A Discussion on Fate and Free Will in the Homer Odyssey

The Odyssey is one of the oldest stories ever told that was written nearly three thousand years ago. Unfortunately, not much is known of the author who composed such a widely celebrated story alongside Iliad. The author is said to have been a Greek writer, who is presumed to have lived in the early eighth and late ninth eras before Christ. The storyline of this novel is customarily attributed to a blind writer by the name Homer. The best part is that his name has been maintained by the original author, as publishers still use this name in the recent publishing. However, a few Greeks of the past, those who existed in the third and second centuries before Christ have questioned the existence of Homer. They have also doubted whether the two most celebrated stories were written by the same writer. So many people believe that the author of these two most epic stories is the same.

Homer’s reconstruction often yields to so many fictions and non-realities of the eighth and seventh centuries before Christ in Greece. The out-dated collective organization is evident in the setup of the Odyssey and it portrays more of the Homer’s Greece than Odysseus’s social setup. Homer is seen to substitute the pantheon of deities in his days for the relationship with their gods with whom the Mycenaean Greeks used to worship. Odyssey recognizes the City of Troy as its main story and the starting point that he expertise a new order around the struggle of the heroes of Odyssey. It is a tale that that is full of fate and free will in one of its main characters are known as Homer. The story takes place on the fantastic islands in the foreign lands, and it is a tale of wandering.

The characters in the Odyssey are not as free as it is in the normal community set up. Their destinies are just not certain, and there are many changes taking place and happening in the story. However, there are many ways to that the changes are happening. It is that fate and free will, are not commonly exclusive. The gods are seen to contribute to the way that fate is unfolding to Homer. They are seen as the subjects to all the same fickleness of human emotions that are witnessed in the characters. A connection of these scenarios gives a simple notion of just the fate of the story.

A close look at the Greek Mythology reveals the existence and relevance of the gods that existed in all eras. At times that are merely seen as the conditions for the human development of the story. In the Odyssey story, the divinities make the main theme and contribute eminently on fate and free will in Homer’s character.

Fate is seen to play a great role in the Greek world. Its place as described in the Greek culture is not as it can be seen in the normal world scenario. The word as used in the Greek mythology is just not fated as it is understood. By most standards, fate can be described as the occurrence of situations for unknown reasons that no human beings can comprehend or have a switch completed. Nevertheless, in the Greek culture, as depicted in by Homer, fate is not an occurrence that just happens. The gods are the initiators and originators of fate, and they are responsible for making things happen that might not have happened. The common citizens and players may not be able to know the involvement of god’s in fate and cannot explain the reason for the occurrence of some phenomenon. They think that fate took its course, but in reality, it is something that was engineered by the gods.

On the other hand, free will is not engineered as described in the Odyssey. Free will involves a collection of actions that can be controlled and one has full authority over his aspirations and direction.  The gods were seen to set up a path and ultimate direction that had to be followed by each and every one. Else the existence of free will and fate in Odyssey were not mutually exclusive ass described above. The lifestyle depicted in Odyssey depended on individual effort and responsibility. The characters are seen to manipulate their destiny. They left no chance for fate and natural situations to control their future. The characters are seen to have an influence on their future from their past experiences.

The gods are seen as the main controllers of the behavior of all the people in the Greek culture as described in the Odyssey. They were responsible for the control of all the aspects of life and the direction of the story as well as life’s situations. As a result, the people were obliged to follow strictly and were not allowed to choose how to live on their own. The gods in the Odyssey were responsible for the captivity of the Odysseus for over eight years. They later declined to let the Odysseus free for over a decade. However, the captor had to be informed of the release of the Odysseus so that they could find their way home. The decision of Odysseus to leave was opposed by Kalypso, who lured him with an offer of immortality.  He was to remain, guide his house so that he can be made immortal.

Odysseus made a decision that was favored by the gods and decided to leave. As a result, his act brought several opinions as the decision to leave said to have been known earlier by the gods. The gods were said to have let him go hence it was fate that was only known by the gods who let him go. Nevertheless, the idea that it originated from the gods is not convincing enough as Odyssey himself had made the decision to go. It is seen that the gods had restrained him so much that he needed the freedom to himself. He almost gave up and had a reason to conclude that it was his fate. A critic of Odyssey, known as Ann says that blaming the gods for one’s fault and fate was illogical and never applied in other situations. She puts it clear that there is a big disparity between the situations that fate occurs as well as the acceptance of the happening. She also reveals that real heroes never gave in to difficult situations facing them by concluding that it is fate and hence blaming the gods for it. It is at this point that she defines free will as the difference between having fate and accepting it.

The gods are said to control the fate of people in a certain direction before letting things take a natural course. However, the gods were only good at the interference of one’s life. Unfortunately, they never took their free will for the positive reasons. A character is known as Zeus while talking with the gods identifies the works that had was done by the gods. The gods depended on the lifestyles of the people as well as maximizing on their downfalls. Zeus’s view clearly implies that people are to be held accountable for their choices since they are very capable of making their decision. Another critic gave his observation on the Odyssey and saw that the characters such as Homer never took responsibility. Hence, the gods were seen to replace that gap and forced them to behave as expected. The goods were responsible for warning the community and for questioning any event that was not acceptable to their culture.

Aigi ethos is questioned for an event taking place in the Odyssey. A messenger is sent to question him. It is seen that he accepts the advice. However, he still had the freedom to choose what to do. The free will of Aigi this would enable him to take any of the options that would favor him. The fact that he was only questioned revealed that he had much power and freedom to determine his freedom. Aigi ethos takes friendly advice on what to do and not do. The book also describes him as an observant courier.

The book also reveals an example of the interference of the gods and a clear occurrence of both free will and fate. Odyssey clearly depicts a new meaning to free will in the Greek mythology and its representation in the book. It is observed on several occasions in the story that some actions affected the natural occurrence of an outcome. Athena goes to Ithaka and his advice to Odysseus’s son on a call to the assembly. The assembly was used to push for the rights of the members of the community. In this case, it was to mobilize the community to oppose Penelope’s suitors that were seen as the traitors in the community.

Odysseus was Penelope husband, and he was being waited to come home for such a long time that the wife, Penelope gave up and allowed suitors to hang around her. It is also seen that Odyssey was seeing other ladies while on his way home. As a result, Athena thought that the community had to look for ways to keep men away and in order. In this case, the gods are seen to have a great role to the occurrences explained in the story. The role does the gods have manifested again. Interference of the Athena the suitors made him move slower than expected. The gods were seen to get home Odyssey as quickly as possible. The gods interfered as they wanted a certain income out of the relationship of Athena and the Odysseus. Critics say that the situations by the gods only ensure that the outcome came due to fate, but it only made it happen. However, it is observed that helping situations along does not assure that it happens. In this case, the gods normally target a certain result, and it is for this fact that disqualifies it from a free will. Therefore, the two themes in the book can only be differentiated.

Many times in the story of Homer, several choices were made that were not consistent with the views of the community. They were also seen to alter with the expected income. Observation on an instance that free will is surer of the representation. The decisions made throughout the book were not wise at all, and the characters are seen to behave in a vicious manner all through the whole story. Their behavior is attributed to the gods, who were known to interfere and cause a change in the history by always making a change in the course of history. They always ensured that there were different results and weird choices were made. There was a smooth turn up of events when the goods were seen sit back and allow people to make their choices. Athena advise the Odysseus to try suitors and other lands so that they can get excused from death.

The Odyssey is also seen to represent free will in many of their given selections. Choices were given by gods, but most significantly people were allowed to make their decisions. The choice Odysseus made to cover himself to go straight so that they can get back home. The choices made by the characters are all involved in the myth and evidenced by free will. An example of a free will choice was made by the wife to remarry again after waiting for the husband for eight years. The Odyssey, alongside another Greek Mythology, gives us the direction of our daily activities. The audience can read and learn several morals and values that can be emulated. Heroes were the finest kinds of the myths. There are values and morals that we can agree with and copy the morals learned from the characters in the story. On the other hand, there are other morals that the readers should not imitate.


In summary, the Odyssey shows the different occurrences with the vast diversity of the world. It clearly brings out the world of wonderful magic and gods who are in control of situations. They are majorly representing the characters in the plain view of fate and free will in determining their daily activities. They show that the gods can interfere with all the planned activities hence one cannot do much about it. People are advised to sit back and wait for the unfolding of their choices. They should let their selections fall where they want to. Likewise, free will is applied to the story, and its twists and turns are evidently seen as expected in the Greek Mythology classics.