Theme of religion
Homer applies the theme of religion as one of the fundamental themes in Odyssey. He bases the religious message through several characters, their experiences, and events. Spiritual development happens after difficult moments, challenges and distant travels, and precious times. Homer succeeds in presenting the themes of religion based on all this facts.
The theme of religion is very much pronounced in the events and adventures that Odysseus engages in than in the rest of the characters. He commences on Calypso’s land, where he owns everything, but lacks happiness. He has a very low spirit, and he longs to return to his home. Home shows Odysseus having a very low spirit in order to accentuate the religious growth from the start of the novel to the end. If home presents Odysseus with good religious aspect as the book unfolds, then the religious growth would not have established. While he is sailing back home, odyssey thought that, he was now experiencing some light in his life.
The first attempt that tried his spirit is when Poseidon almost kills him when he nears the coast of Scheia. This is the first island that he lands. As Odysseus says ‘, “and trapped within that backwash of the brine, Odysseus would have died before his time had not gray-eyed Athena counseled him” (Homer 420-423)). Athena (the gods) challenges him by causing storms, but she does not allow death to take him. She is well aware that, such a challenge wills strengthen Odysseus to continue with his journey. Athena in this context portrays an aspect of the religious aspect of caring. As the slogan says, and this tags along with Odysseus situation,’ whatever does not bring death to you makes you stronger’.
Odysseus also experiences fatal challenges when he and his men are about to pass the Sirens. He is the only person who should hear their voices/sounds, and for this reason, he must remain restrained in a post in order to avoid any movements. His lack the strength of mind and feels discouraged, and he feels gripped with the sirens capability to make prophesy about the future (Homer 9-12). He struggles to liberate himself from the restraints, and this strengthens his spirit, as he is no longer entwined with the evil. In that context, Homer shows some kind of religious aspect. Another instance in which Homer portrays the theme of religion is when Odysseus returns home. He disguises himself as a beggar and suitors allure him. The gods have given him enough strength and ability to overcome such challenges.
In addition, Homer shares his ideas concerning arrogance and spirit in the event between Odysseus and Cyclops. After conquering Polyphemus, Odysseus arrogantly discloses his identity while looking for “kleos.” These is what he said and I quote ”, “if any mortal man should ask about the shameful blinding of your eye, then tell him that the man who gouged you was Odysseus, ravager of cities” (Homer 9:22).
Odysseus forgets that, it is through his humility in spirit that he manages to outsmart the monster, and instead becomes proud. It is certain that the gods helped him escape from that scene because the monsters could have killed him. However, Odysseus must pay for his pride, and his returning back home becomes very difficult. In the later chapters, Odysseus life transforms and his spirit experiences some growth. Even when allured by the suitors, he plays it cool until the right time comes to punish them. He has a meek spirit after the tragic events that emanate from his pride.
Homer portrays the theme of religion, through Telemachus. In most cases, religious aspect in Homer occurs in varied ways as opposed to Telemachus. The latter goes out to look for his father as he considered his father very significant in his life. He assumed leadership after his father’s disappearance. Throughout his journey, he depends on the gods, and they protect him until he gets back home. He learns to implement and execute decisions independently by trusting his thoughts. He believes that the gods must have a role in his instincts. Homer illustrates numerous diverse instances in depicting on the theme of religion.
Theme of religion