The Odyssey

The Odyssey was full of wonder, power, and surprises. It is packed with
epic heroes, creatures, gods, and goddesses. The gods, goddesses, and creatures
had supernatural powers that effected the lives of Odysseus, his crew, and his
family. Their actions proved to be powerful, benificial, and deadly.
The gods, godesses, and creatures in The Odyssey on many occations
proved to be powerful. Zeus, leader of the gods, was a prime example of this.
When, “Zeus the lord of cloud roused in the north/ a storm against the ships,
and driving veils/ of squall”(p.444, 66-68) , many of Odysseus men died.
Another account when Zeus was very powerful was, “Zeus Cronion piled a
thunderhead above the ship....then the squall struck whining from the west, with
gale force, breaking both forestays”(p.465, 678-682) destroying the ship. When
Odysseus tells the Cyclops “Poseidon Lord, who sets the earth a-tremble,/ broke
it up on the rocks.....a wind from seaward”(p.450, 254-256) it shows how
Poseidon was very powerful. Also how Aeolus gives Odysseus a bag of winds that
his men unleash that throw them off course.
Although the gods and goddesses were powerful they were also benificial.
Zeus was beneficial in the way that he helped Odysseus, “Then Zeus thundered/
overhead, one loud crack for a sign.”(p.478, 1032-1033), this sign told Odysseus
to start attacking the suitors. The way Circe helps Odysseus in warning him of
dangers to come, “Circe forsaw for us and shared with me,/ so let me tell her
forcast: then we die/ with out eyes open.”(p.459, 528-530) She warned of the
Sirens, Charybdis, Scylla, and the island of the sun god. Also Athene help
Odysseus fight the suitors and win. She also disguises Odysseus to hide him
from the suitors and Penelope.
In The Odyssey the gods, goddesses, and creatures proved to be deadly.
The six-headed monster, Scylla, killed six of Odysseus\' men, “whisking six of my
best men from the ship.....She ate them as they shrieked there.”(p.464, 652-662)
Not far from Scylla was a deadly whirlpool called Charybdis, “dire gorge of the
salt-sea tide.....all the sea was like a caldron/ seething over intense
fire......when she swallowed the sea water down/ we saw the funnel of the
maelstrom.”(p.464, 639-645) Also when Zeus was throwing thunderbolts at the
ship killing all his men “Zeus let fly/ a bolt against the ship....and all the
men were flung into the sea.”(p.465, 688-691) Also the Sirens, sea nymphs,
lured men to their death on the rocks with sweat songs.
In The Odyssey the gods, goddesses, and monstrs influenced the lives of
Odysseus, his men, and his family with their supernatural powers. They showed
to be fierce, helpful, and lethal. These episodes in The Odyssey came together
to make one of the greatest epics of all time.


Homer. The Odyssey. Understanding Literature. New York: Scribner
Educational Publishers, 1987.

Category: English