This is my second time reading The Odyssey. The first time I read it, three years ago, i felt the story was about Odysseus and the qualities he possessed that made him able to return home after years of suffering, but after reading it again, I notice just how much of a role the gods play. The title, The Odyssey, references, not only Odysseus’ journey but also the journey of the lives of all the characters. Most importantly, it’s a journey that the characters are taken on i.e not the journey they’ve chosen. In the grand scheme of things, the actions of any one character don’t change the outcome that was destined by the gods once Odysseus had been cursed by the cyclops. Odysseus returned home a broken man and all his shipmates were lost just as Poseidon decreed, the Phaeacians were shipwrecked on their way home just as the prophet said and the suitors were killed off one by one just as the omen stipulated. When things looked like they might not line up just as the gods had aligned them, Athena was there to give people courage, to send enemies into confusion, or to disguise someone so the gods’ plan remained secure. Inevitably, whatever the gods wanted to happen came to pass, and it made the actions of the characters somewhat inconsequential. Odysseus even stops trying at one point and sleeps with Circe for an entire year before his men urge him to go home again. Ultimately, each characters personal odyssey wasn’t about fighting to restore balance in their lives, but rather it was about holding on while their lives crumbled around them until that day when the gods decided they had suffered enough. By the end of the book it seemed like everything that happened in the story was all meant to be a lesson to the mortals about the gods’ ability to lift someone to great heights and also to bring them down as Athena ends the impending war with a few stern words.
Hi, I’m Deji, and I’m from Calgary. I’m taking Arts One, History and Sociology this year and I plan to major in Political Science and study law. I like listening to music and playing sports.