AlexGarciaProfessorCainAncientCivilizationDecember4, 2017 Odysseus embarked on a journey, knowing that it would not be aneasy one. Throughout his journey, he constantly faced new obstacles and thechoices he made along the way helped seal his fate. When he arrived in the landof the dead, he had an opportunity to talk with Teiresias about his fate andthe rest of his voyage home.
Teiresias informed Odysseus that his journey homewould not be an easy one, but based upon the choices he makes the trip could beless severe; personally, this does not surprise me the choices that Odysseusmade along his journey are now coming back to haunt him. Odysseus throughouthis entire journey, constantly put his crew, himself and his family in danger,the choices that he has made ultimately have led to many of the hardships he hashad to face. Odysseus went to the Land of the Dead in search of Teiresias. Hewas instructed by Circe to go visit Teiresias if he wanted to make it backhome. “The seer will presently come to you, and will tell you about yourvoyage- what stages you are to make, and how you are to sail the sea so as toreach your home” (Homer, 177). Once he got to the Land of the Dead, Teiresiastold him that his journey home would be rather challenging. “I do not thinkthat you will escape the eye of Neptune, who still nurses his bitter grudgeagainst you for having blinded his son.
Still after much suffering you may gethome if you can restrain yourself and your companions…” (Homer, 182). Teiresiasis telling Odysseus that his journey home will be more difficult because ofchoice he made previously in blinding the son of Neptune. Teiresias also tellsOdysseus that he still has a chance to make it home but it will depend upon thechoices and decisions he and his crew make while journeying home. Teiresiastold Odysseus that along his journey he will reach a flock of sheep and cattlebelonging to the God of the Sun. “If you leave these flocks unharmed and thinkof nothing but getting home, you may yet after much hardship reach Ithaca; butif you harm them, then i forewarn you of the destruction both of your ship andyour men” (Home, 182). Odysseus did not warn his men of this prophecy and didnot tell them to leave the sheep and cattle unharmed.
While Odysseus wasasleep, his men killed all of the cattle that the God of the Sun loved so much.In return, the God of the Sun enlisted help from Father Jove, who is animmortal God. Father Job told the God of the Sun that he would strike the shipwit a bolt that would destroy the boat and kill of of Odysseus’ men. SinceOdysseus did not take Teiresias warning seriously his entire crew and ship werecompleted destroyed. If he had taken the time to warn his men ahead of time,things might have turned out differently. Since Odysseus has been on his journey home, his family has stillbeen back at home worried about him and some of them thought he was dead. Hismother died of a broken heart, and he reunited with her in the Land of theDead. His father was suffering and very sad because he did not known what hadhappened to his son.
Teiresias warned him of what he would encounter when hedid make it back home to Ithaca. “You will find trouble in your house, whichwill be overrun by high-handed people, who are devouring your substance underthe pretext of paying court and making presents to your wife” (Homer 182).Since Odysseus had been gone for so long and no one knew what had happened tohim, many people assumed he was dead. Since his wife was alone, many suitorsstarted visiting her and taking over their house. Teiresias also warned that”When you get home you will take your revenge on these suitors; and after youhave killed them by force or fraud in your own house, you must take a well madeoar and carry it on and on until you come to a country where the people havenever heard of the sea and do not even mix salt with their food.” (Homer, 182).When Odysseus returned home he encountered the suitors after hiding in disguisefor awhile. When he did encounter the suitors he ended up killing them, veryviolently and shortly after was he finally reunited with his wife.
He toldPenelope of his adventures, and fate and told her that he must leave again. Heassured her that he would live a peaceful life and would eventually die at sea.She responded “If the Gods are going to vouchsafe you a happier time in yourold age, you may hope then to have some respite from misfortune” (Homer, 388). Since Odysseus was finally listening and taking his fate seriously hefollowed the advice from Teiresias and left again with a well made oar and hiscompanions. His misfortune appears, from the fate that Teiresias gave to him,to have been resolved because he ends up dying peacefully at sea.
It does not surprise me that this is Odysseus’s fate. Throughouthis entire journey, he constantly ignored the help and advice of those alongthe way. The decisions and choices he made along the way, ultimately made hisjourney even harder and cost him the lives of his companions.
When Odysseusblinded Polyphemus, he did not think of the consequences of his actions.Because he blinded the son of Poseidon, he received much backlash on the restof his journey to Ithaca and caused his ship to go off course. I think thatthis is not surprising at all he made a decision that affected the life ofsomeone else. While i dont believe an eye for an eye is acceptable, i canunderstand why the God’s would be mad and would want revenge.
Teiresias warnedOdysseus what would happen if he or his men harmed the cattle of Helios,Odysseus did not properly warn his men and in return all of his men were killedand his ship was destroyed. Again, I think this is not surprising and veryunderstandable the God of the Sun loved to look at those cattle, it was hisfavorite thing. Since Odysseus men took that pleasure away from him, he wantedrevenge on the men. Father Jove told the God of the Sun, “Go on shining upon usgods and upon mankind over the fruitful earth. I will shiver their ship intolittle pieces with a bolt of white lightning as soon as they get out to sea”(Homer, 212). If he had warned his crew not to eat the cattle from thebeginning, they probably would still be alive.
When Odysseus returned home, heended up killing all of the suitors just like Teiresias said he would. Manypeople in the town became angry with Odysseus, which is also understandable andnot surprising. After reuniting with Penelope he began to take his fateseriously. It was a little surprising to me that Odysseus in the end, lived amore peaceful life and peaceful death. However if you look at it as a whole itis not entirely surprings. When Odysseus makes bad decisions and choices, theyhave negative and very impactful consequences.
However when he listened toTeiresias and accepted his fate that he would have to leave again and die atsea, he ended up living a much more peaceful life that was not filled withmisfortune. “As for you, death shall come to you from the sea, and your lifeshall ebb away very gently when you are full of years and peace of mind, andyour people shall bless you” (Homer, 182). If Odysseus had made differentdecisions along the way, he would have had a much different outcome. Looking atthe choices and decisions Odysseus made along the way, his fate is notsurprings. If he had made different decisions he fate, likely would have beendifferent.In the end, Odysseus managed to find peace. The fate that was toldto him by Teiresias came true through the rest of his journey.
Every piece ofadvice that Teiresias gave to Odysseus and he ignored had negativeconsequences. When he started to listen to his advice towards the end by goingback out after he had finally returned home he ended up having a peaceful endto his life. If he had ignored the advice from Teiresias and not continued on,then he probably would have suffered more misfortunes along the way. I do nothink that his fate is surprings. When you make bad or negative decisions, theyoften have equal or harsher consequences, and Odysseus had to learn this thehard way.
When Odysseus began to listen and accept his fate towards the end, helearned that he would die peacefully and at sea and he had his son and crewalong with him for the journey.