In his journey, Odysseus is frequently met with obstacles that prolong and disrupt his journey, most of which are created by the gods. An example of this is his captivity on the goddess Kalypso’s island. She keeps him there of her own will despite his opposition, desiring Odysseus as a mate. She “clung to him in her sea-hollowed caves—/ a nymph, immortal and most beautiful,/ who craved him for her own” (Homer I, 23-25). Her selfish actions are recognized by Athena, who tells Zeus “His daughter will not let Odysseus go,/ poor mournful man; she keeps on coaxing him/ with her beguiling talk, to turn his mind from Ithaka” (Homer I, 75-78). In Zeus’s argument, he says “My wor...
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...ed that this would lead to their doom at the hands of Odysseus through Zeus’s omen of eagles. (Homer II, 155-186) They do not heed this warning and are punished in the end by Odysseus with the help of Athena. These situations support his argument, however, there are numerous other situations in which the gods’ intervention is detrimental and due to no fault of a human.
The journey of Odysseus is full of situations in which a god’s intervention is harmful or beneficial and caused by the fault of a human or the impulse of a god. Zeus’s argument is incomplete, as he removes all blame from the gods and places them on humans. These situations prove that a human’s fate lies in the responsibility of both men and gods, with both creating misfortune and providence.
Homer, and Robert Fitzgerald. The Odyssey. Garden City, NY: Anchor/Doubleday, 1961. Print.
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