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Alex Wisner
4th Hour
The Odyssey Essay
Supernatural forces, or gods and goddesses are world famous for how much they
influenced lives and journeys. One very famous tale about that specific topic was Homers The
Odyssey. There was a multitude of gods and goddesses whose names popped up at least once in
this story. Although there were many gods and goddesses who affected Odysseuss journey,
three of them stood out a little more than the rest: Athena, Poseidon, and Hermes.
To start things off, there were many goddesses in the story, yet Athene, also known as
Athena, popped up the most. This would, in all likelihood, make Athena the most influential
supernatural power, or goddess, in Lord Odysseus journey back to Ithaca. Athena favored
Odysseus, he was her favorite mortal. This favoritism causes Athena, the mighty goddess of
wisdom and battle, to help Odysseus through his journey and to overcome obstacles big and
small. Athena helped the mortal she favored by begging Zeus, the most powerful god of them
all, and king of the gods, to command that Odysseus be released from Calypsos island. Athena
succeeded in pleading and Zeus commands that Hermes, the messenger of the gods, go to
Calypso to inform her that Zeus orders that Odysseus be let go. After Odysseus is let go, he finds
sanctuary in some leaves, and, to relieve him of his stress, Athena made him fall asleep and rest.
Another way this almighty goddess helps Odysseus was by helping him face the suitors by
turning him into a beggar. Though this goddess helped Odysseus overcome obstacles, a god
worked to make them.
Next in the line of influential gods would most likely be Poseidon, the god of the sea. The
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problems for Odysseus truly start after Odysseus stabbed Polyphemus in the eye. Polyphemus, or
the Cyclops, was the son of Poseidon, so, needless to say, the god of the sea developed a searing
hatred for the brave warrior. Poseidon did not want to kill Odysseus, but wanted to put him in his
place. After Odysseus escapes the Cyclops island, but still within shouting distance, Odysseus
hurled insults at the Cyclops, which, in turn, infuriated Polyphemus. Next, the Cyclops prayed to
his father, Poseidon. Poseidon gave his son the strength to throw a large ball of Earth in the
direction of Odysseuss ship. This went horribly for the ships and men. Now that is just one
demonstration of the mighty god can do. With the next two involving events, it may seem as
though this god has a thing about breaking rafts. First Poseidon broke Odysseuss raft after the
warrior was released from Calypsos island. Later on, this god of earthquakes, again, broke yet
another raft that Odysseus was on, heading toward Phaeacia. The tragedy of this event is that
Odysseus was within sight of land when Poseidon destroyed the raft. The lighter part of this
occurrence was that Odysseus survived and landed on the island of Phaeacia.
The third and final supernatural force that influenced Odysseuss journey could very well
be the one who was bossed around the most, in a way. In other words, Hermes, the messenger of
the gods. This emissary did several things to influence the journey of Lord Odysseus. When
Odysseus was on Circes island, trying to get to where his men, who were transformed into pigs
by then, were. While Odysseus was moving toward Circes palace, Hermes came along and
warned Odysseus about what would await him. Hermes did this willingly to give Odysseus a
little insight of what was to come. Right after this, another thing that Hermes did to help
Odysseus and influence his journey was to give the hero a moly plant. Normally this plant would
be poisonous to mortals, but Odysseus did not die from eating it. This plant was to protect
Odysseus from Circes powers. If Hermes had not given Odysseus this plant, Odysseus would
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have either been turned into a pig or kept for Circe to do with as she pleased. He could have been
there for a few years, the rest of his life, or, if granted immortality, until the end of forever. One
last thing that could have had the same results was if Hermes had decided to not tell Calypso that
Zeus commanded that Odysseus be released. If this courier hadnt done all he did, Odysseus,
most likely, would have never reached Ithaca.
Whether these supernatural forces had done much to influence Odysseuss journey, or
they had done very little, everything these gods and goddesses had done influenced the great
warriors journey greatly. Its safe to say that, although there were many powerful gods and
goddesses that had their part in Odysseuss journey, Athene, or Athena, the goddess of wisdom
and war, Poseidon, god of the sea, and Hermes, messenger of the gods, were the most influential
in the story by Homer, The Odyssey.