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Destiny, Fate and Free Will in Homer’s Odyssey – Odysseus’s Fulfills His Destiny

Odysseus’s Fulfills his Destiny in The Odyssey

During Odysseus’s journey in The Odyssey, his own guile, the gods’ obstacles and their assistance for him affected his destiny. Odysseus uses his crafty sense of trickery and guile to get out of situations, which allow him to reach his destiny of returning home. Many times in The Odyssey the gods who dislike Odysseus set obstacles to try to stop him from returning home. However, there are gods who favor him and give him assistance to reach his homeland of Ithaca.

Odysseus found himself in some dangerous situations during his journey but he was clever enough to think of ways to escape them. For example, when he encountered Polyphemus, Odysseus tricked him when he told the Cyclops his name was “Noman.” After Polyphemus believed him and was stabbed in the eye, not knowing any better called out to his friends, “Noman is murdering me by craft. Force there is none” (87). Odysseus’ power over his enemy is once again confirmed by his wit more than by physical force. Although this sense of guile is at his enemy’s expense, there exists a touch of dramatic irony that helps the reader to take part in knowing something that Odysseus’ enemy doesn’t know.

To get his way with Calypso, Odysseus flatters her to persuade her to free him from captivity. Odysseus sweet-talks Calypso and then states his destiny when he says, “Powerful goddess, do not be wroth at what I say. Full well I know that heedful Penelope, compared with you, is poor to look upon in height and beauty; for she is human, but you are an immortal, young forever. Yet even so, I wish-yes, every day I long-to travel home and see my day of coming” (49). Odysseus’ day of coming stands for hi…

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…other of this Scylla, who bore her a bane to humankind; she will restrain her from a second onset” (116). Odysseus has to stop thinking that fighting always works. It is best to run and take the easy and safe way out when he is fighting a more powerful being than himself.

Odysseus’ own guile, the gods’ obstacles, and their assistance for him are all factors that affected his fate during his journey. His guile to make difficult situations seem simple became very handy in escaping the dangerous times and allowed him to move further in his odyssey. The gods who dislike him sent storms or traps in their attempts to cease and stop Odysseus’ journey home. The gods who approve of Odysseus’ return home, for instance Athena, Hermes, and Circe, assisted him in many ways to ease his way home to his home in Ithaca and to fulfill his destiny.

Essay on Setting in Kate Chopin’s The Story of an Hour

Elements of Setting in Kate Chopin’s Short Story, “The Story of an Hour”

Setting exists in every form of fiction, representing elements of time, place, and social context throughout the work. These elements can create particular moods, character qualities, or features of theme. Throughout Kate Chopin’s short story “The Story of an Hour,” differing amounts and types of the setting are revealed as the plot develops. This story deals with a young woman’s emotional state as she discovers her own independence in her husband’s death, then her “tragic” discovery that he is actually alive. The constituents of setting reveal certain characteristics about the main character, Louise Mallard, and are functionally important to the story structure. The entire action takes place in the springtime of a year in the 1890s, in the timeframe of about an hour, in a house belonging to the Mallards. All of these aspects of setting become extremely relevant and significant as the meaning of the story unfolds.

When Louise Mallard first hears that her husband was killed in a railroad accident, “she wept at once,” and “went away to her room alone” (12). As she mourns, looking out of her window on the second floor of her home, a sudden change of heart begins to come over her. She notices “the delicious breath of rain,” ” a peddler . . . crying his wares,” “notes of a distant song,” “countless sparrows . . . twittering,” and “patches of blue sky,” “all aquiver with the new spring life” (13). As she stares at the sky, she begins to think about her newfound independence from her husband, uttering the words “free, free, free!” (13). What makes her develop such a sudden change in attitude? Could it be that she sees rebirth in the world through her wind…

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…giving it boundaries and distinctive characteristics about the situation. Setting preys upon reader stereotypes and preconceptions about the certain time frame or location in which the story takes place in order to bring out more meaning. In this work, Chopin develops the story based on the reader’s knowledge and understanding of a woman’s place in late nineteenth-century America. But the specific setting–the time of year and the structure of the Mallard house–also gives clues to help readers understand Louise and attempt to determine the cause of her death. Louise may die of heart disease, as the doctors say at the end of the story, but setting indicates that the disease was not “joy that kills” (14).

Work Cited

Chopin, Kate. “The Story of an Hour.” The Compact Bedford Introduction to Literature. 4th ed. Ed. Michael Meyer. Boston: St. Martins, 1997. 12-15.

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