Psychological Forces Of Gods in The Odyssey

Unlike the general belief that gods dominate all humans and natural powers, The Odyssey records a journey where supernatural forces frequently assist Odysseus and his son, Telemakhos. They act as spiritual supporters for the human race and regularly appear in mortal disguises. In book I, Athena taking camouflage as Mentes, approaches Telemakhos with advice. At the end of their conversation, “Mentes left him as a bird rustles upwards”  (Book I, Page 11, Line 369) enabling him to realize a god had been his guest. The incident gave Telamakhos new spirit and encouragement for the pursue of his father. As a psychological aspect of hope, the gods are prayed to oftenly. For example, in the course of Odysseus’s cruise home, he on numerous hopeless occasions sent his prayers to Athena, Zeus, Poseidon and the river god for rescue and usually new alternative choices were granted to him. The sacred presence of gods provides a small possibility of reversing a doomed destiny therefore associated with hope. Moreover, the existence of Greek gods serves to distinguish righteous and sin. Unethical behavior is severely punished through hardship and death while honesty is encouraged. Over time, humans learn to fear the punishment of justice. Like during the meeting, the crowd gapes speechlessly in anxiety at a pair of eagles, which is recognized as “a deathly omen”, (Book II, Page 23, Line 161). The pair of eagles, as a symbol of Zeus foreshadows the fate of the suitors thus arising fear.