Alex Garcia Professor Cain Ancient Civilization December 4,



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4, 2017     


Odysseus embarked on a journey, knowing that it would not be an
easy one. Throughout his journey, he constantly faced new obstacles and the
choices he made along the way helped seal his fate. When he arrived in the land
of the dead, he had an opportunity to talk with Teiresias about his fate and
the rest of his voyage home. Teiresias informed Odysseus that his journey home
would not be an easy one, but based upon the choices he makes the trip could be
less severe; personally, this does not surprise me the choices that Odysseus
made along his journey are now coming back to haunt him. Odysseus throughout
his 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 has
had to face.

Odysseus went to the Land of the Dead in search of Teiresias. He
was instructed by Circe to go visit Teiresias if he wanted to make it back
home. “The seer will presently come to you, and will tell you about your
voyage- what stages you are to make, and how you are to sail the sea so as to
reach your home” (Homer, 177). Once he got to the Land of the Dead, Teiresias
told him that his journey home would be rather challenging. “I do not think
that you will escape the eye of Neptune, who still nurses his bitter grudge
against you for having blinded his son. Still after much suffering you may get
home if you can restrain yourself and your companions…” (Homer, 182). Teiresias
is telling Odysseus that his journey home will be more difficult because of
choice he made previously in blinding the son of Neptune. Teiresias also tells
Odysseus that he still has a chance to make it home but it will depend upon the
choices and decisions he and his crew make while journeying home. Teiresias
told Odysseus that along his journey he will reach a flock of sheep and cattle
belonging to the God of the Sun. “If you leave these flocks unharmed and think
of nothing but getting home, you may yet after much hardship reach Ithaca; but
if you harm them, then i forewarn you of the destruction both of your ship and
your men” (Home, 182). Odysseus did not warn his men of this prophecy and did
not tell them to leave the sheep and cattle unharmed. While Odysseus was
asleep, 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 an
immortal God. Father Job told the God of the Sun that he would strike the ship
wit a bolt that would destroy the boat and kill of of Odysseus’ men. Since
Odysseus did not take Teiresias warning seriously his entire crew and ship were
completed 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 still
been back at home worried about him and some of them thought he was dead. His
mother died of a broken heart, and he reunited with her in the Land of the
Dead. His father was suffering and very sad because he did not known what had
happened to his son. Teiresias warned him of what he would encounter when he
did make it back home to Ithaca. “You will find trouble in your house, which
will be overrun by high-handed people, who are devouring your substance under
the 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 to
him, many people assumed he was dead. Since his wife was alone, many suitors
started 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 you
have killed them by force or fraud in your own house, you must take a well made
oar and carry it on and on until you come to a country where the people have
never 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 disguise
for awhile. When he did encounter the suitors he ended up killing them, very
violently and shortly after was he finally reunited with his wife. He told
Penelope of his adventures, and fate and told her that he must leave again. He
assured 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 your
old age, you may hope then to have some respite from misfortune” (Homer, 388).
 Since Odysseus was finally listening and taking his fate seriously he
followed the advice from Teiresias and left again with a well made oar and his
companions. 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. Throughout
his entire journey, he constantly ignored the help and advice of those along
the way. The decisions and choices he made along the way, ultimately made his
journey even harder and cost him the lives of his companions. When Odysseus
blinded Polyphemus, he did not think of the consequences of his actions.
Because he blinded the son of Poseidon, he received much backlash on the rest
of his journey to Ithaca and caused his ship to go off course. I think that
this is not surprising at all he made a decision that affected the life of
someone else. While i dont believe an eye for an eye is acceptable, i can
understand why the God’s would be mad and would want revenge. Teiresias warned
Odysseus 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 killed
and his ship was destroyed. Again, I think this is not surprising and very
understandable the God of the Sun loved to look at those cattle, it was his
favorite thing. Since Odysseus men took that pleasure away from him, he wanted
revenge on the men. Father Jove told the God of the Sun, “Go on shining upon us
gods and upon mankind over the fruitful earth. I will shiver their ship into
little 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 the
beginning, they probably would still be alive. When Odysseus returned home, he
ended up killing all of the suitors just like Teiresias said he would. Many
people in the town became angry with Odysseus, which is also understandable and
not surprising. After reuniting with Penelope he began to take his fate
seriously. It was a little surprising to me that Odysseus in the end, lived a
more peaceful life and peaceful death. However if you look at it as a whole it
is not entirely surprings. When Odysseus makes bad decisions and choices, they
have negative and very impactful consequences. However when he listened to
Teiresias and accepted his fate that he would have to leave again and die at
sea, he ended up living a much more peaceful life that was not filled with
misfortune. “As for you, death shall come to you from the sea, and your life
shall ebb away very gently when you are full of years and peace of mind, and
your people shall bless you” (Homer, 182). If Odysseus had made different
decisions along the way, he would have had a much different outcome. Looking at
the choices and decisions Odysseus made along the way, his fate is not
surprings. If he had made different decisions he fate, likely would have been

In the end, Odysseus managed to find peace. The fate that was told
to him by Teiresias came true through the rest of his journey. Every piece of
advice that Teiresias gave to Odysseus and he ignored had negative
consequences. When he started to listen to his advice towards the end by going
back out after he had finally returned home he ended up having a peaceful end
to 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 no
think that his fate is surprings. When you make bad or negative decisions, they
often have equal or harsher consequences, and Odysseus had to learn this the
hard way. When Odysseus began to listen and accept his fate towards the end, he
learned that he would die peacefully and at sea and he had his son and crew
along with him for the journey.




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