Revenge In Homer's The Odyssey

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In Homer’s The Odyssey, Homer executes his motifs through his characters’ development. The Odyssey exemplifies a prolific journey of the protagonists, Odysseus, as he endures the odds of the ancient Greece to his homeland. Odysseus’s actions capitalize the faults and competence of humans in society. Revenge is one of the epic’s motifs that demonstrate the power emotions can obtain above rational thinking. Revenge is a powerful inhibitor that moves Odysseus and the Greek gods to enforce their pride above others. Homer emphasizes revenge as a strong motivator throughout the epic, through the episodes of Poseidon’s response after Polyphemus’s death and Helios’s cry for Zeus to destroy Odysseus’s crew, to explicate the assertion that revenge is …show more content…
The Cyclops are not an embodiment of civilization, rather the Cyclops live “remote from all companions, knowing none but savage ways” (Robert Fitzgerald 150). There is no recognition of human justice or divine justice, nor are there structure of a proper society, therefore there are no justifications for revenge or justice. The dark episode of Odysseus and Polyphemus defines a moment in which Odysseus shows his greed and pride that costs the lives of his men. Odysseus is far from infallible, though he is that of “a man skilled in all ways contending” (Fitzgerald 1), his indulgence in his pride allows him to falter and inflicts a wrath from Poseidon. Famously, through the use of his cunning, Odysseus fabricates a lucrative plan to escape the hands of the barbaric Polyphemus, however yields to his desire for glory and awakens a vengeful godly force. Homer justifies that there is a fine line between the definitions of justice and revenge. A man must choose one or the other, as in the epic, Poseidon chooses to avenge the death of his son by tormenting Odysseus’s voyage. Homer implies that the pride of a man can not fulfill the desire that men seek, rather there is a continuous need for acknowledgment of man’s feats. Poseidon’s choice to strike revenge against Odyssey stems from the idea that he chooses his emotions rather that the laws of justice. The death of a child inflicts painful and rash decision, therefore fogs their rational mindset. Homer executes the idea of the revenge as a motivator that causes more harm than justice. Revenge does not extract a solution nor is the the death of a loved one truly

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