The Odyssey

Dios Mio: The Role of the Gods in Human Life

Homer's The Odyssey is the epic tale of Odysseus and his travels home from the Trojan War, facing monsters, mutiny, and other countless setbacks. Throughout the story, Odysseus is stuck maneuvering between two gods, Poseidon and Athena. Their actions provide an interesting look into the role the gods play in the human lives: more like demigods, it would seem, the gods interfere at times, but in general human destiny is in human control, or in the dominion of fate, which is separate and greater than the will of the gods.

The major conflict of the story begins because of the intervention of a god; Poseidon listens to his son's prayer for revenge after Odysseus blinds him, begging that, "should destiny intend he shall see his roof again ... far be that day, and dark the years between," (163) and begins to create trouble. Nonetheless, it is worthy of note that it was not the scheming of a god that led Odysseus astray in the first place. He had no particular need to enter to the cave of the kyklops, nor was he tricked. It was only vanity, curiosity, and greed that goaded him into it, eventually even driving him into revealing his name and, we are left to presume, thereby making the prayer of the kyklops that much...

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