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The Gods of the Odyssey: Helpful or Hurtful?

  • Date Submitted: 12/08/2011 05:52 PM
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The Gods of The Odyssey:   Helpful or Hurtful?
Homer’s epic poem The Odyssey is a about the journey of the main character Odysseus, or O., after the Trojan War on his voyage home. On his voyage he comes in contact with many obstacles and creatures such as the Cyclopes and gods. The gods have a big influence in O’s life or death. Some gods try to help him, but others did not. Three examples of these gods would be:   when Circe kept O. for a year, Scylla and Charybdis who work together for destruction, and Athena who helps O. all throughout the voyage, but helps especially when he returns home.
Circe is the goddess that turns all of O’s men into swine. O. has to sleep with her to turn them back but she ends up holding them for a year. The goddess’ voice is so irresistible that O. has his men tie him to the ship just so they can leave. O. commands: “… you are to tie me up, tight as a splint, erect along the long mast, lashed to the mast, and if I shout and beg to be untied, take more turns of the rope to muffle me” (Homer 618). O. says this to his ship mates so that he can finally leave the island and continue on their journey home. Circe was a bad influence on O. and hurts him because she keeps O. and his men for a year for her own personal reasons. This is just one of the gods that O. come across that is not the nicest of the gods. Circe is not that bad compared to the next gods.
Scylla is a six-headed monster and Charybdis is a deathly whirlpool that O. and his men must get around to continue on their journey. This is another example of gods that are not helpful to O. Although it seems that there are a lot of people against O., Odysseus and his man ran into a goddess that gave him advice on how to pass Charybdis and Scylla. She warns:   “…sail toward Scylla’s crag, for it is better to lose six of his men than for all to perish in the whirlpool” (Homer 621). O. and his men take this advice but unfortunately all of O.’s men are kill in the whirlpool. Scylla and...


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