Culture Ancient Greece and the Odyssey

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Culture Ancient Greece and the Odyssey

This essay will discuss the representation of Ancient Greek culture in Homer’s epic “The Odyssey.” It will explore the societal norms, values, and mythological elements presented in the epic, and their reflection of the beliefs and customs of Ancient Greece. At PapersOwl too, you can discover numerous free essay illustrations related to Ancient Greece.

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Ancient Greece had a very unique culture. In The Odyssey by Homer, it teaches us that Ancient Greece was based on fate power(ranking in society) and believing in many gods.

Not only Odysseus but his son Telemachus were controlled by fate ancient. The Greek gods were the ones in control of the fate of and his family. Telemachus is a young boy when his father Odysseus leaves Ithaca to fight in the Trojan war. As Odysseus is away Telemachus grows and matures but with the help of Athena, the goddess of wisdom, courage and more.

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With Athena’s wisdom, she controls how Telemachus grows by giving advice and life lessons. For example when Athena advised that he gathered a crew and sail to Pylos then to Sparta in search for his father Odysseus and any information about his whereabouts. Although Odysseus’ life and adventure home in highly controlled by the gods as sometimes it made his journey very difficult but sometimes much easier and more survivable.

For example, even Zeus the god of all gods punishes him to avenge the sun god by wrecking his ship in the dark sea, as it says in the text “… Zeus with a gleaming bolt smoke swift ship and wrecked it in the middle of the wine dark sea.”, But Odysseus also gets assisted several times, for example when Athena persuades Zeus to send Hermes to Calypso’s island, to inform her that it was Zeus that demanded that Odysseus continued his journey home. Also when Odysseus and his men get stuck in the cave of Polyphemus, son of Poseidon, the gods put a olive branch in the cave so that they could blind the giant cyclops, to later escape. All this shows how the ancient Greek culture was largely dependent on fate because almost every character is helped or led through with the help of the gods.

Ancient Greek culture was all about the ranking in the society which was usually determined by power/strength. For example Penelope, Odysseus’s wife. She was the wife of the King of Ithaca and was not treated as a person of high power, instead, she was treated like a woman to just claim for the throne. When Odysseus was gone for almost 20 years all the guys in Ithaca started to think, “this guy must be dead already, let’s try to become King of Ithaca!”, so at this point, all the guys of Ithaca waited outside of Penelope’s home trying to impress her and get her to select them as husband and the next King of Ithaca. This shows how ancient Greek culture was sexist and turning their heads on women.

Women were not well respected as in many other cultures at the time. Also, Odysseus King of Ithaca was a man that was well respected and feared as he was the best warrior of Ithaca. His rank in society was at the highest other than the gods. This shows how ancient Greek beliefs and culture is always the strongest and best warrior is always the best man and the leader or in many cases king. Lastly Telemachus; Odysseus’s son also had a ran in society that was just along with every kid in Ithaca, they did not have any power or rights.

Instead Telemachus was played around with and tricked. For example when the men of Ithaca tried to have hm killed by getting in a fight and giving him a weapon which is the only way the man could kill him because at that point its self defence. But he turned the opportunity down because his father’s good advice disguised as a old beggar. This shows that the kids really weren’t anything in Ancient Greece as long as they didnt turn into men.

As you could probably tell the gods had a huge part in ancient greek mythology, but not only one god but the ancient greeks believed in many gods. For example in The Odyssey there includes many gods and goddesses such as Zeus, Hera, Poseidon, Hades, Athena, Apollo, Aphrodite and Hermes. All of these gods have a role and purpose whether it is looking after Odysseus and his family or trying to mess with Odysseus voyage home. Just having all these gods and goddesses in the book, shows that Ancient Greece used these gods in their everyday beliefs for hope and some to keep the young ones in line.

The Odyssey teaches us that Ancient Greek belief and culture all depended on fate, power in society, and believing in many gods. Fate lead odysseus and his family getting back together, and in for the greeks that sometimes you can do all you can and still not get what you wanted. Power in society kept the Ithaca together and from crumbling in pieces ad in ancient greece that women and children are not treated the same as the men. Last of all believing in many gods, led Odysseus home and kept Telemachus safe, and in Ancient Greece it is used to know where you stand and place in society. The Odyssey teaches the unique culture and way of life of the people of Ancient Greece.

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Culture Ancient Greece and The Odyssey. (2019, Dec 02). Retrieved from