On his ten-year journey home from the Trojan War, Odysseus runs into everything from sirens to sea monsters to seductresses. Such is life when you anger the sea god Poseidon while trying to sail home (pro tip: not a smart move). Thank the gods for Athena. And don’t even get us started on what he finds when he finally makes it back to Ithaca.
|Author||Homer - Homer|
Fate and Free Will
Justice and Judgement
Lies and Deceit
Tradition and Customs
it. With so much on their plates . . .
. . . you wouldn't think they would have time for anything else but taking care of business.
. . . . . but they sure found time to mess with
Odysseus and his efforts to get back home. So, if it was Odysseus' destiny to return
to Ithaka . . .
. . . why did the gods make it so difficult for him?
Well, it might have had something to do with the "necessary evil of suffering."
According to Greek mythology, pain is the mortal curse of being human.
Odysseus' physical pain, loneliness and emotional anguish . . .
. . . might have been the gods' way of fulfilling that curse...
Or...maybe it was all a test. The gods couldn't let Odysseus be welcomed
back home as a hero . . . . . . without testing his courage . . .
. . . and perseverance. And isn't overcoming mind-blowing obstacles
. . . . . . part of the whole super-hero gig in
the first place? Could be...
... but maybe it was simpler than that. Let's not forget . . .
. . . that Odysseus did do a few things to tick off the gods.
And poking out the eye of somebody's kid . . . . . . isn't exactly the way to get on anybody's
good side. Gods may not be human . . .
. . . but getting a little revenge . . . . . . may have been something they had in
common with us mortals. So, okay, the gods proved a few points while
they messed with our hero. They were bigger and stronger . . .
. . . and a whole lot more powerful. But they did let him get back home eventually.
The question is: why go through all that effort to try and slow him down?
Was it that "mortal curse" thing?
A test of courage?
Or an act of revenge?
Hmm... maybe they were just bored out of their minds. Their lives do last an eternity after
Shmoop amongst yourselves.