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Supremecy Of Ancient Greek Gods As Displayed In The Odyssey

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Upon completion of this epic, many evident and plausible themes could be identified. The one that lingered in my mind best concerned the gods, and the idea of fate vs. freewill. This idea can be expressed through a claim. In The Odyssey, through skyward images, organic similes, and dynamic epithets, Homer muses that deities have supreme control over all actions in the world.

As a result of skyward images, the gods are portrayed as superior to mortals and possess great authority over them. ¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬The first piece of evidence concerned Athena, appearing to Odysseus soon after his arrival within his house. He needs comfort and motivation to tackle the suitors. She provides this and pushes him to carry on productively and courageously. "And at this time Athena, descending from the sky, came down close to him, and wore the shape of a lady." (299) The image of Athena descending from the sky implies that she is coming from a higher place, in terms of either power or physical altitude. When something is higher, a connotation of power and control is often associated with it.

This next image was mentioned when Zeus let loose on Odysseus's raft that was departing from Kalypso's island. "He spoke, and pulled the clouds together ...and staggered the sea, and let loose all the stormblasts of all winds together, and huddled under the cloud scuds land alike and the great water. Night sprang from heaven." (95) In this instance, the words night and heaven are used literally but can be interpreted differently. Night can refer to immense power and force exerted from the heaven, or place where the gods reside.

This last image took the form as a phrase that appeared several times throughout the book, when Zeus was being introduced or mentioned. "Then in turn Zeus who gathers the clouds made answer:" (88) This image clearly implies that Zeus has great control over the natural environment and can make brash decisions with strong follow through. These decisions and follow through can significantly lead to changes and influences in many areas. This was proven many times throughout the epic.

Organic similes are included to further illustrate the great control that the deities encompass. After eating Helios's sacred cattle, ¬¬¬¬¬¬the first simile appeared when Zeus struck Odysseus's ship, which was leaving Helios's island, with thunder and lightning; sending the crew mates into the sea, and eventually killing them. "Zeus, with thunder and lightning together crashed on our vessel, and struck by the thunderbolt of Zeus, she spun in a circle and was all full of brimstone. The men were thrown into the water, and bobbing like sea crows they were washed away on the running waves all along the black ship" (218) The strong reaction from Zeus killed all of the crew mates, preventing the long awaiting homecoming they craved; thus proving Zeus's extreme power over the mortals.

Before the victorious end of the battle, there were significant moments of apprehension because the suitors got into the weaponry. Before severe damage was done to Telemachos and Odysseus, Athena stepped into the battle in the form of Mentor and turned the tables. This simile appeared shortly after the conclusion of the battle. "You would have been cheered to see him, spattered over with gore and battle filth, like a lion." (336) Without Athena's help there would have been no victory, and perhaps the blood and battle filth on Odysseus would have been negative; possibly implying that he would have perished. The suitors had to be killed, in order for peace to resume on the island of Ithaka, so Athena had to do her part and aide the protagonists in killing the haughty suitors.

This final



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