Destiny, Fate And Free Will In Homer's Odyssey Odysseus’s Fulfills His Destiny

1477 words - 6 pages

Odysseus’s Fulfills his Destiny in The Odyssey

During Odysseus’s journey in The Odyssey, his own guile, the gods’ obstacles and their assistance for him affected his destiny. Odysseus uses his crafty sense of trickery and guile to get out of situations, which allow him to reach his destiny of returning home. Many times in The Odyssey the gods who dislike Odysseus set obstacles to try to stop him from returning home. However, there are gods who favor him and give him assistance to reach his homeland of Ithaca.

    Odysseus found himself in some dangerous situations during his journey but he was clever enough to think of ways to escape them. For example, when he encountered Polyphemus, Odysseus tricked him when he told the Cyclops his name was "Noman."  After Polyphemus believed him and was stabbed in the eye, not knowing any better called out to his friends, "Noman is murdering me by craft. Force there is none" (87). Odysseus’ power over his enemy is once again confirmed by his wit more than by physical force. Although this sense of guile is at his enemy’s expense, there exists a touch of dramatic irony that helps the reader to take part in knowing something that Odysseus’ enemy doesn’t know.

    To get his way with Calypso, Odysseus flatters her to persuade her to free him from captivity. Odysseus sweet-talks Calypso and then states his destiny when he says, "Powerful goddess, do not be wroth at what I say. Full well I know that heedful Penelope, compared with you, is poor to look upon in height and beauty; for she is human, but you are an immortal, young forever. Yet even so, I wish-yes, every day I long-to travel home and see my day of coming" (49). Odysseus’ day of coming stands for his destiny of returning home. In what Odysseus told Calypso, there is much verbal irony shown when Odysseus tells a lie for a different purpose and doesn’t mean what he says about Penelope.

    Instead of using his guile, Odysseus also has the power to prevent from being beguiled. An example of Odysseus using his power to not be beguiled was when he drank Circe’s potions but nothing happened because of Hermes’ herb. Circe shows her disbelief of Odysseus when she says, "I marvel much that drinking of these drugs you were not charmed. None, no man else, ever withstood these drugs who tasted them, so soon as they had passed the barrier of his teeth; but in your breast there is a mind which cannot be beguiled" (97). Once again Odysseus uses his creative techniques not to be tricked and he turns out safe. By using his guile and other techniques, Odysseus makes it through the gods’ obstacles, which test his destiny.

    In order for Odysseus to encounter and pursue his destiny, he must be tried and tested by obstacles put forth by gods or their offspring, such as Poseidon, the Sirens, and Polyphemus. One instance of this occurring was when Poseidon sent a storm in an attempt to capsize...

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