Surprising and Moving Aspects of The Odyssey

Surprising and Moving Aspects of The Odyssey

Various aspects of The Odyssey were surprising because they were different from what would be expected in the real world. Other aspects were surprising because they created a better understanding of the character and then steps that they were willing to take to achieve their objectives. This essay will explore four different aspects of the novel that were surprising. The first aspect that the book will address is the strange relationships between human beings and the spirit world. The second aspect is the choice by some of the characters to adopt cunningness and trickery as they interact with the other characters. The third aspect that will be discussed is the ideas of the people regarding the afterlife. The fourth aspect is the violent nature of the community on which the novel is based. The four aspects identified show that the people lived in a community that is significantly different from the one that we currently live in

  1. The strange relationships between the gods and men

The relationships between the men and the gods as shown in the novel are not as would be expected in ordinary life. The interactions between Odysseus and Calypso most effectively show the strange relationship. The novel shows that Calypso, who is a spirit, is romantically interested in Odysseus, an ordinary man. Odysseus  tells of how on reaching Ogygia’s Island “the nymph Calypso held him back, deep in her arching caverns, craving him for a husband— cherished him (391).” The statement shows that Calypso desired to start a romantic relationship with a human being, a practice that does not seem to have attracted condemnation from the other gods. Even though Odysseus rejects Calypso’s love, it is surprising that the gods would be willing to pursue a romantic relationship with people. It raises the possibility that there were sexual relations between the gods and ordinary people.

It is also surprising that the gods would be willing to dwell among people just to try and provide assistance to the people they favor. The case emerges from the god Athena who transforms herself into a man to fit in with the other people. After transforming herself into Mentes, Athena tells Telemachus “My own name is Mentes, lord of the Taphian men who love their ores (24).” It is moving that the God Athena is willing to transform herself into a man so that she can help Telemachus overcome the suitors that are planning to take over his father’s family. It thus emerges that the gods would often be expected to live among o

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