Relationships between Gods and Mortals as Demonstrated in The Odyssey.

Essay by PicanteKissesJunior High, 9th gradeA-, October 2003

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Relationships between Gods and Mortals as Demonstrated in The Odyssey

The Ancient Greeks were a race of very religious people who believed strongly in their gods and goddesses. Not only did they believe in the presence of their gods, they actually believed that the gods often intervened in their lives. Due to such a strong belief, the Greeks held their gods in the highest regard and had the utmost respect and reverence for them. Furthermore, they established certain types of relationships with their gods, usually not relationships in a physical sense, but relationships nonetheless. Many examples of such relationships are evident through the relationships demonstrated between characters of Homer's epic, The Odyssey.

One such relationship that the Greeks had with their gods were that they were forever trying to please them and in certain cases, their efforts were awarded. The Greeks all did their part to show respect for the gods through methods such as prayer and sacrifice, which are both evident in The Odyssey. However, in some cases, it seems that such respect was mutual, as demonstrated by some of the relationships portrayed by Homer. One such relationship was between Odysseus and Athena. The latter develops an extensive bond with the mere mortal because she sees herself in him. Due to this, she helps Odysseus out on many occasions, like when she begs her father, Zeus, to allow her to aid Odysseus in his quest to find home. She pleads, even saying, "My own heart is broken for Odysseus" (1. 68), and is able to convince him. Only through Athena's pleading does Zeus have the incentive to dispatch Hermes to free Odysseus from Calypso's island, allowing him to eventually find home. Another example of this type of relationship is between Athena and Telemachus, Odysseus's son. Only through...