Respect Of The Gods In The Odyssey
When his two nearest buddies pulled away his clothes and looked at his neck, they had stated him a solemn farewell in expectation of his death. We’ll meet again in a much better world, they said. He was classed amongst the passing away and put aside on a cot to do so. However he failed at it. After two days, space being short, they sent him on to a regular hospital in his own state. All through the mess of the field hospital and the long grim train flight south in a boxcar filled with injured, he had actually agreed with his friends and the physicians. He believed he would die.
About all he might remember of the trip was the heat and the smells of blood and of shit, for much of the wounded had the flux. (Frazier, 4) Charles Frazier’s unique Cold Mountain opens with an intelligent and reserved confederate soldier named Inman depending on a Virginia health center bed recuperating from war wounds. Shattered by the violence he has witnessed while fighting in the Confederate army, Inman leaves from the Confederate healthcare facility and journeys to his home on Cold Mountain so that he might reunite with his enthusiast, Ada. Throughout his journey, Inman is chased after by the Home Guard, drugged, shot, and dragged out of a tomb by wild hogs.
Just as Inman from Cold Mountain deals with many difficulties and setbacks on his journey home to Ada, Odysseus from Homer’s impressive The Odyssey deals with many difficulties on his journey to Ithaka. Nevertheless, unlike Inman, Odysseus survives his hardships. He escapes from his pressure on Kalypso’s island and endeavors to go back to his lover, Penelope, in Ithaka, regardless of being alerted that he was to “go through [hardships] prior to getting back to [his] nation” (5. 12. 206). Throughout his mission, Odysseus courageously and audaciously faces Helios, Zeus, the relentless Polyphemos, and the Earth Shaker, Poseidon.
In instances where Odysseus provokes the gods, Homer highlights the inevitability of hardship on a journey. Though he is adored by gods such as Zeus and Athena, Odysseus and his cronies sometimes overstep their boundaries as mortals. His crew intentionally disrespects the sun god Helios Hyperion by killing his animals, and is badly castigated. As he travels to Ithaka, Circe alerts Odysseus of “the island Thrinakia, where pastured the cattle and the fat sheep of the sun god, Helios, seven herds of oxen, and as lots of beautiful sheepflocks and fifty to each herd”(12. 127-130). She informs Odysseus “if you harm [Helios’ sheep and horn-curved livestock], then I testify to the destruction of your ship and your buddies, however if you obtain clear, you will come home in bad case with the loss of all your buddies” (12. 9. 139-141). Worried about Circe’s grim predictions, Odysseus orders his companions to “prevent the island of Helios who brings happiness to mortals” and to “drive the black ship onward, and pass the island” (12. 274-276).
However, due to the possibility of an oncoming storm, Odysseus’ buddies persuade him to enable the ship to be docked on Thrinakia, contingent upon the team’s oath that “no one in evil and careless action will slaughter any ox or sheep” (12. 300). Sadly, “Eurylochos put a wicked counsel before his buddies”; he informs the team that “appetite is the sorriest way to pass away and come across faith” (12. 342), thus persuading the crew to slay Helios Hyperion’s livestock. Eurylochos manifests that he understands “butchering the oxen and skinning them” (12. 59) is an act that would infuriate the sun god when he tells his buddies that if Helios “in anger over his high-horned cattle, wishes to wreck [their] ship, and the rest of the gods wait [the sun god], [he] would far rather gulp the waves and lose [his] life in them once for all, than be pinched to death on [Helios’] desolate island” (12. 348-351).
Unfortunately, the team acts on Eurylochos’ words and temerity; they “cut out the best of Helios’ cattle” (12. 343). Helios vexed, he asks that Zeus “punish the buddies of Odysseus” (12. 378) because “they insanely eliminated [his] livestock, in whom [he] constantly delighted” (12. 79). Zeus assures to “strike [Odysseus’] males’s quick ship on the open wine-blue sea with a shining lightning bolt and rush it into pieces” (12. 387-388). Zeus crashes Odysseus’ vessel, spins it in a circle, and fills the boat with brimstone. Odysseus’ males are tossed into the water and “bobbing like sea crows” (12. 418). The gods then bring Odysseus to the Island of Ogygia, home of Kalypso. For Odysseus’ crew, the price of disrespecting and provoking Helios was death. Rather of being eliminated, Odysseus was positioned under the difficulty of duress on Kalypso’s island.
Simply as Odysseus’ males rashly and stupidly provoke and dishonor Helios, Odysseus rashly and stupidly provokes Poseidon through a careless display of hubris. According to the Earth Shaker, Poseidon, mortals such as Odysseus “do [him] no honor” (13. 129). Odysseus dishonors the Earth Shaker when he blinds his Cyclops boy, Polyphemos, by twirling fire-point-hardened timber in the Cyclops’ eye as he slept, triggering blood to boil around the hot point of the lumber, so that the blast and scorch of the burning singes Polyphemos’ eyelids and eyeballs, and the “fire makes the roots of his eye crackle” (9. 90). Odysseus and his guys rush back to their ship.
As they leave the oafish Cyclops, Odysseus participates in a uselessly macho and careless act of bravado; he ridicules Polyphemos, telling him, “Cyclops, if any mortal male ever asks you who it was that inflicted upon your eye this disgraceful blinding, inform him that you were blinded by Odysseus, sacker of cities” (9. 502-504). Polyphemos hopes to his daddy, Poseidon, that Odysseus “may never reach [his] home” (9. 531). In response, Poseidon hurls a stone at Odysseus that barely falls “behind the dark-prowed ship by just a little” (9. 539).
Poseidon later reasons that he did not wish to “take [Odysseus’] homecoming completely away” (13. 132). As a method of doing this, Poseidon shows up near to Odysseus’ ship and turns it into stone and roots the ship to the bottom “with a flat stroke of his hand” (13. 164). Through the Earth Shaker’s words and actions, it is clear that Poseidon simply wants to act as a source of terrific hardship for Odysseus as he endeavors back to Ithaka. Homer emphasizes the importance of regard for gods on a journey. Without regard for the gods, a Greek would expect to deal with numerous obstacles and hardships on a quest.
Homer perfectly highlights this concept through passages pertaining to Helios and Poseidon. Just as Inman and Odysseus had to deal with threats throughout their endeavors, we likewise deal with many problems during journeys. For instance, if one wants to obtain a job promotion, they will have to fight with working much harder at their task. If a trainee wants to make an A on a biology test, he will have to deal with the challenge of studying for hours. In any journey, it is unavoidable that a person will deal with obstacles, challenges, or difficulties.