is held from home by Poseidon by several monsters and other challenges. When he returns home, he finds that his house has been overtaken by suitors trying to marry his wife. The Odyssey has many examples of figurative language in the text.
There are many themes in both O Brother where Art Thou and the Odyssey which seem to be strongly similar. Many similarities between the characters and their actions surface through their actions. In my essay I will not only compare and contrast the most important elements of the mentioned works, but will also discuss the importance of heroic figures and the less favored themes, such as revenge and foolish fearlessness. It is important to note that both works are taken place during hard times. Odysseus’ journey is dated around 1200 BCE, or the ‘Dark Age’.
In the book called The Odyssey by Homer, it mainly follows the story of a king of a village called Ithaca, hundreds of years ago-This man, is named Odysseus. Odysseus goes through many adventures after the victory of the Trojan War. However, this is where Odysseus, is not being as strong as a great war hero and a king as he should be. Although Odysseus was seen as a very strong person, physically and mentally, he lacks the appreciation and the care of his crew throughout the trials and didn’t think through many of his actions thoroughly and how they would affect not only his crew but people around him.
While Odysseus’ actions taken to punish the suitors may appear immoral in modern society, by considering the ways in which modern society differs from Homeric society, Odysseus’ actions are just in the context of the poem. As violence has an extremely negative connotation in modern society, the use of the death penalty is morally ambiguous, and is a highly debated topic; however, violence is far more legitimized in the society of the Odyssey, and therefore, death is a far more acceptable form of punishment. This idea is exemplified by the way in which violence is discussed between characters within the Odyssey. In particular, this general acceptance of violence is demonstrated through the fact that many of the characters within the Odyssey share an almost unanimous belief that the suitors should be put to death to pay for their crimes.
A major theme in the Odyssey is reciprocity: people getting what they deserve. Reciprocity is an important theme in the Odyssey because it explains why Odysseus’ journey was very long and treacherous. Eurylochus, Antinous, and Odysseus all suffered consequences due to poorly made actions. Each of them made the wrong decisions which lead to death and a long/adventurous journey. Eurylochus was the first to be killed by Odysseus and his men due to his actions.
At the end of part 2 of the Odyssey, when Odysseus is finally home and confronts the suitors in his home, he decides to slaughter them all for invading his home and courting his wife: “Not for the whole treasures of your fathers, all you enjoy, lands, flocks, or any gold put up by others will I hold my hand. There will be killing till the price is paid” (22.62-64). This quote from Odysseus shows that he was furious at the suitors, and he would allow no other atonement for their crimes except death. While the suitors all did wrong things, their actions did not deserve the death penalty. This shows that Odysseus was not thinking straight and being fair, and this is not something a hero would do.
Athena is known as the goddess of war. Odysseus was aided by her ideas on how to regain power through her tactical skills. The fact that the goddess warrior was on his side through the journey home, reclaiming his land, and killing the suitors was a huge advantage. Athena is very intelligent in how she strategizes and won wars in the past. Some may argue that Odysseus is the real hero but there were many times throughout The Odyssey where he needed Athena’s protection and input of logical ideas.
Here, Odysseus tells Athena that she is all he has left and through her immortal powers, she is the only god still on his side who can help him in his time of need. Therefore, through Athena’s encouraging words, she is able to make Odysseus feel uplifted and more useful, especially as Odysseus is, at this point, very hopeless and miserably
Athena is a major character throughout the book of The Odyssey and is known as the goddess of wisdom and battle. Throughout the course of the book, it is evident that Athena has a weak spot for the main character, Odysseus. Odysseus is trying to return home after the Trojan War, as the other Greek hero’s have already done, however he faces multiple challenges a long the way. Fortunately, for Odysseus, Athena was there to guide him through a few of these troubling situations.