Ancient Greeks practiced their religion very seriously and ultimately being accepted by a Greek god or goddess was crucial to a Greek mortals life. In Homer’s The Odyssey, the different relationships between Poseidon and Odysseus, Odysseus and Athena and Telemachus and Athena affect whether or not Odysseus’ will fulfill his nostos – his homecoming. When in trouble or doubt, one prays to a higher being. In Ancient Greece, when mortals were in need of answers, clarification or guidance they would pray to the appropriate Greek god or goddess. Mortals, aware of the god’s power feared them and so they often held competitions, festivals and scarification ceremonies in honour of a particular god or goddess. If a god allowed their emotions to take control over them, it could result in something destructive. In the epic The Odyssey, Poseidon became so enraged by Odysseus’ actions that he went to all extremes to delay Odysseus’ nostos for many years. Unlike Poseidon and Odysseus’ relationship, Athena and Telemachus shared a strong relationship. With the victory of the Trojan War, Odysseus achieved his kleos and Athena felt it was necessary for her to assist him on his journey home. Ancient Greeks valued their relationships with the Greek gods.
Poseidon did not approve of Odysseus because of the Trojan War. Poseidon wanted the Trojans to win the war and when the Greeks took over Troy, he was livid. The muses made it evident that Poseidon disliked Odysseus, “Yet all the gods had pities Lord Odysseus, all but Poseidon, raging cold and rough against the brave king till he came ashore at last on his own land” (Fitzgerald 2). In Book five, Odysseus was at sea for seventeen days and when Poseidon realized he was close to civilization h...
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...hips between Poseidon and Odysseus, Odysseus and Athena and Telemachus and Athena affect whether or not Odysseus will complete his nostos. Athena protected both Telemachus and Odysseus in their battle with the suitors, however did not interfere as she foresaw a glorious victory for both father and son. Although Greek gods are immortal, they shared many similarities with humans. Like mortals, the gods experienced feelings of happiness, love, loneliness, anger and jealousy. Homer makes it evident that no mortal should ever underestimate the power of a god. Ancient Greeks viewed the gods as supernatural beings who had the power to alter essentially anything they wanted, whether it was a mortal’s appearance, the destiny of man or the outcome of war. Although Poseidon prolonged Odysseus’ journey, ten years after the Trojan War, the Greek hero finally achieved his nostos.
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