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Fate and Free Will in The Odyssey

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by

Labiba Mahmud

on 12 March 2014

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Transcript of Fate and Free Will in The Odyssey

The gods are very responsible for construing fate to get the humans to do what they want them to do.
Characters try to take control of their lives regardless of what the gods would try to manipulate them to do because they still have their free will.
Most of the time the gods use their powers to manipulate.
Although it is tough to change the will of the gods, some characters try their best to go against it.
They tend to succeed if they have help.
Readers are supposed to realize that you should take control and live your life, instead of letting life live you.

Conclusion
Characters try to fight the fate the gods have laid out for them and sometimes they don’t succeed because of their circumstance

"For your death we grieved as we did for Achilles’ death-we grieved incessantly, true, and none’s to blame but Zeus, who hated Achaea’s fighting spearman so intensely, Zeus sealed your doom. "(11. 637-640)
Odysseus tells his friend that he couldn’t have done anything and it wasn’t his fault.
He reminds him that one can try to control their own fate but sometimes, despite their effort they can fail.
Ajax had no help, he couldn’t fight the fate that the gods determined for him without it.

It’s hard to change gods’ minds but it’s not impossible
“The will of the everlasting gods don’t change so quickly.” (3.163)
Nestor talking about Agamemnon to Telemachus
Agamemnon could not change his fate but Odysseus did
Need help
Characters fight their fate and sometimes succeed by using their free will

“Ah poor man, why is the god of earthquakes so dead set against you?... He can’t destroy you, not for all his anger.” (5.372-375)
Ino's conversation with Odysseus
Odysseus was destined to be trapped in Calypso’s island forever but changed his fate with help

By: Rida Yousuf, Elijah Lancaster, and Labiba Mahmud
Fate and Free Will
Introduction
Fate is construed by the gods and they try to control it. The characters try to get around it and change their fate with their free will. The characters try their best in defeating fate and sometimes they succeed.
Full transcript