Books and Movies Reviews

goddesses in the odyssey

The appearance of many goddesses in The Odyssey by Homer exemplifies the fact that they are essential to Odysseus' journey.They each play a different role, helping Odysseus in one way or the other, corresponding with his needs at that point in the voyage.Goddesses have been a constant in Greek literature and art, assisting in the essence of Greek culture.The Odyssey mentions many gods and goddesses, all of whom are involved with Odysseus' journey.The Odyssey begins with a meeting of the gods and goddesses who are trying to decide upon the fate of Odysseus.From this we can infer the importance the divine play on mortal lives, namely he protagonist himself.Some, however, are more involved in the journey than others.The three most prominent goddesses are Circe, Calypso, and Athena.These three change Odysseus in ways he could never expect, weaving his fate into the epic that is The Odyssey.
Calypso is one of Odysseus' lovers.She falls in love with him and holds him captive on her island, Ogygia, for seven of the ten years of his journey home, while at the same time protecting him from Poseidon's fury.
At the beginning of Book 5, Calypso speaks at Hermes about the double standard regarding goddesses and mortals."Hard-hearted you are, you gods!You unrivaled lords of jealousy–scandalized when goddesses sleep with mortals, openly, even when one has made the man her husband."#This criticism can be applied to the Greek culture itself, where Odysseus can take on a lover and Penelope is reprimanded for allowing the suitors to stay in her house.
The name Calypso can mean "eclipse,"# which is appropriate in this case as she eclipsed his life.She became a distraction to Odysseus, devoted and consuming, seductive: someone to fear and desire both.Calypso took Odysseus away from the very things he defined himself with; the desire to return home was for him something dista…