The Birth of the Gods in Homer's Odyssey

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The Birth of the Gods in The Odyssey Prehistoric man did not question his existence and reality - he just lived as one with nature. When prehistoric man awakened from this simple existence into the world of intelligence, he began to question his existence and reality. Homer’s The Odyssey demonstrated man’s attempt to cope with their own nature through the illusion of the gods, by using them to carry their burdens of hopelessness, helplessness, and fallibility. The characters of Homer’s The Odyssey struggled with the ineffable reality of the world, therefore they created gods that could carry the burden of their hopeless quest for understanding. The characters created by Homer, because of their intelligence, were finally able to realize the enormity of their world and the hopelessness of ever understanding it all with their incomplete knowledge. So they created gods that could carry the knowledge and wisdom of their world that was unattainable to them as humans, therefore lifting from their shoulders the burden of hopelessness and instilling within them a desire to live and learn. The existence of the faith in these wisdom bearing gods is shown in The Odyssey when Telemachus says,"...in the lap of the gods these matters lie"(155). Telemachus recognized the common knowledge of that time. The gods had more knowledge and wisdom than humans, and that knowledge and wisdom was unattainable to humans. While the gods held the key to the inexplicable nature of Homer’s world, his characters were able to continue their quest to understand all comprehensible aspects of their world and themselves. When the inexplicable mysteries of the world were no longer a human matter but a matter of the gods, Homer’s characters c... ... middle of paper ... ...out the characters there would be no gods and without gods where would be no characters. Works Cited and Consulted Bloom, Harold , Homer's Odyssey: Edited and with an Introduction, NY, Chelsea House 1988 Heubeck, Alfred, J.B. Hainsworth, et al. A commentary on Homer's Odyssey. 3 Vols. Oxford PA4167 .H4813 1988 Jones, Peter V. Homer's Odyssey : a companion to the translation of Richmond Lattimore. Carbondale, IL : Southern Illinois University Press, c1988. PA4167 .J66 1988 Peradotto, John , Man in the Middle Voice: Name and Narration in the Odyssey, Princeton UP 1990 Stanford, William Bedell. Homer's Odyssey. 2 Vols. Macmillan Thalmann, William G., The Odyssey : an epic of return. New York : Twayne Publishers. PA4167 .T45 1992 Tracy, Stephen V., The story of the Odyssey. Princeton, N.J. : Princeton University Press, c1990. PA4167 .T7 1990
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