• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Conversation of Actions and Mutual Exchanges in The Odyssey

Extracts from this document...


Agarwal | ________________ Rachit Agarwal Pre-IB English 9 Brown September 18th, 2012 Conversation of Actions and Mutual Exchanges in The Odyssey For some, the concept of retribution and reward from gods is key in the world. This is indirectly shown in The Odyssey by Homer. In this epic, there are many examples showing that characters are greatly affected by the gods when they respond to situations in their experiences in certain ways, but it is equally important to examine the reasons behind these exchanges of actions between the gods and humans. The humans provide services for the gods, and in return, the gods do the same. The relationship of mutual benefit between Odysseus and the gods Kirke, Athena, and Poseidon reveals the role of gods in Greek culture as drastically important in intervening in the lives of humans. When Odysseus is leaving the island of Aeaea to head home, the island goddess Kirke advises Odysseus of many obstacles that he will need to overcome on his journey. ...read more.


She says this many times to various characters, calming them down in times of need. Furthermore, Athena makes visual changes to Odysseus to assist him in carrying out his cunning plans. When Odysseus is with the Phaiakians for the games, Athena ?[pours] out her grace upon him, head and shoulders, height and mass?a splendor awesome to the eyes of the Phaiakians? [8.21-23]. Another instance is when Odysseus plans to disguise himself to confront Eumaios. ?? [Athena]? shriveled the clear skin of his arms and legs, made all his hair fall out, cast over him the wrinkled hide of an old man, and bleared both his eyes? [13.538-542]. Essentially, Athena assists Odysseus in completing his actions to achieve his goals by disguising him. The gods Athena and Kirke clearly have a positive influence on Odysseus. However, Odysseus is negatively affected to the extreme by Poseidon. With near-fatal consequences, Poseidon, one of the main antagonists of the story, attempts to sabotage Odysseus? adventure home. For one thing, ?Poseidon, god of earthquake? the island-shaker? struck [the ship] into stone? [13.199-204]. ...read more.


This shows the Greek value of heroism in people. Since both the gods and heroic characteristics are representative of Greek culture, they are similar. Ergo, Athena and Odysseus are ?similar? in the same way, so presumably Athena helps Odysseus because he embodies the same Greek values that the goddess symbolizes. Essentially, Odysseus is the epitome of Greek values. However, it is also important to note that the gods give the humans some flexibility in making their own decisions, so that they can learn from their experiences and test or evaluate their skills in the real world (like Kirke did with Odysseus). When minstrels passed on the epic stories, it is probable that they wished to pass on the Greek culture onto the next generation. Indeed, this was the overall purpose of Homer?s Odyssey: expressing values, conventions, and culture of the Greeks through a complex and heroic story represented as an ?epic.? Homer connects and combines various stories and characters to tell a story that is a symbol for Greek culture itself. The importance of passing on culture in any society in this world is reflected upon by Marcus Garvey: ?A people without the knowledge of their past history, origin and culture is like a tree without roots. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our International Baccalaureate World Literature section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related International Baccalaureate World Literature essays

  1. 100 plus maketing plan

    Value based Pricing: The company sets its target price based on customer perceptions of the product value. The targeted value and price then drive decisions about product design and what cost can be incurred. As a result pricing begins with analyzing consumer needs and value perceptions, and price is set to match consumer's perceived value.

  2. Hamlet Journal - rewriting key passages from the play

    I need to see his guilt. I totally think this is going to back fire. What happens if Claudius finds out why you are doing this play? Although you hate him, he is he King right? That means he can have you murdered.

  1. WIT Essay_Zorba the Greek_Personification of Dyonisian and Epicurean Values in Zorba

    The other significant aspect of Epicureanism is the indifference toward death; according to Epicureanism there is no after life. Freidrich Nietzsche believed humanity should work to enhance the life of the individual and focus on the realities of the present world.

  2. Roots. "Roots" is the inspirational story, written by Alex Haley. Haley researched his ...

    The seven day harvest festival is upon them and they begin preparing for it. On the last morning of the festival, a half a dozen men enter each hut, and take the boys who are ready for man training away.

  1. The Old English epic poem Beowulf demonstrates the Anglo-Saxon ideal of leadership as personified ...

    Meant to be a wonder of the world forever; It would be his throne-room and there he would dispense His God-given goods to young and old- But not the common land or people?s lives. (67-73) Hrothgar and other kings during the Middles Ages would present warriors with rewards such as gold and armor for their bravery (Napierkowski 504).

  2. Moods, colors and people of the deep blue sea are portrayed in The Sound ...

    three Indians, seated in a circle within the stone room, and pull them into its depths”[23]. Shinji prays to God for him to give him calm seas and “Let me have much knowledge in the ways of sea”[24]. In the same way, Telèmakhos, in book II “walked down along the

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work