Freedom And Obligation In Ancient Times

Submitted By rrodrigues24
Words: 1177
Pages: 5

Rui Rodrigues
Doctor Vaidya
World Literature
18 March 2013
Freedom And Obligation in Ancient Times As students have been reading the books such as "The Odyssey", "The Ramayana", Euripides' "Medea", and Sophocles' "Oedipus" throughout this semester they notice a common trait in each one. In each of the books readers realize right from the beginning that each book has the "Power Of The Gods" when needed. In "The Odyssey" Odysseus is consider to be the "heroic" bystander of a human with great knowledge and wisdom in the ways of war and strategy as readers refer them to being great "Tacticians". As a reader one comes to realize is the certain Heroic character truly a hero or one who gets lucky because of the gods being on his side. On the other case in books such as "Oedipus" the gods may destroy the lives of men. Theses two theories strike a line right in between when a hero reacts as a human or is blessed with the help of gods. In other words where those the idea of where personal responsibility versus outside forces responsible for the characters decisions. "The Odyssey" is a great example of outside forces intervening with personal responsibilities and it happens so much. Also in the excerpt of "Oedipus" personal responsibilities and outside forces collide. In both of these readers see how personal responsibility differs from outside forces making choices and how they change the motivation and behaviors of each character. In the book "The Odyssey" we notice that the main character of the excerpt known as Odysseus is truly blessed by the gods , as they protect him throughout the book. There are many instants where Odysseus takes personal responsibilities and makes foolish decisions that are then cleaned up by the Goddess Athena who secretly is very fond of Odysseus. In certain situations Odysseus personal responsibilities won him battles and wars as he was a great tactician but it also put his fellow comrades in danger. Such as in the reading where the readers see Odysseus put the men's lives in danger when he decides to live in the glory of Cerci's presences because she gave him all he wanted. After spending 10 years on this island he realizes all that he left behind in the land which he called home. Because of Odysseus comfort in Cerci's island the only way he could leave was through a treacherous path which he lost all his companies. This example shows the motivation and behavior of Odysseus his power from being such a great warrior got to his head and destroyed his all fleet because of personal gain. Now a example where Odysseus decision are made up by outside forces, which are many, is when Athena saves his life from Poseidon's wrath of seas crashing his raft and almost killing Odysseus. Athena makes up her mind to send a magically item which would keep him afloat throughout the storm and giving him the power to cling to the rocks to not get drowned away, he then washed up on to Alkinoos' island where he is treated with all kindness and respect. In both examples used above the reader experiences two different scenarios where personal responsibilities differ from outside forces making the decision for the "Heroic" character. Odysseus personal actions don't make him seem fit as a great ruler and leader to his comrades because it was just about him. The power that he had, got to his head which created bad decisions for him and others which didn't end up in the best of terms. Now in the other example readers see this great man with the will to live, but don't understand that Athena is the main Goddess who delivers the strength that Odysseus needs to have in order to survive the horrible storm of Poseidon. A lot of Odysseus Glory comes from outside forces and without him noticing it would affect his decisions at a more personal level making him feel invincible throughout the excerpt as readers read along. Now in the story of Odysseus the outside forces play a positive role for him but in such a story such