“Ten years, however, is a long time for anger to last. The gods had by now grown sorry for Odysseus….”

After you have read Hamilton, pp. 211-229 and Bulfinch’s Mythology, pp. 188-205, please re-read pages 211-213 in Hamilton.  (I know!  I know!  You already read this, but reading it again will make it fresher in your mind.)  Then, please write your response:

Take a position!  Overall do the gods have a positive or negative effect on human lives?  Provide ample text-based details to support your opinion.

As always, be sure to follow the rules of standard English grammar, punctuation, and spelling.

Also, be sure to respond to at least one other comment in this thread.

Mythology blog #4

49 thoughts on ““Ten years, however, is a long time for anger to last. The gods had by now grown sorry for Odysseus….”

  1. Overall the gods have a negative effect on the human’s life. The gods have a lot of power and can control anything they want. Hamilton writes “…Athena’s agreement with Poseidon to destroy the Greek fleet.(pg.211)” The gods destroyed an entire fleet of men because they were mad. They can destroy an entire fleet and not get in trouble. Also, all these wars happened because of the gods. Humans died just to fight for their god. The gods only made problems for humans. In Odysseus’s journey back to Ithaca, he was stopped many times just because of the gods. It took him 20 years to get back to his family. He missed his son growing up because of the gods. In Bulfinch’s Mythology, it states “The war continued without decisive results for nine years. Then an event occurred which seemed likely fatal to the cause of the Greeks, and that was a quarrel between Achilles and Agamemnon.(pg.171)” A whole war that was fought mostly by humans was ended by the gods. Thousands of people died just because of a fight between two gods. One might argue that the gods gave human earth, the sun, the ocean, and more. But they gave them these things and then tortured them. The gods made the humans as a toy. All they did was play with them.

      • The only reason that Helen was kidnapped was because Aphrodite told Paris that he would get to marry her. If the Gods weren’t there he never would have disturbed Helen and the Trojan War never would have started.

    • I disagree. The only reason the gods inflicted such punishment was because of all the times they hadn’t treated them with enough respect. If the human race had not angered the gods so many times, they would most likely be a great ally to us.

      • I must politely disagree with your disagreement. Although I do not completely support the post, I must point out that the gods petty quarreling was the entire cause of the Trojan war. No man had any influence on whether the judgment of Paris would take place.

        • I am in disagreement with what both of you said. Although both of you stated causes of the Trojan War, the very first reason is because the other goddesses did not invite Eris, god of discord to the party. What you guys said happened after this.

          • I must say, in my opinion, the cause of the war was really the fault of Paris and Aphrodite. They, after all, stole Helen. I think this justifies the war-the Greeks, with Hera and Athena, had no choice but to retrieve Helen from Paris, who was aided by Aphrodite.

  2. Throughout all the mythological stories of Greek gods and epics, the gods have an immense impact on the outcome. Overall, the gods have a positive effect on human lives, as well as a negative effect. However, it depends on how you treat them. Someone who treats the gods with the utmost respect and gives regular sacrifices would be treated well, while someone who disrespects their deities and doesn’t pay what is due will be entitled to their wrath. For instance, after the fall of Troy, the Greeks had forgotten to pay tribute in their exaltation. As a result, Poseidon and Athena who had once been allies to the Greeks, and a major help in their victory, were now resentful of them. “Athena and Poseidon had been the Greeks’ greatest allies among the gods, but when Troy fell all that had changed. They became their bitterest enemies. The Greeks went mad with victory the night they entered the city; they forgot what was due to the gods; and on their voyage home they were terrible punished.” In this sense, it’s a risk to trust the gods. On one hand, they could be a vital ally in your survival or well-being. However, one wrong move and they’ll go all out against you. Cassandra, a daughter of Priam, was loved by Apollo and was given the power to predict the future. But, when Cassandra did not return his love Apollo punished her by making it so no one ever believed her. She always knew the tragedy that would arrive, but could do nothing about it. “It was her fate always to know the disaster that was coming and be unable to avert it.” Overall, the gods can have a great positive impact on human lives, but one must be careful to avoid receiving their wrath.

    • I agree, however, I also believe that the actions of the gods are also determined by the mood they are in and which god is being dealt with. For instance, I think Athena would be much more reasonable compared to Ares. Nice job, though, you brought up some valuable points.

      • I agree with what Matthew said. It really does depend on which god is in the scene at the moment. Ares is almost always in a foul mood, so he would most likely do harm upon a mortal whereas Athena would have calculated her move and stepped in only when it was wise. Great overall blog, though! 🙂

      • I agree with your blog post tony. Also, for matt and the point about which mood the gods are in, I feel like that just shows how petty and baby like they are. I mean, aniket posted a comment about how the first reason or cause of the Trojan War was because they didn’t invite Eris. Even though, they’re gods, they have to act according to their mood. Doesn’t seem that all godly like

  3. The situation presented, to me, seems to have a definite and simple solution. Both of the sides of the Trojan war would be better off, and may even be considered allies had the judgment of Paris never occurred. In Paris’s choice of Aphrodite, he began the chain of events leading to the Trojan war and the death of so many soldiers. “He(Zeus) told them to go to Mt. Ida, near Troy where the young prince Paris, also called Alexander, was helping his father’s sheep. He was an excellent judge of beauty, Zeus told them.”(Pg 186 Hamilton Mythology)Yet that is not where the chain begins; we see that, had these three goddesses not been quarreling over something as trivial as an apple, so many lives could have been saved. Although some may argue that the gods were very helpful in Odysseus’s return home, he would have never had to return home from the war if there had never been a war. Not only this but because Athena favored Odysseus over thousands of other men, he was one of the few survivors. It is my belief that people should be able to govern themselves and divine entities so full of greed and jealousy such as these should not be interfering.

  4. Overall, the gods had a negative influence on the human race. The gods messed around with the humans and bestowed doom upon them when they were angry. Take Odysseus, for example. When the Trojan War was over, and the Greeks came out victorious, stupidly, they forgot to pay their tributes to the gods. This made Poseidon and Athena both very angry and resolved to get revenge on the Greeks. Poseidon and Athena both destroyed the fleet and made everyone drown, except Odysseus and some of his crew. Then, Poseidon continued to torture Odysseus throughout his journey home. Another example is when Prometheus gives fire to man. At that time, fire was only to be kept in Olympus. Man accepted the gift, and Zeus was angry. As a punishment, he made Pandora and sent her down to Earth, who opened the chest full of bad, evil plagues that would harm man. What was Zeus even mad? It was not even mankind’s fault. Then, because Pandora opened the box, man started to have wars and wrecked the Earth. Seeing this, Zeus ordered all the gods to do their best to rid Earth of mankind. Eventually, everyone was killed, except a man and his wife, who created the next generation. As can be seen, gods mostly had a negative influence on mankind.

  5. After reading both interpretations of the Odyssey and Iliad in Hamilton and Bulfinch, I believe that the gods have general positive influence on human lives. While they sometimes inflict damage on humans or cause them hardship, most of the time, the gods try to help humans in their cause or quest. This can be seen very clearly in Bulfinch’s Odyssey, when Athena begins to help Odysseus (Ulysses). She says. “It certainly was a case worthy of the interposition of his patron goddess Minerva, who never failed him at a crisis.” (page 198). While Odysseus is being tortured by the gods, mainly Poseidon, he is still receiving help from others. Athena never even questions helping Odysseus, yet instead provides him with tools and information to make his journey home possible. However, Poseidon illustrates a negative influence the gods have over the Greeks. Hamilton reveals this to the reader, saying, “The gods had by now grown sorry for Odysseus, with the single exception of Poseidon.” (page 213). It is clear that Poseidon feels the need to take out his wrath on Odysseus, and does so by preventing him from reaching his home at Ithaca. The attitude of the gods can also be seen in the Trojan War. While it can be seen as evil how the gods started the war, I do not see it that way. Aphrodite was chosen by Paris as “the fairest”, and that led to resentment by Athena and Hera, but the war was justified after Aphrodite directed Paris to take Helen away from Menelaus, which was completely wrong. However, I think classifying the gods as just “good” or “bad” is a broad generalization, as the actions of the gods seem to depend on what mood they are in or which god is being dealt with. Despite the fact that the gods may sometimes come across as evil, I believe that as a whole, the gods have a positive impact on the Greeks.

  6. After reading both interpretations of the Odyssey and the Illiad, one can easily tell that the gods can honestly do whatever they want. The real question is not are gods good, but what are the gods’ moods. I think the blog question is already answered after the fact that we read about the causes of the Trojan War and destroying fleets just because of quarreling between the gods and being angry at humans. “Athena’s agreement with Poseidon to destroy the Greek fleet.” (p. 211) Poseidon and Athena destroyed almost everybody except for some crew members and Odyseuss. They did this because of their bitterness because they were not given credit for helping the Greeks win the war. (Especially Poseidon because of the Trojan Horse. One of his animal symbols is a horse.) “Athena and Poseidon had been the Greeks’ greatest allies among the gods, but when Troy fell all that had changed. They became their bitterest enemies. The Greeks went mad with victory the night they entered the city; they forgot what was due to the gods; and on their voyage home they were terribly punished.” Even though they could be in a bad mood, they could still be in a good mood and actually help like Athena did. “It certainly was a case worthy of the interposition of his patron goddess Minerva, who never failed him at a crisis.” (p. 198). Although gods could be both good and bad, they always decided the fate of humans because of their resentment or happiness, which I still believe is unfair.

  7. The gods have had a massive impact on human life. Whether the impacts have been positive or negative depends on the situation of the human and the god. If a human does not respect the gods, then they will be treated badly. But, if they does respect the power of the gods, they will be treated well. If a god is angry about something, they could make the decision to take it out on a human or a group of humans for no reason. Gods have the power to do whatever that they please, without much or any punishment whatsoever. Therefore, the impacts that they make on humans really just depends on what the human has done, and what the God is feeling. One example of this is the aftermath of the Trojan War. The Greeks failed to pay their tributes to the Gods after their victory, and this was not receieved well with Athena and Poseidon. Therefore, they decided to destory their whole fleet, except for Odysseus and some of his crew. Poseidon went on to mess with and make Odyssesus’s life difficult for the next decade, forcing him to stay away from his family for over 20 years. The Greeks made their mistake, which angered the Gods. The impact that the Gods decided to make was to kill off most of the Greek fleet, and torture their leader and some of his men for years.

  8. The gods had a negative impact on human life. There are many reasons that support this. One is that it was the god’s fault that the Trojan War began in the first place. They were the ones who didn’t invite Eris to the banquet. Also, instead of solving the apple problem between themselves, they had to bring the mortals into it. Because they couldn’t decide who was the fairest, they presented the choice to a mortal youth, who was bound to get enemies. If Paris had chosen Athena, he would have Hera and Aphrodite against him. The same would be if he chose Hera or Aphrodite. While the war was going on, they chose sides, and watched the slaughter with amusement. Each god did whatever he/she wanted to do with his/her favorite mortal hero. Whenever their “character” was injured or wounded, they helped them. Whenever their favorite person lost his aim, they corrected it. “The best and bravest next to Hector, the Prince Aeneas, came near to death at Diomedes’ hands…Apollo enveloped him in a cloud and carried him to sacred Pergamos, the holy place of Troy, where Artemis healed his wound.”(Hamilton, 193) Also, when Achilles was running after Hector, Athena got in the way of their quarrel. “It was Athena who made Hector halt. She appeared beside him in the shape of his brother, Deiphobus, and with this ally as he thought, Hector faced Achilles…So saying he hurled his spear. It missed its aim, but Athena brought it back.”(Hamilton, 198) The gods thought it was their right to rush into the affairs of mortals. They stuck their noses into other people’s business, and made unfair choices and actions. Of course in some cases, like when Athena helped Odysseus on his journey home, but many other times she used her influence for her benefit, not caring how the mortals would feel. The gods definitely had a negative impact on human life.

  9. To be fair, it is difficult to decide on purely one side in this argument. There are many cases where gods help humans and an equal amount of cases when Gods harm them (at least I would imagine). In the Mythological stories we have been focusing on though, I would conclude that the gods generally harm. The only cases where I can think of when gods help humans (in these stories) is 1) when Ladon, Daphne’s father, grants her desperate wish to become a tree when Apollo chases her, and 2)When Aphrodite offers and grants Paris his wish of the most beautiful woman. Both of these are very debatable on their helpfulness, though, because Daphne, in the end, still was turned into a tree, which isn’t very desirable if not necessary. It also made Apollo suffer, knowing that his love was still alive, but that he could never truly show he loved her. As for Aphrodite, it’s pretty obvious how destructive this wish turned out to be, being one of the many bad decisions leading up to the Trojan War. Generally, people suffered from the Trojan war, which was originally caused and slowly amplified by the gods themselves. The Trojan War also led to Odysseus’ great journey leading to him losing his men and all his materialistic possessions, which could therefore also be blamed upon the gods. We also see how Cupid, cursing both Daphne and Apollo, causes great suffering on either end. This shows that the gods really didn’t help people at all, really.

    • I like your point about how gods both helped and hurt humans. You also provided adequate evidence to back that claim. Both examples of the gods being helpful really showed their lack of helpfulness: so I agree with your final point that the Gods didn’t really help people.

  10. After reading last night’s and tonight’s readings, I feel that the Gods generally had a bad influence on the human race. They have so much power and they abuse it, resulting in bad things happening to humans that wouldn’t have happened otherwise. For example, one thing that we have been talking about a lot in class is the Trojan War. The reason that the Trojan War began was because Athena, Hera, and Aphrodite, couldn’t agree on who deserved a golden apple. They went to Paris and offered him great things in exchange for the apple, and he chose Aphrodite’s prize- the fairest women to be his wife, AKA Helen. So he went and kidnapped Helen who was already married to a king, and the king called for war. Some may argue that Paris is the reason that the war began since he was the one who kidnapped Helen, but I think is is the gods and goddesses fault- specifically Aphrodite. Since the gods and goddesses are all powerful, shouldn’t she have known that share offering Paris Helen’s hand in marriage would lead to the Trojan war? Aphrodite shouldn’t have ever offered Paris Helen and the war never would have started. We also see examples of gods and goddesses having a bad influence on humans with them taking out their anger on them. They would cause “natural” disasters over small events because they abuse their power. “Athena’s agreement with Poseidon to destroy the Greek fleet,” (p. 211). People may say that although the gods caused havoc among the humans, they also gave them great things. I think that humans could have done everything without the gods, and even if they couldn’t the amount of deaths the gods have caused and the pain they have caused humans are incomparable to what they gave humans. Overall I think that the gods and goddesses have a negative effect on the human race as a whole.

    • Great job! I do see your points but like I said in my blog, I think that the negative effects they had only taught them lessons which is a good thing. Keep up the great work.

    • Although I agree with your points and analysis, I disagree that gods had a negative impact. Their intentions were primarily good, but sometimes their mood and feelings got the best of them. However, these harmful circumstances created by the gods taught important lessons and only made the people better in the end. The gods had a positive impact on humans.

  11. In tonights reading of Mythology by Edith Hamilton, we read about Odysseus’ journey. Throughout the story we are presented with gods, goddesses and their stories. The question of whether these gods did good or harm is debatable. One can argue that the gods made the trojan war happened and many other things happen which means they had a negative effect. Others may say that it is the people’s fault because the gods helped them as much as they could. In my opinion, both of these answers are correct. There is not just one thing to blame but many things that contributed to it. Honestly, if you ask me, the gods did play a big part in the fails but they also played a big part in the happy things in which can sometimes override some of the negative things. In the book, it says, “Athena and Poseidon had been the Greeks’ greatest allies among the gods, but when Troy fell all that had changed. They became their bitterest enemies. The Greeks went mad with victory the night they entered the city; they forgot what was due to the gods; and on their voyage home they were terrible punished.”“Athena and Poseidon had been the Greeks’ greatest allies among the gods, but when Troy fell all that had changed. They became their bitterest enemies. The Greeks went mad with victory the night they entered the city; they forgot what was due to the gods; and on their voyage home they were terrible punished.” This shows both sides and how the gods did do a bad thing and need to make up their mind but, if the people did what they promised, none of this would have happened. The text also says, “It certainly was a case worthy of the interposition of his patron goddess Minerva, who never failed him at a crisis.” When reading this, I was a bit confused but the more I thought about it, the more I understood that they had to choose a side and it took them time but they never fail to do what they believe is right. Throughout the whole book the gods had to make these choices and they had to choose a side but we don’t see is their point of view and their position in the story. Certainly the the gods were unfair but maybe they were doing it for a reason, to show that life isn’t fair which is a good thing to teach others. In summary, I don’t think there is one answer to whether the gods are good or bad because without both, there will be none.

  12. For the past two nights, we have been reading the Odyssey. The Odyssey is the story of Ulysses (Also known as Odysseus) after the Trojan war. The first challenge Ulysses encountered was landing on the island of the Lotus Eaters. “Ulysses sent three of his men to discover who the inhabitants were. These men on coming among the Lotus-eaters were kindly entertained by them and were given some of their own food, the lotus-plant, to eat. The effect of this food was such that those who partook of it lost all thoughts of home and wished to remain in that country. It was by main force that Ulysses dragged these men away, and he was even obliged to tie them under the benches of his ships.” After escaping from the Lotus Eaters he encountered the Cyclops Polyphemus. Through quick-wittedness Ulysses escaped, but not without losing some of his men. The next adventure was shortly afterward. All of Ulysses fleet except his personal ship docked inside a narrow straight on a nearby island for food and rest. The inhabitants of the island they were a brutal race called the Laestrygonians, who threw rocks at the ships and sank every vessel excluding Ulysses’ ship. Their escape was short lived as the next island they landed on belonged to the witch Circe. With the help of Hermes, Ulysses was able to confront Circe and get her to help them. Circe warns them about the next challenge and told the crew members how to succeed. Therefore when they later passed the Sirens: who would draw sailors towards them and then eat them; Ulysses was then able to safely pass. Circe also warned Ulysses about Scylla and Charybdis. Scylla was a six-headed monster while Charybdis was a whirlpool. Scylla kills six of Ulysses’ crew; but luckily, Charybdis did no harm. After encountering these two monsters the crew lands on a nearby island to rest. This island is home to the sacred cows of the sun. When Ulysses is away the rest of the crew kills a sacred cow. Eventually, the crew leaves the island but has their ship struck by a lightning bolt in retaliation for killing the sacred cattle. Ulysses is the only survivor and drifts to the island of Calypso. Calypso doesn’t want him to leave, but after Zeus demands that Ulysses must go home, she helps build a ship for him. Ulysses eventually arrives home, kills the suitors that plague his wife, and lives happily ever after. The full story of the Odyssey is a ten-year voyage and far too large to encompass in one blog, so I tried to hit the major parts. This long story could be used to teach a lesson. Something we learn from the Odyssey is perseverance and never to anger the gods; who caused Ulysses to take this long voyage.

  13. I agree that gods have a negative impact because they helped cause Ulysses suffering; even though, he was doing what the gods originally wanted. Athena and Poseidon wanted Ulysses to help conquer Troy, but ended up punishing him as a result.

  14. After reading both interpretations of the Iliad and Odyssey in Hamilton’s Mythology and Bulfinch’s Mythology, overall, the gods have a positive impact on humans. It is evident that the gods attempt to assist humans in with their quests or journeys. Athena helps Odysseus, while he was being tortured by gods including Poseidon, “It certainly was a case worthy of the interposition of his patron goddess Minerva, who never failed him in a crisis.” She instantly decided to help, with her a good heart that she has, similar to that of other gods. It is their goodwill, and willingness to help that has a good impact on the Greeks. Sometimes, god’s simply just are in a bad mood or hold a grudge against someone. This doesn’t automatically make them bad people, due to their true intentions. Although the gods do cause damage towards humans, that seems more connected to their mood. For example, Poseidon prevented Odysseus from reaching his home in Ithaca, along with the Trojan War. Paris chose Aphrodite instead of Athena and Hera, infuriating them, which started the Trojan War. In the end, the mood or way a god/goddess feel about something will impact how they treat them. The gods can theoretically do whatever they want, which can be dangerous at times. For example, Athena and Poseidon weren’t given credit or recognition for helping the Greeks win in the war that they destroyed the vast majority of their fleet in anger, “Athena’s agreement with Poseidon to destroy the Greek fleet.” However, these are just some instances where the gods seem evil, compared to their overall positive impact. These bad influences created by the gods only teaches them lessons to become better. Furthermore, gods have a positive impact on the Greeks, despite creating dangerous and harmful circumstances.

  15. The gods and goddess definitely have a very big impact on humans. They are the ones deciding the people’s fates, and also guides them in decision-making. For an example on how powerful the gods are, when they are unhappy, they can control the ocean, the wind, and fates of others, causing everyone on the fleet to die. The text states, “…Athena’s agreement with Poseidon to destroy the Greek fleet,” (page 211). Also, the Trojan War, technically started with the gods. The golden apple was created, and then Aphrodite lead Paris to Helen. If Eris wasn’t left out, the war wouldn’t have started. However, despite all the damage the gods can cause, the gods help the humankind. If you respect the gods, then you will probably receive help from the gods. For example, Odysseus had the help of Athena through his journey home. We can definitely say that the gods have a huge impact in the humankind, and it really depends on how you treat them.

  16. Saying that the Greek (or Roman) gods had an overall positive or negative effect is a very broad generalization. One cannot say that the gods had a strictly positive or negative effect on society because they were so involved with human affairs. And sometimes, their actions greatly benefited people. Other times, the gods were just being intrusive and got a little too involved in human affairs, and ended up negatively affecting people. Take the Trojan War, for example. If the gods hadn’t been so competitive and vain then this 10-year war would never have happened. Helen would’ve been content with Menelaus, Paris would’ve been content keeping his father’s sheep at Mount Ida, and all would’ve been well. Of course, the goddess’ prides were too great, and so they had to find out which of them was the “fairest.” Moreover, after Cassandra is violated under Athena’s protection when she is seeking refuge under Athena’s temple, Athena goes beserk. She turns to Poseidon and persuades him to turn against the Greeks and give them hell on seas. “ ‘Help me to vengeance,’ she said. ‘Give the Greeks a bitter homecoming. Stir up your waters with wild whirlwinds when they sail. Let dead men choke the bays and line the shores and reefs,’ ” (p. 212, Hamilton). However, without the gods, life would most likely be chaos. I mean, there is a god that represents nearly everything. Also, it was the gods that created mankind. I mean, sure, Prometheus made them out of clay, but it was Athena who breathed life into them. In the end, saying the gods had either a positive or negative effect on society is too great a generality. The gods had both positive and negative impacts on human life.

  17. The gods definitely had some sort of impact on humans. Whether good or bad, that will probably be heatly debated in class tomorrow. However, I believe that the gods were both good and bad towards humans, it just depended on if they liked the person or not or if it was their “mood”. To be honest, the entire Trojan War started because Eris, the goddess of discord. No one wanted to invite her anyway, but she still came and stirred up trouble, what everyone was avoiding. Well, they were all avoiding the inevitable. Trouble will always arise in your life. However, back to the gods, Eris stirs a competition of the most beautiful of the goddesses. Of course, the three goddesses couldn’t have enough. And we all know the story. I feel like the pettiness clouds their judgement and impacts the way they made their decisions.
    However, the gods and goddesses still helped mankind. Ulysses, praying to get home to his wife and now grown child, is constantly being tortured by Poseidon throwing him off track, farther than he’s every been before. Athena, a personal fan of Ulysses, seeks to help him and his family out. When Poseidon leaves, Athen speak to the other gods and goddesses to plead Ulysses’ case. Here we see, a true goddess looking out for mankind and not for selfish reasons.
    There are many instances in which gods and goddesses choose for themselves or mankind. However, many ideas and opinions cloud their judgement. Also, as we see in many stories, there’s always a reason for something.

    • I really agree with you, Anjali! The gods have different perspectives, and different people in which they favor, so their negative or positive actions truly defend on the person, or their mood, like you said. I also liked how you not only used tonight’s reading as an example, but you also used The Judgement of Paris. Well done!

  18. After reading both versions of Ulysses’ story, I believe that gods have a positive impact on humans. Especially on humans who prove themselves to be moral, and good-hearted. In the beginning of both stories, Ulysses and his crew have been shown no mercy by the gods. “Give the Greeks a bitter homecoming. Stir up your waters with wild whirlwinds when they sail. Let dead men choke the bays and line the shores and reefs.” (pp. 212 of Edith Hamilton) But after a decade of suffering, Ulysses’s life was beginning to turn around. He and his crew began to journey home, and along the way, gods such as Minerva, would transform themselves into humans to help guide Ulysses. In Edith Hamilton Mythology, Athena would help Ulysses stay on the right path of returning to Ithaca. “…Athena was sorriest of all. Her old feelings for (Ulysses) had returned; she was determined to put an end to his sufferings and bring him home.” (pp. 213 of Edith Hamilton) and, “Athena told him how things were in his house and promised she would help him clear it of the suitors.” (pp. 225 of Edith Hamilton) Here, Gods are shown as a presence, and as really being on Earth in their true form just to help Ulysses, and they succeeded. In Bulfinch’s Mythology, Minerva is the one who guided Ulysses. The first time she helped him was when she smoothed out the rough seas. “Minerva smoothed the billows before him and sent him a wind that rolled the waves towards the shore.” (pp. 196 of Bulfinch) She was also the reason the ball Nausicaa was playing with fell into the river causing her and the attendants to scream, and wake Ulysses. It was also Minerva who told Ulysses where he was when he awoke in Ithaca. “Minerva appeared to him in the form of a young shepherd, informed him where he was, and told him the state of things at his palace.” (pp. 202 of Bulfinch) Minerva was always there for Ulysses, and all of the gods had watched over the human race. It was said before that Gods keep the especially moral protected in a cloud. So, I do believe that Gods have a positive effect on human’s lives. “It certainly was a case worthy of the interposition of his patron goddess Minerva, who never failed him at a crisis.” (pp. 198 of Bulfinch)

  19. After reading about a variety of stories about mythology, I believe that the gods had a positive influence on people. My main reasoning behind this is that the gods gave people hope in those times. People we able to alter the gods to help themselves in times of need. “Then Justice became Zeus’s companion. The buccaneering chieftains in the Iliad did not want justice,”(pg.20). In this passage in Edith Hamilton, it is very clear that the gods were a form of salvation. The passage later goes on to say “These passages show that the great a bitter needs of the helpless were reaching up to heaven and changing the god of the strong into the protector of weak”. It is clear that these gods were used to give hope to the common people who wanted to better themselves. They gave hope to those soldiers who went into battle. These gods were the reason that the Greeks and Romans alike were able to complete such great accomplishments. Without them being able to trust their gods, they would have been much more passive and much weaker empires.

    • Great response Matt! I felt like the gods had a negative impact on humans, but I really liked your reasoning and I can see your point. I think they were very powerful, and that power can give the powerless mortals hope.

  20. In my opinion I think that the gods definitely make a negative impact on human lives. It is quite obvious that they are always causing trouble. They fight and get very jealous. In fact, I think in some stories the gods could even represent the bad side of humans, full of greed, lust, pride, wrath, sloth, and gluttony. For example, the gods basically started the Trojan War because of the Judgement of Paris, and they kept fiddling around making it worse. “…expect for the account of Athena’s agreement with Poseidon to destroy the Greek fleet.” They kept taking sides in the Trojan war. Quite frankly I feel like they are just a giant crazy family always backstabbing each other, which isn’t very good. Men were dying, mothers were heartbroken, and the gods were selfish and did what they wanted. Although I think their intentions were good, I think the sadness and destruction they caused outweighs the positives. However, Bulfinch’s Mythology, you could really see how the gods did help Ulysses in his journey with all of the monsters. “…his patron goddess Minerva, who never failed him at a crisis. In all, I think the gods do as they please, and whether that is good or bad doesn’t matter to them. Unfortunately, I think they don’t realize the troubles they have caused mortals, but I do admit they have also helped mortals in the past.

    • Nice response. Although I do think that they do some unacceptable things, I believe there are good things that they have done too.

  21. I believe that gods have a negative effect towards human lives. Humans portray the gods as having such an omnipotent presence even in their daily lives that it feels like humans don’t live their lives, but the gods do through controlling every aspect of their fate. It is scary how one day the gods change their minds so quickly that it can change the date of a whole fleet of ships. How the gods suddenly switch sides against the Greeks is wrong, because they killed so many men just to appease the gods, because the gods were the driving force of wreaking havoc in the Greek people’s lives. In the end, the gods do end up being the rulers of everything aspect of every Greek life in the stories that we have read, and the Greeks are always at their mercy.

    • This was a really good response Mia and your argument was very thought out, great job! Oh, and nice used of the word omnipotent, I can already see your Latin education now!

  22. No, the gods don’t have a positive effect on humans lives in the novels Wes re reading. They are constantly meddling in affairs that really don’t involve them and they make the situations much worse for everyone involved. The gods punished the Greeks after they won the war and made them suffer with monsters on their way home. This backfired because after making Odysseyeus suffer for years they decided they felt bad and should fix things and return him to the family he hasn’t taken in years. Odysseyeus was gone for ten years because of the war, but if it wasn’t for the gods meddling in affairs that did not concern them, Odysseyeus missed his child growing up and becoming a man, he missed every family milestone there is. Also the goddesses and their vain competition sparked an entire war. Aphrodite knew Helen was the fairest and that she was married and yet still promised her to Paris, she had to have known their wouldn’t be a positive response to Paris stealing away a married woman, especially one as important as Helen. Because the gods demanded a sacrifice for Agammenon killing a sacred animal, he had to sacrifice his own daughter which led to his eventual murder by his wife. If the gods left the humans alone and let them deal with their issues themselves, maybe such awful things wouldn’t happen all the time. Also, they seem to have rational reasons to meddle in human affairs. They meddle because of jealousy and their own personal rivalries and never seem to to care about benefiting or helping the humans.

  23. Overall, I think that the Gods had a mainly positive impact on the humans that they were influencing. The gods were a being or power that these ordinary people could look up to, and were they had the ability to provide people with something to be believing in. The gods like Zeus especially, had power and strength and that led to making men at the time want to be like him and to be strong and to provide for those that they said that they would. The gods and goddesses and their stories taught people who were lost or needed guidance, a lesson and it made them better. But then again, I am the type of person who tends to believe the best in people and their intentions. One could argue that Zeus was too powerful and strong and that his image was one that no man could ever live up to so many would fail when trying. You could say that the beauty of the goddesses and what was expected of them from the men, to be the “fairest one”, was too much pressure and could cause heartache for a young girl who was learning about the goddesses like Hera, Aphrodite and Athena. Both of these arguments could be proven right, but if the gods and goddesses did nothing to benefit humans, then why are they talked about and discussed in all their former glory still today? If their stories are still being told than they have to have had done something right. In order to impact the lives of so many for thousands of years to come and in the monumental way that they did. So in the end, some of the morals of the gods and people associated with them, like Paris when he chose a woman’s beauty over anything else he could’ve had can be bad, but there was also some good. For example, Minerva who gave Odysseus a gust of wind to help his draft ashore. Like anything else, there are good and bad people (or gods) in every aspect of life, but overall I have found that the gods purposes were to help the people grow. While along with that, they grew up themselves at the very same time. So they most definitely helped the humans that were willing to listen.

  24. Mythology is very reliant on the gods. Without the gods then there would be no mythology, but does this mean the gods are good because they were the cause of such an interesting tithing as mythology? No, it does not. Very much like humans, the gods are both food and bad. Treat them right and you will be rewarded, but wrong them and you will pay for your actions.

    A perfect example of this is Athena and Poseidon after and during the Trojan War. During the war, both Athena and Poseidon supported the Greeks, but after the Greeks won, they did not pay their respects to the gods that helped them succeed. So after the Greeks finished celebrating their victory and not celebrating the gods that helped with that victory, they made the Greeks suffer greatly on their way back home.

    In that example the gods seem a bit more mean then they are always. A time when the gods were not so mean was when some of the Heroes fell in battle during the Trojan War. Some of the gods took potty on the dead heroes, and instead of letting them be stampeded over, or mutilated by thee enemy, the gods protected them. A people example is with Hector. After Hector was defeated he was attached to a chariot and dragged around the city of Troy. It was a god who made it so his body would be preserved and not mutilated by the show. It was also a god that helped the king of Troy take back the unharmed Carly’s that was his son so that there could be a proper funeral.

    The gods very much act like humans, they do things unexpectedly and sometimes things that they are my supposed to do. But this doesn’t mean they are bad lawbreakers, sometimes they favor someone and that person has good fortune, but sometimes the may despise someone, ad that person has very little chance in succeeding at what they want. The gods are sometimes cruel, but they are also sometimes kind. It depends k. The person, and how that god or goddess feels at the moment.

  25. People are arguing about how the gods affect the human race. Without a doubt, we can all say that gods do make a huge impact on human life. They did apparently start the Trojan War. The question is, do they make more of a negative impact or a positive impact? In the case of the Trojan War, I would say they make more of a negative impact. I do agree that they did some positive things, but the Trojan War definitely was a negative impact. The gods had a dispute, and Jove decided to let a mortal decide, and we all know how that ended. The gods had the humans to handle their dispute, causing the Trojan War to come out. With the help of the gods, so many brave soldiers have died in vain, including Achilles and Patroclus, and the gods were okay with that. They caused Odysseus to be separated from their family for twenty years. They only cared about the deaths of their children, not of the hundreds of deaths caused by them. Even though they did help some brave warriors survive, it does not clear out the fact that they helped destroy one of the most powerful kingdoms in the world without mercy.

  26. Now that we have read both accounts of The Odyssey, I am torn between whether the gods have a positive or negative effect on the humans. I agree with what some other people said, which is that it really depends on who the god is and what mood they’re in. Some gods were more inclined to be reasonable and kind-hearted, like Athena or Artemis. However, other gods like Ares or Zeus were often quite harsh with punishing humans. Still others were in between, like Hera or Aphrodite. It all depended on whether they liked you or not, and if the answer was no, it showed in their punishment. In the Odyssey, the gods played a large role in what happened to Odysseus. Towards the beginning they all had fairly negative effects, but as time went on, some of their grudges lessened and they became sympathetic. “Ten years, however, is a long time for anger to last. The gods had by now grown sorry for Odysseus, with the single exception of Poseidon, and Athena was sorriest of all. Her old feeling for him had returned; she was determined to put an end to his sufferings and bring him home.” (Hamilton pg. 213) As well as depending on who the god was, it was also important for the humans to be very respectful and gracious towards the gods. Many times humans became boastful and made rude remarks about how they were stronger than the gods, more beautiful, more intelligent. All of these times resulted in a nasty end for the human involved. I don’t know about you, but I’d rather keep my mouth shut than get turned into a giant spider because of some stupid comment. Even though there were a lot quarrels between the gods and humans, they sometimes had a positive effect as well. In the Odyssey, Athena, once vengeful and angry, became sorry for Odysseus and was quite helpful on his journey. She appeared to him disguised as multiple people who helped him, such as a young shepherd who told him that he was in Ithaca. She then revealed herself to him and helped form a plan to get rid of the suitors. She also advised Telemachus, Odysseus’ son, to return home, where he could meet his father. It is hard to pick a side, because everything depended on multiple factors, such as who the god is, who the human is, the god’s mood, whether or not the human is respectful…

  27. The Gods factoring into the lives of people throughout Greek mythology is dependent on whether the gods favor the person in particular. The gods were made to resemble attributes of humans they can feel happiness jealousy sadness and etc. Which means that they can feel fond of one person and have hatred for another. They can also forgive and have guilt as we saw with Athena who had a change of heart for Odysseus. However for much of what we read the punishments outweigh and are far greater than the rewards for when the gods favor someone. It is shown that the gods are ultimately in charge of every person’s fate. They can change a person’s life for the long run. As they did for Odysseus. Both Athena and Poseidon led them and many other fleets off Route and eventually stranded him. It was not until ten years when Athena decided to help him and even after that it took him a long time to go home. This just shows the extent of how far the Greco Roman Gods go to punish a person even if he wasn’t directly responsible. When it come to award and gratitude they don’t seem to do much however. All in all it is all due to how the gods feel about a person or group for whether or not they should do good or bad to them.

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