Which do you think contributes more to the success of the Odyssey, realism or fantasy? (45)
Stories and epics can last throughout time; the Odyssey has proven the test of time. The Odyssey acts as a guide book for the Ancient Greeks but allows modern audiences to still enjoy the content. It helps give an oversight as to the life and morals of the Ancient world. Both realism and fantasy play a part in the Odyssey to create relatable tension and excitable journeys.
The Gods help make and break Odysseus on his journey back to Ithaca. Homer enabled the gods to be anthropomorphic from the outset. The gods assemble a council to discuss Odysseus’ situation thus showing a democratic society that would be desirable to all audiences (almost promoting democracy as something even the gods would do). Zeus and Poseidon prove vengeful and merciful depending on the situation, similarly, Calypso and Circe show jealousy and selfishness when we first meet them on their own isolated islands. Calypso even suffers the injustice of double standards in which she is not permitted to marry a mortal: Odysseus. Gods such Aeolus add tension to the Odyssey as Odysseus’ men do not trust what is in the bag which results in being blown off course to Ithaca. The gods hold human emotions which has consequences on Odysseus throughout his journey, whether it being Ino’s sympathy or Poseidon’s wrath. Gods hold the ability to physically change into any human in the mortal world causing tests to the cities and enables Athena greatly in aiding Odysseus. The significantly differs to a modern audience’s potential view on a God, the Christian God is omnipotent and omnibenevolent. An Ancient audience is shown that the many gods do have the realism of human emotions but the powers to cause physical disasters (such as great waves and storms). This allows an ancient audience to relate more to the gods into how they should behave as well as that morals are important, however, even the gods have weak spots. Homer sustains fantasy and reality when describing the actions and intentions of the gods, merging them together to create his epic.