Being the Creator of Your Destiny in The Odyssey
The Odyssey contains more than 12,000 lines and is divided into 24 volumes. The poet USES flashbacks to describe Odysseus’s 10 years of sea adventures in the 40 days before his arrival at home. The thrilling experience of these 10 years contains many ancient myths, reflecting the fantasy-processed natural phenomena and the struggle and victory of the ancient Greeks against nature. The story of Odysseus’ victory over Polyphemus, the giant, in volume 9, highlights his wit and bravery. This epic is the foundation work of western literature, which is the oldest extant western literature except the epic of Gilgamesh and the Iliad. After the Trojan war, the Greek soldiers returned home one after another, only the resourceful Odysseus did not return at sea.
The most essential characteristic of Odysseus is self-improvement, which makes this work full of stirring tragic colors. One third of the Odyssey depicts the thrilling scenes such as the victory over the Cyclops, the passage through the sirens island and the passage through kalubuti, which fully shows the aggressive spirit of human beings in their childhood when they exert great wisdom and courage and fight against nature indomitable. The protagonist from the sea travel to return home, a total of 13 times experienced the disaster, the sea god as the embodiment of the merciless nature, he finally swallowed up all the partners of Odysseus, leaving him alone from home. The land along the coast was also full of dangers and traps, filled with ogre giants and witches who used witchcraft to harm people.
The Greek heroes were all ‘knowing the destiny’. Through the words of gods and prophets, they knew their unchangeable destiny in advance, and the so-called ‘tragic consciousness’ was exactly reflected in this action of ‘knowing the unchangeable destiny’. Odysseus had foreseen from the sorceress Circe that the terrible six headed monster Scylla would devour his six sailors, but he did not listen to the witch’s advice. He still dressed in gold, and with a sword in his hand, was ready to fight it out, though the fear was enough to drive the rest of the crew out of their wits and throw the OARS away. In front of the nature and gods, the Greek hero is not humble Confucianism weak, they did not fear a desperate struggle, god can use interference, admonish way influence to people, but in the end people’s behavior depends on their personality and ability, gods also appreciate and wisdom, brave the heroes said special sort, so don’t have a puppet in the Greek world. Although Odysseus did not spare his youth and life for the honor of his life and death like Achilles, he needed more perseverance to face the complicated hardships and fight fearlessly. Odysseus’ indomitable fighting spirit is actually a paean. Interestingly enough, the epic depicts the underworld of sitriphus, who tries as hard as he can to push a boulder up a hill, and fails every time. The image of a man who never gets discouraged and never stops fighting seems to enliven the theme of the epic.
The great difference between the Odyssey and the Illyons is that the former tells of heroes willing to shed their blood for immortal glory, while the latter tells of heroes desperate to survive. In the epic, whenever they escape some terrible disaster and survive, they are always filled with two emotions: joy at their luck and sadness at the death of their partners. The Greeks did not think much of what was going on in the lower world; their ideas of hell would be blurred, as if it were only a gloomy, melancholy, dreamy pit. Achilles said, ‘I would rather be a servant, a poor man, alive than rule over all the souls of the underworld.’ In fact, the Greeks put too much focus on the secular life, the Achilles’ pursuit of honor, and the essence of Odysseus’ struggle for survival is the same: affirm the secular life, love life. Achilles pursuit of honor on the battlefield is a mortal can display life extraordinary outstanding, the only way to power, and the repair of hard trip, choose death even more easily than choose survival, dangers galore, and the sailors were killed in the jaws of a giant may be better than experienced countless hardships and finally meteorite sea, luckier? Therefore, although the struggle for survival of si is closer to the instinct, it still shows the strength of man himself and the unremitting pursuit of the value of life.
To explore the theme of the Odyssey, we should consider the experience of Odysseus floating on the sea and his struggle with the suitors after returning home. At two-thirds of the length of ‘the Odyssey’ (actually less than two-thirds, because some of it is about theremacho’s search for a father), Odysseus’s struggle with the suitors can still be reduced to a celebration of heroes. Engels pointed out: ‘ancient tribal tribal war, has begun to change to the land and sea for livestock, slaves and treasure and ongoing robbery, into a normal trade, in a word, wealth was honored as the highest welfare praise and reverence, the ancient clan system being abused to justify the violent plundered wealth behavior.’ For the ancient Greeks, it was a heroic act and therefore a righteous act for the clan leader to seize wealth by his physical strength and martial skill. Achilles in the Iliad is revered not only because he is the most feared Greek hero of the Trojans, but also because of the great wealth he plundered. Agamemnon, on the other hand, was blamed for seizing undivided wealth (as were female slaves) as commander in chief of the allied forces.
The first rage of Achilles was to defend what he had, and to be able to defend his wealth effectively was certainly a heroic act. Similarly, in the Odyssey, Odysseus effectively defends his property by killing his suitors, which is also a heroic act, a righteous act; And the behavior of suitors who seek to seize wealth by force of marriage and squander other people’s property is undoubtedly an unjust and despicable act. Here the poet praises the former and condemns the latter. Naturally, such ‘heroic actions’ and ‘righteous actions’ are very different from our standards. However, ‘in the early stages of human civilization, the relationship between people is different from the day after that, so the moral standards are also different; At that time, a person can only rely on their own hands and mind to overcome the dangers everywhere, to save themselves; cunning paranoia is not considered improper behavior in that situation. The moral character described in Homer’s epics is not only not comparable with ours today, but also quite different from the standards of feudal society. ‘But don’t worry about that. Those who read these two epics only feel the youthful spirit of the poems and are inspired by the heroism of the epics.’
One of the hallmarks of Odysseus’ character was his resourcefulness, which, in its most extreme manifestations, made him at times cunning and suspicious, good at deceiving, trusting no one, and testing even the goddess. In fact, his wisdom is another form of power. Facing the vast nature, man’s own physical strength is insignificant, while wisdom shows man’s more essential strength. Odysseus’ deception has saved his life many times. In the fight with the Cyclops, he greatly used a deceptive means, the clever pseudonym that he ‘tiger’s life’. In fact, it was the sinister nature of the world that made him overly cautious. Song of the sirens of glamor, meet the ear moment sweet smiling face, and the giant water better ridge girl on the island, are in fact implied dangers in trap, will never so little, he must pay attention to by the risk of unpredictable, Odysseus paranoid and cunning in the world full of deception and deceit can be said to be the necessary intellectual, his test of Athena, because during these long on the way, he did not feel the help of the goddess, and thus lose completely rely on and trust in the goddess, and try many times, his wife is because Agamemnon had made him concerned.
The purpose of Odysseus’ cunning and humiliation is to achieve the ultimate goal of being weak. There is a unity of softness and firmness. It is also a tradition in western literature that the witty citizens of the middle ages were filled with the use of wisdom, especially the use of wit and cunning deceit, to overcome those far superior to themselves. In fact, this wisdom is the essential power of the world, the worship of wisdom is also another aspect of the Greek warrior culture. The pursuit of power, manifested as outgoing, tough, and even aggressive characteristics, does not value the perfection of personality, but emphasizes individual strength; The cultivation of morality is characterized by introversion, self-discipline and moderation, emphasizing the unity and harmony of the whole more specifically, the theme of the Odyssey is the celebration of heroes. It is a tribute to the heroes who are determined to win in the natural and social struggles and rely on their individual strength, good fighting skills, courage and resourcefulness, and it shows the good wishes, vigor, heroism and optimism of human childhood.
In addition, although the Odyssey contains many early myths, its formation is later than the Iliad in terms of the social life and struggle it reflects. The epic focuses on the struggle for and maintenance of private property through the fight against the noble youth after the return of Odysseus. More than once the poem accuses the young suitors of trying to seize the property of Odysseus. This reflects that the epic was formed at the beginning of the formation of private property based slavery relations in Greek society. In connection with this, the epic’s handling of family relations also reflects the formation of monogamy in Greek family life. His wife, Penelope, had been waiting for her husband’s return for twenty years. In the last three years he resisted the intimidation of hundreds of young suitors. The poet portrayed her as a kind, loyal and chaste woman in order to embody the moral norms of the new family system formed in her.
Another view is that the theme of ‘the Odyssey’ is ‘a celebration of slave ownership and private ownership.’ This opinion is open to question. It is true that Odysseus ‘possessed a great deal of property, and many slaves, male and female, of whom he had a different division of Labour,’ and “was free to brutalized those whom he thought disloyal,’ but that was after his return to the island of Ithaca. He was persecuted by the sea at any time of the weak, he appears in front of the reader, not the face of brutal slave owners, but rebelled against the fate, the use of wit and courage to overcome natural hero, according to the statement of ‘the history of European literature’, ‘the epic poetry, this part accounts for about a third of the book, this is no small proportion, the Odyssey as the theme of the song of slave owners and private ownership, this part will not be able to permeate content. Poseidon, the brother of Zeus who is the god of sea, the god of earthquake and the god of horse in Homer’s epic, is the ruler of the sea. In the Iliad, he not only participates in the disputes of gods, but also participates in the decisions of mortal things. He supports the side of Achaea and firmly opposes Troas.
But in ‘The Odyssey,’ the work is more of a male overbearing god, the one who keeps Odysseus from returning home. Odysseus was almost driven back to the edge of death by him. But for the rescue of Enoch, Poseidon stopped and left, and Athena stopped some of the wind and waves, he would have died in the west. Even if Poseidon did not dare to kill Odysseus directly due to the will of other gods, he could make Odysseus suffer the fate of wandering away from his homeland. For Odysseus, however, his rocky experience is as much a spiritual as a physical ordeal. Therefore, the battle between Odysseus and Poseidon is not simply seen as an act of last resort for a smooth return. In the face of Poseidon do, in fact is the visualization of the sea is volatile, the disaster of block, Odysseus have the courage to challenge the limit, overcome evil female Soren, overcome the temptation of beautiful sirens siren song, across the sea monster Scylla, reunited with his family. What Odysseus did not only reflect the further enhancement of the inner strength of human beings, but also expressed the desire of human beings to try to understand and control the sea. More importantly, it conveyed the most important idea to human beings: they believed in themselves and could control their own destiny.
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