The Odyssey Essay: God's Control Mortals Fate

1471 Words 6 Pages
God's Control Mortals Fate

There are many debates among critics about the gods’ function in society. The gods in The Odyssey appear and reappear throughout the poem, portraying themselves in human form or divine form to mortals. But the reasons why they constantly make appearances in mortals’ lives is unclear. When they do appear, they bring good and bad things for mortals. So, what roles do the gods play in the poem and how do they affect mortals’ lives? According to Wolfgang Kullman, Athena and Zeus indirectly work together to help Odysseus return home. He believes that the gods are acting as friends, attempting to help out their worshippers. Others like Jenny Clay, believes that the gods only care about the gifts offered from mortals
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In secrecy, Athena disguises her true form when she assists Telemakhos: “Owl-eyed Athena saw what to do next. / Assuming the form of Telemakhos, / She went through the town recruiting sailors, / Telling them together by the ship at dusk. / Then she asked Noemon, Phronius’ son, / For a fast ship, and he cheerfully agreed” (2.406-411). Athena puts a lot of effort into helping Telemakhos find his father who is lost at sea. She could have plead to Poseidon, asking him to cease his delay of Odysseus’s passage home, but she chooses to put herself in Telemakhos’s shoes and labor with him through hardships to reach her goal. She constantly intervenes in the lives of Telemakhos and Odysseus, basically controlling their every action. She demands Telemakhos take a certain course of action over another. Athena has had a liking for Odysseus since the very beginning when Odysseus left to fight in Troy. Odysseus exemplifies strong leadership values and a good character, making Athena favor him. Athena recognizes these values and so she decides to guide Odysseus and Telemakhos’s actions for them to meet each other. Telemakhos has no self-confidence in his speech or action so he relies on Athena to guide his every move. If Athena was not there to push Telemakhos to venture out to look for his father, Telemakhos would still have been sitting at home, …show more content…
The suitors want Telemakhos to let his mother go, but in response he confronts them, saying he will get rid of them, hoping they will one day die in his house. Zeus intervenes to assist him: “Telemakhos spoke, and Zeus in answer / Sent forth two eagles from a mountain peak. / They drifted lazily for a while on the wind, / Side by side, with wings outstretched” (2.162-165). The only reason why Zeus intervenes is because he knows it is Odysseus’s fate to return to Ithaca. Everyone knows that Odysseus will return home so Zeus wants to warn the suitors that no matter how hard they try to take over Ithaca, their work will fail. Odysseus is destined to rule Ithaca. This portrays Zeus as the decider of fate because he does not manipulate or control the actions that Telemakhos and Odysseus should take, but instead, Zeus aids Telemakhos by sending a signal to scare the suitors

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