Posted by: plarson54 | May 11, 2010

Odysseus and the gods

Odysseus is certainly heroic to us mortals in terms of physical courage. What do the gods think of him? Gods don’t necessarily favor mortals because they are heroic – look at Heracles, whose name means “glory of Hera” and who Hera hated all his life.

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Responses

  1. I think that the gods are threaten by Odysseus in a way. Odysseus has definitely proven to all mortals that he has what it takes to defeat against anything. I think it is questionable whether or not the gods like him or not. I think the gods on his journey wanted to give him the hardest time possible to succeed in the journey because they wanted to see if there was anything he could not do. I think that the gods want to help him, but also not want to at the same time. They gave him an extremely hard time, but also helped him throughout his journey.

  2. I agree with Emily that the god’s were testing Odysseus because they wanted to know his strength. I believe the god’s think of themselves as better than all mortals, but were also worried wanted to know if this guy was better than them. They didn’t want to help him to much, because they don’t want him to become a threat to themselves and their power. Although Odysseus does look like invincible to the mortals, I highly doubt he could have done it without the help of gods.

  3. The Gods are not happy with Odysseus. For example, in the part of the movie where Poseidon sends the massive waves we think that it’s for the purpose of killing Odysseus. Poseidon explains to us that Odysseus is nothing without the Gods. This goes for all mankind. The Gods are mainly worried about Odysseus forgetting about them and having his ego get the best of him since he’s known as this amazing hero. What I find weird is that Odysseus calls for Hera multiple times, so clearly he understands that man cannot perform the tasks he faced without the help of the Gods. I wonder why Poseidon doesn’t see this.

  4. I think that some gods like Odysseus and others don’t like him. Hera seems to like him and helps him numerous times, and also helps his son. Posidon doesn’t like him and thinks that gods are better than man and without gods, man would be nothing. Poseidon wants to make sure that Odysseus knows this and knows that gods are important, no matter how heroic mortals may be. He sends a giant wave to make Odysseus suffer. Calypso likes him. Some of the gods help Odysseus on his journey. Zues makes Calypso free Odysseus and Hermes helps him too. And like i mentioned before, Hera.

  5. As Liana said Hera and Hermes seem to like him and are on his side. Hera helped him numerous times, and she helped his son Telemachus. Although Hera is often guided by emotion, as we can see when she convinces Poseidon to call a storm on the greek fleet after the greek army didn’t thank her for her health. Zues trys to be as impartial as possible as possible being the gods of justice, the reason he helped Odysseus was because he was convinced that it was the right thing to do. Poseidon is clearly against him and can hold grudges for a long time. He wants to make Odysseus know that the gods are above him and humans are worthless without the gods. He is useing Odysseus as a cautionary tale so that other humans will respect the gods and say, “make sure you thank the gods, if you don’t you will be punished like Odysseus.” Odysseus is a tad arrogant. He constantly says,”I have nothing to fear me and my men have faced everything,” that is why he seems to be singled out by Poseidon. The gods value wits and bravery, not just courage. In addition to that they want to make sure the humans know their place. The reason Hera did not like Hercules is because he was not the brightest crayon in the box. Hera like Odysseus because he is smart cunning confident and brave.

  6. Throughout this story, there are gods who aid Odysseus in his journey to reach Ithaca, and there are gods who attempt to hinder his mission. That is what I think made Odysseus a Greek hero was the fact that the gods favored him. Take Athena, who disguises Odysseus as an old beggar, or Hermes the messenger, who gives him the magical herb that prevents Circe from using her spells on him. Odysseus also offers sacrifices, such as the ram to gods; if it hadn’t been for the gods, Odysseus would have most likely of been outnumbered by the suitors.
    I think that Odysseus, with the help of the gods, has survive adventures that would kill most other men. I think that he uses a lot of help from the gods, however there were times where he also acted independently to complete the challenges that he faced. Now there were gods such as Poseidon, who disliked Odysseus and held a lot of of contempt and anger towards him in retribution for what he did to Polyphemus. I thinked Poseidon got angrier and angrier every time Odysseus was being assisted by the other gods. All and all though, I feel that most of the gods were happy with Odysseus and willing to aid him on his journey.

  7. Throughout this story, there are gods who aid Odysseus in his journey to reach Ithaca, and there are gods who attempt to hinder his mission. That is what I think made Odysseus a Greek hero was the fact that the gods favored him. Take Athena, who disguises Odysseus as an old beggar, or Hermes the messenger, who gives him the magical herb that prevents Circe from using her spells on him. Odysseus also offers sacrifices, such as the ram to gods; if it hadn’t been for the gods, Odysseus would have most likely of been outnumbered by the suitors.
    I think that Odysseus, with the help of the gods, has survive adventures that would kill most other men. I think that he uses a lot of help from the gods, however there were times where he also acted independently to complete the challenges that he faced. Now there were gods such as Poseidon, who disliked Odysseus and held a lot of of contempt and anger towards him in retribution for what he did to Polyphemus. I think Poseidon got angrier and angrier every time Odysseus was being assisted by the other gods. All and all though, I feel that most of the gods were happy with Odysseus and willing to aid him on his journey.

  8. I think that the gods are very threatened by Odyssesus. Although they do not say it directly, there a definitely clues that can lead to that conclusion. The gods were testing Odysseus and trying to make him suffer and give up. Since Odyssues survived all of their “tests” the gods should be more afraid of him. I agree with Emily, it is questionable weather the gods like him or not, because in some ways Odysseus threatens them so they would want to be nice to him. But, the gods also need to be the highest, which might lead to them not liking Odysseus.

  9. I agree, I think that the gods are threatened by him. I feel like some gods may like him, whereas others don’t, but whether they like him or not, you can see that they are looking out for him and helping him so that he can get back to Ithaca. Although, the gods are higher than everyone else and they wouldn’t want any mortal to get in the way of that.

  10. Odysseus is definitely viewed as a hero to people and to the gods as well. I think that he is viewed as hero to the gods to an extent. As we have seen in the movie, and throughout Greek mythology, the gods hate it when humans act like they are the best of the best. They hate it when mortals act like they are at the top of the chain, and that there is no one better than them and so on. To the gods this is disrespectful and it does not show that the gods are the ones in charge. The gods want it so that the humans, especially the heroes, realize that without them men are nothing. Men need the gods and without the gods men are nothing. Poseidon made that clear with Odysseus. After the Trojan war, Odysseus acted as if him alone had defeated the Trojans. That was hurtful to the gods, and Poseidon who heard him told him that Odysseus would suffer until he understood. Odysseus did not beat the Trojans on his own, the gods were there to help him. Odysseus is in fact a hero but as he forgets that the gods are first, Poseidon (a god) decides to punish him. This is why gods do not always favor mortals, even if they are heroes.

  11. Some of the gods liked Odysseus and other gods did not like Odysseus. Athena admired Odysseus’s mind and courage and really liked him and she helped him at Tory, and when he returned to Ithaca. She helped his son Telemachus because he reminded her of his father. Poseidon did not like Odysseus because Odysseus said that he had not needed the gods in his conquering of Troy and on his long journey home Odysseus had harmed Poseidon’s son Polyphemus. As a result of this Poseidon did not want to kill Odysseus, but rather have him suffer by making his journey home to Ithaca tough, so that it would take 20 years for him to return home. Zeus also liked Odysseus, although he favored the Trojans during the Trojan War, and he was the one who told Hermes to tell Calypso that she must release him from her Island. Plus, most of the gods except for Poseidon pitied Odysseus because of his long journey home.

  12. In the Trojan War, the two sides were equally matched, and there were gods supporting both sides of the fight. That’s why Zeus made the gods step out of it. They were too powerful and they were affecting what was happening in the war, which was not their fight. However, this doesn’t mean that they didn’t have a hand in what happened. As we looked at in the Medea trial, the gods make heroes what they are. So, when the war ended and the Greeks didn’t thank the gods for their victory, the gods were angry, and rightly so. They gave the heroes the gifts they used to win, and they got nothing in return. Odysseus was worst of all, because he not only got incredible strength, but also cunning and wisdom, and he still forgot about the gods. I think that the gods, in spite of all this, do like Odysseus because he’s clever and he entertains them. Someone who goes around killing everyone might be entertaining to them for a while, but someone resourceful and smart can be entertaining for a long time, maybe even twenty years.

  13. Well some gods like him and others don’t. Like Poseidon has a wrath towards Odysseus because he was arrogant towards him. He punished Odysseus because of this. But if you look at Athena you see that he is like and favored. But this may be only because of his wife. Hercules was just an idiot that got pitied. He never learned from his mistakes, so the gods kind of gave up on him.

  14. I also think they Gods were just testing Odyssues. They were just showing him that they were superior to him and that know matter what he did the Gods would always be stronger and higher and he could never be better then them. Like Posidion said in the movie he wasn’t trying to kill him he was just teaching him a lesson. The lesson like i said before is that the Gods still have more power and especially are in control of him and what happens to him.

  15. i think that the gods look down upon him because all that he did was because of their help and they could certainly do the same that he did if they wanted to. They challenged him and made him suffer, but ultimately I think that they respected his relationship to his family so he was finally sent home. He fought a lot, and I think that’s why Athena was helping him, she enjoyed watching war. I think the gods liked to watch what happened to mortals and what happened to them when they themselves interfered.

  16. I think that some gods like Odysseus and others like Poseidon don’t like him. I think that he has proven to them to be an excellent mortal but that some gods think this and don’t like the thought of a mortal who could be too great for a man. I think this is why certain gods put him through all his strife and misery after defeating Troy.

  17. I think the gods were just playing him along, to see what trouble they can cause among humans. I dont feel they necessarily favor him, but rather dont have a negative or positive opinion on him.

  18. I don’t think that the gods necessarily revere him as a high person but he is certainly favored by some of them because of his traits. He is very warlike so he relates to Athena which is fitting but Athena doesn’t feel that he is her equal more like her pet.

  19. There seems to be some gods who want to see Odysseus succeed while there are some who want to see Odysseus suffer. Athena, for example, seemed to be some of a protectress towards Odysseus through his various encounters. Poseidon, on the other hand, tried to make Odysseus’s voyages through the sea as dangerous and unpleasant as possible and was more of an enemy towards Odysseus. I think that the reason Poseidon did this because he’s a god and wants it to be known that he is almighty and can make even the great Odysseus suffer. Also, I think it’s true that almost all gods like to see people like Odysseus suffer and dependent upon them.

  20. I agree with Ashleigh, that Athena was with him and Poseidon was against him. If it were me, I would be against Odysseus but I would still help him return home safely. Why? Not for Odysseus, but for Penelope, his wife. Odysseus was unfaithful to her during various points in the story, while she stuck by him, determined that he would return home to her. If I were a god, I would be much more sympathetic of Penelope’s actions than Odysseus’s, and therefore only let Odysseus return home to please her. Even though Odysseus did noble things, it doesn’t mean that he was deserving to return home to his wife, considering some of the bad deeds he did as well.

  21. it seems to me that some gods such as athena want to help him to get home while others like posiden want him to suffer and realise that mortals are nothing without the help of gods. so i dont think that gods favor mortals but i think that some take an interenst in what happens to them.

  22. The gods see him as person who uses his brain. Like Athena says in the movie, Odysseys may be strong and brave but he’s still smart. We compared him to Hercules in class. Hercules is just one big bone head. He is constantly getting angry and trying to use his strength. If it was him at troy instead of Odysseus, he probably would have rushed in there with his bare hands and been killed but Odysseus used his brain

  23. I am not sure whether or not the gods see powerful mortals as a threat or not. Like I said in class, the gods want mortals to be in awe of them, and when heroic mortals get arrogant, they may not be as respectful to the gods. The gods do not function as one unit, and they all have difference of opinions, such as when the gods took sides in the war. The gods may consider mortals like Hercules and Odysseus a hero without liking them. You don’t have to like someone for them to be considered heroic.

  24. I agree with what Miranda said, “you don’t have to like someone for them to be considered heroic.” Some gods like Odysseus, and some don’t. Poseidon didn’t because Odysseus was what he thought to be conceited and arrogant towards him. You saw this when Odysseus’ voyages through the ocean were extremely dangerous. I think the gods were testing Odysseus, trying to make his whole voyage real hard so he’d want to give up. Some were helping him so he’d get back to Ithaca, but I would think that most gods wouldn’t want any human to get in the way of their control and power.

  25. I think that Odysseus may be liked by some Gods but in the eyes of Poseidon he is hated for disrespecting him. Odysseus is however liked very much by other Gods like Cerce and also by the nymph Calypso. After Odysseus travel off Calypso’s island he regains a bit of Poseidons respect because he admitted to what he did was wrong and ultimately told him what he wanted to hear and give him the respect he wanted in the beginning.


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