People act in various ways to achieve their goals despite the fact that they may encounter different challenges along the way. As a result it may not be easy to achieve the goals if a person is not capable of identifying the forces or obstacles that hinder him or her from achieving and fulfilling the intended goals. For instance, the sole goal of Odysseus in The Odyssey is to get back home safely immediately after the Trojan War.
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However, he struggles to return home due to the influence from both internal and external forces and thus his family member think that the Greek hero is dead. The external forces of monsters and gods hinder Odysseus from achieving nostos and make a larger impact than internal forces.
Odysseus is compelled to fight in the Trojan War because he is a hero and had promised Helen’s husband that he would protect her honour forever. Making an oath under such terms made it necessary for him to struggle for the victory of the Greek people. Some of the external forces that hinder Odysseus from going back home include gods such as Poseidon, Athena, Circe, Calypso and Helios. Additionally, the monsters of the land prevent him from going back home by making his journey complicated and challenging. Such monsters include Scylla and Charybdis. For instance, Poseidon, the sea god hates Odysseus for the fact that he hurt the god’s creations, the Cyclops. As a result, the god tries to revenge by destroying Odysseus several times but eventually he is not successful. Zeus, the gods’ ruler, tries to balance the emotions of the other gods and finally saves Odysseus to embark on his journey back home (Burbules, 7). Moreover, Circe acts as an external force that hinders Odysseus from achieving notos by tricking his men and returning them to the pigs. However, Athena, the wisdom goddess has a positive impact on Odysseus journey because she helps him by destroying all the suitors. Also, Athena helps Telemachus, Odysseus son to find his father after spending a long time on his journey after the end of the war. The monsters also hinder Odysseus from achieving notos. For example, Charybdis makes Odysseus’ journey challenging by swallowing his ship that he would have used on his journey home. Furthermore, Scylla the six-headed monster snatches Odysseus men who seem to be travelling by the ship. As a result, Odysseus becomes incapacitated because some of his back up has been reduced, hence he cannot achieve his goals all alone. Calypso, a lesser goddess captures Odysseus like a prisoner and stays with him for many years in her island (Miller & Dellen, 30).
Some of the external as well as the internal forces that we may encounter act as either a stepping stone or a challenge to our success. Were it not for the gods that challenged Odysseus achievement of the notos, it would have been easier for him together with his men. Also, he would return to his home in time immediately after the victory at the Trojan War. It is worth concluding that the external forces in The Odyssey play an important role of hindering Odysseus from achieving notos as compared to the internal forces such as hubris and his temptations as well.
Burbules, Nicholas C. “2001: A Philosophical Odyssey.” Philosophy of Education Archive (2001): 1-14. Miller, Dellen N. The Cyclops in” The Odyssey,”” Ulysses,” and” Asterios Polyp”: How Allusions Affect Modern Narratives and Their Hypotexts. Diss. University of Oregon (2016): 20-67
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