Reflective Statement on Odyssey
WONG GODFREY YAT CHING
After conducting a presentation and an in-depth discussion in class, I have learnt more about the cultural context of Odyssey especially about Deity and symbolisms. In our discussion, we firstly explored the theme of God’s intervention and the contrast between mortals and immortals. Secondly, we have exchanged ideas on the significance of different symbols that have appeared in Odyssey
It is important to understand that Gods play a pivotal role in ancient Greek culture as they are believed to be the origins of humans and carry different identities. For example Zeus is regarded as the King of the Gods; Athena, goddess of war. Understanding their roles and relationship in the society helps to explain their behaviors in the book. One of the things we have suggested is that Gods are not immaculate; instead they act like mortal beings as they commit mistakes. I propose that Kyklops, a one-eye giant, is tricked by Odyssey to indulge in wine which causes his attention to decrease, ultimately leaving an opportunity for Odyssey to poke him in the eye. This demonstrates the flaws in gods as they are distracted by indulgence. Also, it shows the contrast between Odyssey and Kyklops as the mortal being is able to execute a deft plan to escape from Gods. The difference of power between god and mortal helps to shape Odyssey as an epic hero. Another point that is brought up is the theme of vengeance. Our classmate proposes that Gods take revenge on people. One of the reasons that Poseidon impedes Odyssey from returning home is because Odyssey has blinded his son. Also, Poseidon is a rivalry of Zeus, thus he destroy Zeus’ plan in defense of his own self. From the discussion, it arouses my interest to investigate the role of Gods and how they have affected the behavior of mortals.
Wine is an important symbol that penetrates through Odyssey and closely relates to ancient Greek culture. While preparing for the...