The Odyssey

This is my first time reading The Odyssey by Homer, and starting Homer’s tale was definitely a terrifying task for me. I wasn’t sure of how I would be able to handle the vast amount of Greek mythology contained in this particular book, but I actually managed to understand most of what was happening. With that being said, reading this novel was a new and surprisingly fun experience. With regards to The Odyssey itself, I gained much insight on the challenges that Odysseus was forced to endure. Throughout the course of the novel, Odysseus is required to overcome multiple challenges if he wishes to finally return to his homeland of Ithaca and reunite with his loved ones. The Odyssey reveals how the gods retain all power over the mortals, holding much power over many circumstances. Though perceived as a glorious, strong and superior king notable for his contributions during the Trojan War, Odysseus expresses the underlying pain and grief he feels, as he is constantly being tested and challenged. As his hopes of reaching his homeland becomes seemingly unreachable, the reader begins to learn of Odysseus’ vulnerability to the gods, as well as the power they have over him. At points in the novel he conveys a sense of defeat when he stays with Calypso for a prolonged amount of time; or when he grows powerless upon losing many of his shipmen during the journey home.  He grows defenseless and tiresome of the constant uphill battle he is forced to face, thus almost leading to his defeat and consequent demise. However, Athena constantly helps Odysseus on his journey, and provides him with the strength and optimism to push through his trials. Her role throughout Odysseus’ journey is of great importance, for at the end of the novel she expresses the immense power that the gods have. Athena manages to end the on-going feud in such a simple manner and restores peace between Odysseus and the others. Homer’s piece evidently explores not only the journey of a man’s life, but also that of his family. Aside from journeying with King Odysseus, we additionally grow to understand the affect that his absence has had on Telemachus, Penelope, and all those seemingly significant in his life.

1 thought on “The Odyssey

  1. Good observations :). The gods definitely play a very crucial role in The Odyssey, and I almost felt like they are used to emphasize Odysseus’s humanity by contrast of their great power and immortality. Poseidon certainly conveys the consequences of Odysseus’s decision to remain mortal quite well, with all the hardships he creates. And the importance of Athena’s help and guidance is stressed continually, outlining his mortal need for help.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *