Essay PreviewMore ↓
Gaining Power from Others in The Odyssey
Throughout The Odyssey, Odysseus’ power was gained through the power of others resulting in three phases of understanding: self-determination, courage, and having a greater vision in life. In order to understand these three phases, one must be able to conquer predominance from those less useful than others. Although Odysseus was physically strong, he was not who he was mentally, without the help and guidance through the gods. Odysseus was like one who has no friends, but when he meets up with more people, he becomes popular. One who was alone and meets new people, has more friends and finds out more interesting subjects about daily life. They are the ones who have more predominance than others because they know more people and have much more interesting subjects. Odysseus was like this because he didn’t know much without the help and guidance from others.
Once Odysseus has served enough time in a place against his will, he would be determined to leave that place. Odysseus’ journey towards home was now going to be able to be finished. For seven years Calypso held him prisoner on the island of Ogygia and he was determined to leave and see to the rest of his journey. Calypso agrees to let him go and she gives Odysseus some advice and guidance saying, "Only I will not aid [you] on [your] way, for I have no ships fitted with oars, nor crews to bear [you] over the broad oceanridges; but I will freely give [you] counsel and not hide how [you] may come unharmed to [your] own native land"(47). Calypso recognizes Odysseus’ greatness. Calypso says she will give some advice, but Odysseus will have to prove his greatness by making his own ship and understand how he will make it home.
Even though Odysseus was physically strong, at other times he was weak. When the Phaeacians returned Odysseus home, Odysseus not knowing where he was recounted his jewels and gifts. While doing so the Phaeacians were just turned to stone by Poseidon for helping him return home. Odysseus can practically do whatever any god can do but with the help of them. So speaking, Odysseus says to Athena, "And do you stand beside me, inspiring hardy courage, even so as when we tore the shining crown from Troy"(130). When Odysseus was at war with Troy, Athena gave him guidance.
How to Cite this Page
"Free Essays on Homer's Odyssey: Gaining Power from Others in The Odyssey." 123HelpMe.com. 19 Jul 2018
Need Writing Help?
Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.Check your paper »
- Destiny, Fate and Free Will in Homer's Odyssey Fate seems to defy humanity at every turn. A man may have his life planned out to the last second, but then some random force intervenes and he dies the second after he has completed his life plan. Some believe in fate, believing that our lives are predetermined from the moment we are born. Other people believe that everything is random, the result of some god rolling the dice in a universal poker game. Still other people believe that each and every person is in total control of his or her destiny, every step of the way. Who is to say which viewpoint is false? Every culture has a unique perception of the role of fate in our lives, an... [tags: Homer, Odyssey Essays]
2296 words (6.6 pages)
- ... While at times his social status caused him pain, he was determined to increase his knowledge and strive for freedom. Similarly, the Count of Monte Cristo was in a lower social class and unjustly imprisoned. But, while in prison, he was able to increase his range of knowledge. He considered the knowledge he was gaining as a treasure even more valuable than monetary possessions. He says, “My real treasure is…the rays of intelligence you [the Abbé] have elicited from my brain” (Dumas 221). In both cases, Douglass and the Count of Monte Cristo compared knowledge to something as necessary as bread, or valuable as treasure.... [tags: class, systems, power, learning, freedom]
834 words (2.4 pages)
- Fate and Free Will in Homer's Odyssey When we look at Greek Mythology we often run into the gods of that era. Sometimes they are merely backdrops to the human element of the story but in stories such as The Odyssey the gods play a prominent if not vital role to the central themes of the story. Fate has a place in the Greek world but its place is not the same as it is in other scenarios or worlds. It is important to understand the word before we discuss it. Fate as far as Greek mythology goes is not just fate.... [tags: Homer, Odyssey Essays]
1370 words (3.9 pages)
- The Symbolism of Homer's Odyssey Throughout Homer's The Odyssey, many tangible symbols are used to represent abstract ideas. Each symbol that Homer uses has two meanings. The double meanings of these symbols are used to represent Odysseus and Telemachus as they strive to meet each other. While each symbol has a meaning that represents the growth of Telemachus, each one also represents, by another meaning, the growth and development of Odysseus. When they meet for the first time, the symbols, and the character traits that they represent confluence, and the resemblance between Odysseus and Telemachus becomes complete.... [tags: Homer Odyssey Essays]
873 words (2.5 pages)
- Role of the Gods in Homer's Odyssey In "The Odyssey", the gods generally bring about mixed emotions. The humans in the poem are fearful of the gods because of their great power and influence in their lives-if they wanted you to fail, you would. They are like the puppet-masters of the world, they control what happens to each and every person. But, this can also come in handy when you are on the good side of the gods. If you were a favorite of a god, like Odysseus, you had the gods by your side, willing to help you whenever you have problems.... [tags: Homer Odyssey Essays]
440 words (1.3 pages)
- The Journey of Odysseus In Homer's epic The Odyssey, the hero Odysseus attempts to complete his journey home from Troy. On his way home, however, he angers the sea god, Posiedon, who curses him to travel for ten years on the sea, to loose all his men, and to return on a stranger's ship. During the ten years, Odysseus overcomes many hardships, and visits unique destinations in the world along the way. Each place has several symbolic meanings and themes that are found even in today's society.... [tags: Homer, Odyssey Essays]
1192 words (3.4 pages)
- Guidance, Fate, and Loyalty in The Odyssey The Odyssey is an epic poem about a journey. After the Trojan War is won Odysseus leaves Troy for his home in Ithaca. However, the gods decide to test his courage and resolve and send him on a twenty-year odyssey. Odysseus' courage is constantly tested as he struggles with the many obstacles the gods place before him. Although Homer depicted The Odyssey as a self-reliant journey, in reality the gods and other mortals guide Odysseus. It is his loyalty to and his love for his family that keeps him going.... [tags: Homer Odyssey fatody]
1356 words (3.9 pages)
- Odysseus as a Lonely Traveler in Odyssey In Homer's Odyssey, Odysseus represents a traveler in life who is destined to make this journey alone, despite those who aid him, oppose him, or in some way interfered with his destiny. Gods and immortals alike aid him when it suits them, or fromsome feeling they have for him. Some gods and immortals also made Odysseuis's journey as difficult as possible. Some also switched loyalties and arn't very reliable. The Odyssey shows that even though some believe people can make it through life "goin at it alone," eventually people need the help of others.... [tags: Homer Odyssey Essays]
800 words (2.3 pages)
- Does Homer exhibit gender bias in the Odyssey? Is the nature of woman as depicted in the Odyssey in any way revealing. Upon examining the text of the Odyssey for differential treatment on men and women, it becomes necessary to distinguish between three possible conclusions. One, differences in treatment reflect the underlying Homeric thesis that women are "different but equal in nature," Two, different treatment of men and women in the text reflect a thesis that women are "different and unequal in nature" -- arguments about misogyny fall in here but a host of other interpretive possibilities are possible too.... [tags: The Odyssey by Homer]
1828 words (5.2 pages)
- Homer How can one determine a writers feelings about issues by simply reading their literature. Often it seems, one can read more than just the words written on the page. We can read the feeling and emotion the words represent. Homer’s tone in The Odyssey shows his feelings about the past, present, and future of Greece. He portrays Ancient Greece as being overly structured and rigid. He shows the Golden Age he lived in as being perfectly ideal, and balanced. His view of the future predicted chaos, slackness, and confusion.... [tags: Homer]
823 words (2.4 pages)
Once Odysseus hears about something bad, he would be determined to do anything to get rid of that something. As a hawk anticipates catching his pray; so was Odysseus about taking revenge. When Telemachus was with Helen and Menelaus he got the sign of the eagle. On Telemachus’ right flew this eagle and Helen rightly says, "As the eagle caught the goose, -she, fattened in the house; he, coming from the hills where he was born and bred, -so shall Odysseus, through many woes and wanderings, come home and take revenge. Even now, perhaps, he is at home, sowing the seed of ill for all the suitors"(145). Helen, Menelaus’ wife, predicts that Odysseus has returned home. The symbol of the eagle with the goose in his claws symbolizes what Odysseus is going to do to all of the suitors. Once again the eagle is referred to be coming from the mountains and/or trying to kill something. This fits in with Odysseus because he, coming from different lands was trying to figure out a plan to kill the suitors.
Although Odysseus gets very determined, there are times when he was courageous. Even though Hades is the land of the dead, Odysseus has expectations that he can be guided. Odysseus has always been guided under the sunlight and was courageous in knowing that he might be guided in the darkness. Hades was not in the sunlight; it was actually in the darkness. Odysseus was only guided in the sunlight and was trying to find out if he could still be guided in Hades. Hades holds the spirits of the dead and Circe, a sorcerer goddess, once told Odysseus to go there and talk to the dead using a special potion of hers. So Odysseus does what Circe says and talks to Tiresias, a prophet, who predicts what his future might be like. As Tiresias is predicting Odysseus’ future he says, "At home you shall find trouble, -bold men devouring your living, wooing your matchless wife, and offering bridal gifts. Nevertheless, on your return, you surely shall avenge their crimes"(104). This shows that Odysseus can be guided both in the sunlight and in the darkness. He was able to talk to everyone that he knew and he found out about what was going on in his life and what he was missing out on. Odysseus also knows that he might take revenge on everyone who is disloyal to his family.
At many times Odysseus loved to take the hard road, but was sometimes guided not to. When Odysseus and crew were at the house of Circe, she told him what dangers there were going to be one his journey. She told him that there were two paths to take, each with its own difficulties. When Odysseus said that he might take the harder one, Circe said "Foolhardy man! Still bent on war and struggle! Will you not yield even to immortal gods? This is no mortal being, but an immortal woe, -dire, hard, and fierce, and not to be fought down. Courage is nothing; flight is best"(116). Odysseus was just advised not to fight these forces because of the dangers that were involved. It shows that Odysseus just likes to get himself in more danger. But it does show that Odysseus has the courage in dealing with the harder parts.
As the long-tried royal Odysseus wants to tell who he was, he was courageous in knowing that it is best for not saying who he really is. As Odysseus was standing in his house, in the shape of a stranger, he realizes that the people who are very close to him don’t recognize who he is, but his dog Argos, does recognize his master. As Odysseus was conversing with Eumaeus he sees Argos nearby and wonders, "Here lay the dog, this Argos, full of fleas. Yet even now, seeing Odysseus near, he wagged his tail and dropped both ears, but toward his master he had not strength to move"(167). Odysseus feels very sad for his dog Argos, but, he does feel happy when Eumaeus tells him, "…you would be much surprised to see his speed and strength. For nothing could escape him in the forest-depths, no creature that he started…"(167). Argos the dog symbolizes Odysseus. The stranger, Odysseus, was old, just like the dog. Argos was covered with fleas while Odysseus was covered with old rags. Also, Odysseus was loyal to the truth and honored destiny. Odysseus now realized that he saw himself in his own dog, Argos.
Even though Odysseus was courageous, he always finds the greater vision. Although Odysseus has the gods help, his greater vision in life always comes first. As one sees a barrier in the middle of a path, one must work hard to get around it trying to avoid the consequences made by others; so Odysseus finds the greater vision in his journey homeward. Odysseus’ crew only worried about their hungriness and not about the journey homeward for Odysseus. When Odysseus was put to sleep by the gods he did not know what happened that day. He found out that "For six days afterwards my trusty comrades feasted, for they had driven away the best of the Sun’s kine; but when Zeus, the son of Kronos, brought the seventh day round, then the wind ceased to blow a gale, and we in haste embarking put forth on the open sea, setting our mast and hoisting the white sail"(121). Odysseus was upset that his crew had betrayed him and that they had set out for the open sea that day. He remembers about what Circe, a sorcerer goddess had once told him about what would happen to them if they killed the Sun gods’ cows. But it was too late; they were on their way once more into the wide-open sea.
As the gods betray one another, Odysseus never loses the greater vision in his journey. Odysseus rarely ever loses vision of his great journey. When Odysseus and his crew land on the island of the Sun god, his crew was tempted to slew one of the sun gods’ cows. Odysseus’ crew betrays him and slaughters the best of them. Odysseus was upset because his crew was just worrying about their hungriness and not at all about his journey back home. When Odysseus and his crew are back at sea, a storm hits them and Odysseus explains what happens when all of a sudden, "Out of the ship my comrades fell and then like sea-fowl were borne by the side of the black ship along the waves; God cut them off from coming home"(121). Once again destiny takes place in the ship. Odysseus was thankful that he did not join in with his crew in eating the cows because God washed them away. Odysseus on the other hand was left alone to make the journey home by himself.
Even though Odysseus was protected by the gods he was also self-reliant. As Odysseus’ ship was torn to pieces, he managed to hang on to some of those pieces. Though Poseidon made it tougher on him with the storm and waves, he was able to float off into the winds. When Odysseus was thrown off the ship he said, "I myself paced the ship until the surge tore her ribs off the keel, which the waves then carried along dismantled. The mast broke at the keel; but to it clung the backstay, made of ox-hide. With this I bound the two together, keel and mast, and getting a set on these, I drifted before the deadly winds"(121-122). Odysseus shows that he was able to help himself while other gods were trying to kill him. He was self-reliant because Athena was not there to protect or even help him. He was now on his own to finish his journey homeward by himself, just like Zeus had once said.
As one can see, Odysseus’ power was gained through the power of others, especially the gods, resulting in three phases of understanding: self-determination, courage, and having a greater vision in life. Odysseus’ journey home took courage, determination, and seeing a different view of things, or a greater vision. The gods guided Odysseus in order to make his journey home. With the help from Athena and being physically strong, he killed the suitors. Then he was united once more with his family. Once again, Odysseus’ power was gained through the power of others.
Works Cited and Consulted
Bloom, Harold , Homer's Odyssey: Edited and with an Introduction, NY, Chelsea House 1988