The Role of The Gods in The Lives of Men Essays

The Role of The Gods in The Lives of Men Essays

Length: 1086 words (3.1 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Strong Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

The role of the gods in the lives of men is very apparent in many works of literature. The gods play a significant, if not dominate role in each and every one of these works. The gods use their powers for many diverse and essential actions. In the numerous works, readers can see the gods determining the events in the lives of men time after time.
In The Odyssey, the Greek Goddess, Athena, uses her power to influence many aspects of the lives of both Odysseus and his son, Telemachus. Athena has an extraordinarily close relationship with Odysseus. She is Odysseus’s guardian. Athena directs Odysseus and Telemachus both physically and mentally throughout their many life changing adventures. In the beginning of the Odyssey, Odysseus is being held by Kalypso on her island. Athena begs her father, Zeus, to send Hermes to make Kalypso release Odysseus so that he may return home to Ithaka. Athena says, “…my own heart is broken for Odysseus, the master mind of war, so long a castaway upon an island… (The Odyssey, Book 1 pg. 226).” While Zeus sends Hermes to demand Odysseus’s release, Athena, disguised at Mentor, visits Telemachus. She sends Telemachus on a journey to find news of his father which, in turn, keeps him safe from the suitors. When Odysseus is allowed to leave Kalypso’s island on a raft, Poseidon sends out a strong storm because Odysseus has previously blinded his son, Polyphemus. Athena once again steps in to help Odysseus. She controls the winds so that he washes upon the shore of the Island of Scheria. When he reaches the shore, Athena send Odysseus into a deep sleep. While Odysseus is resting, Athena goes to Nausikkaa, a princess, in a dream and tells her to go to the river and there she will find Odysseus. To do this, ...

... middle of paper ...

...sent a treaty immediately. Lysistrata begins making a speech in which she states that they live in the same area and worship the same gods and kill one another like savages anyway. The commonalities between the two forces should bring them together not lead them into a war against one another. The fact that the two forces worship the same gods shows that they are not having a war to honor the gods, and therefore should not be at work. The role of the gods in Lysistrata is to provide a reason to keep peace between the forces of men and even go as far as to unify them in the worship of their gods.

Works Cited

Lawall, Sarah N., and Maynard Mack. The Norton Anthology of World Literature. Second ed. Vol. A. New York: Norton, 2002. Print.

Lawall, Sarah N., and Maynard Mack. The Norton Anthology of World Literature. Second ed. Vol. B. New York: Norton, 2002. Print.

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

The Creation Of The Gods Essay

- The creation of man was only through the will of the gods. As a result of the war between the Titans and Zeus, Hesiod, a prominent writer of the seventh century, catalogues the origins of divine beings and mankind through a history of the events in his poem Theogony. There was some special connection between Prometheus and humanity; it was Prometheus who created man, in the hope of having allies against Zeus. Men are punished for the trickery of Prometheus, not for their own transgressions, as was Adam in the Hebrew Bible....   [tags: Greek mythology, Zeus, Trojan War, Aphrodite]

Strong Essays
1520 words (4.3 pages)

The Dual Role of Gods in The Iliad Essay

- The Dual Role of Gods in The Iliad      With even a cursory exposure to ancient Greek texts, it is obvious that the gods and goddesses are very important in traditional Greek culture. As literary figures in mythos and specific poetry and drama, the gods dabble in the life of man, predict his fate, and routinely thwart any attempt for him to entirely forge his own future. But for those of us who are not extensively schooled in antiquities, it is hard to pinpoint exactly what the gods are to the ancient Greeks, and what they are to us as readers of literature who live outside the culture....   [tags: Iliad essays]

Strong Essays
1147 words (3.3 pages)

The Role of the Gods in Homer's The Iliad Essay

- The Role of the Gods in Homer's The Iliad "We everlasting gods....Ah what chilling blows we suffer-thanks to our own conflicting wills-whenever we show these mortal men some kindness." This exert clearly states what kind of authority Homer has bestowed on his Gods. John Porter said," their constant interference in the lives of the mortals, which seems to cast them in the role of malicious puppeteers, while reducing Homer's heroes to mere pawns in a selfish and often rather petty divine game of one-upmanship." I found it to be quite disturbing imagining these characters fighting in such a mercilous war, giving every ounce of strength they had, and in an instance, all of their efforts could...   [tags: Iliad essays]

Strong Essays
536 words (1.5 pages)

Essay The Role of the Gods in Homer's Odyssey

- The Role of the Gods in Homer's Odyssey Odysseus is a man. He is not a god, yet he seeks protection and assistance from the gods because he knows that it is necessary. The authority of the gods over Odysseus and the other characters in this ancient epic is obvious. Through out the story, we see example after example of the gods intervening in the life of Odysseus. The story opens with Odysseus living on the island of Kalypso. He is being held against his will. He partially submits to her, but will not become her husband....   [tags: Homer Odyssey Essays]

Strong Essays
690 words (2 pages)

Sophocles People Must Take Moral Responsibilty for Their Lives Essay examples

- “Sophocles suggests that while gods can predetermine or influence human action, they do not necessarily define one’s character. People are responsible for finding out who they are and where they belong; they must then take moral responsibility for their lives” (Textbook; pg. 466) Sophocles was a very successful playwright, during his lifetime. His work includes Oedipus Rex and Antigone. Within his plays, he clearly illustrates the difference between appropriate and inappropriate, ancient Greek culture and behavior....   [tags: ancient, gods, religion]

Strong Essays
1057 words (3 pages)

The Twelve Main Olympian Gods Essays

- Most people that learn about the twelve main Olympian gods might think that they are confusing, imperfect, and just down right weird. And they are. They have symbols to represent them but most of the symbols for them have no connection. However, let 's take Zeus for example, one of his symbols is the thunderbolt, Zeus 's most well known symbol. Zeus however is connected to the thunderbolt because he can throw them. Zeus is the god of the sky, lightning, thunder, and justice. Zeus is the king and father of all the gods....   [tags: Greek mythology, Zeus, Hera, Twelve Olympians]

Strong Essays
1210 words (3.5 pages)

The Gods : A Pillar Of Ancient Greek Culture Essays

- Along with politics, religion is something that everyone associates as a pillar of ancient Greek culture. The gods played an enormous role in the everyday lives of the Greeks. Although the fantastical gods of ancient Greece do not exist, the impact the gods had on the greeks was real. One of the best ways to see how the Greeks understood the role of the gods is to read stories or plays from Greek culture. Reading this popular culture of the Greeks makes it clear that the role of the gods was not always the same for everyone....   [tags: Ancient Greece, Homer, Iliad, Achilles]

Strong Essays
1119 words (3.2 pages)

Essay about The Gods, and Zeus Especially, as Spectators in the Iliad

- As spectators we are normally passive onlookers of the action taking place. The only influence we can have over the outcome is by making the participants aware of our support by cheering, or of our anger and frustration at an action by chanting and booing. We place our trust in the officials and referees to ensure that strict guidelines and rules are adhered to throughout the action. As spectators we are also commentators expressing our opinions regarding the actions of the participants and the officials....   [tags: trojans, zeus, poseidon]

Strong Essays
2048 words (5.9 pages)

Ensnared by the Gods in Oedipus Rex Essay

- Ensnared by the Gods in Oedipus Rex    A citizen of Periclean Athens may not have been familiar with the term entrapment, but he or she would surely have recognized the case of Oedipus as such.  The tragedy of Oedipus is that he was ensnared by the gods.  As Teiresias points out, "I say that with those you love best you live in foulest shame unconsciouslyÖ" (italics mine)  God is continuously indicted for having caused Oedipusí troubles.  The chorus asks, "What evil spirit leaped upon your life to your ill-luckÖ?"  And Oedipus himself is well aware of the source of his troubles:  "It was Apollo, friends, Apollo, that brought this bitter bitterness, my sorrows to completion."  Blinded an...   [tags: Oedipus the King Oedipus Rex]

Strong Essays
1143 words (3.3 pages)

Essay on Juggling Gods and Fate

- It is consistently unclear in old world literature, From Homeric epics to Virgil's work the Aeneid, what the relation of fate is to the Pantheon of gods. There seems to be an ongoing debate within the text discussing whether `Fate' is the supreme ruling force in the universe and the controlling element of the lives of men or whether fate is the will of the king of gods, Jupiter. Reasons for this confusion are a bit unclear and could range to anything from a threat by an outside influence holding power over the author, such as Virgil's patron Octavian, a general, public confusion on the matter during the time when the Aeneid was written, or simply the author`s lack of understanding the topic...   [tags: Poetry]

Strong Essays
755 words (2.2 pages)