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Greek and Roman Mythology > Who's more annoying: Odysseus or Zeus?

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message 1: by Seawood (new)

Seawood These two characters are driving me mad! How Odyseuss can be considered a hero is beyond me. He steals, lies, tricks people and ignores anyone who tries to help him, and blames the gods for the bad behaviour of his crew. Twists and turns? Yeah, he's definitely crooked!

Zeus is a petulant bully who can't keep his family in line and is completely inconsistent.

My hero is Penelope, so far - she's kept her home, wealth and body all to herself all those years. She's loyal and smart.


message 2: by Seawood (new)

Seawood That's true, he's certainly not what we would think of as a hero in the Arthurian/Christian mould. It'd be interesting to compare Greek heros to the Norse or Irish pantheons. There's still a lot of trickstering and stealing and interference from the gods, but somehow they don't seem as obnoxious as Odyseuss. Odyseuss seems to be out for everything he can get (Circe, Calypso, Cyclops and all the various kingdoms), whereas Irish heros iirc were more about defence, preserving the clan/pride, that sort of thing. Theft in particular is portrayed more like a back-and-forth sport than greed. It's been a long time since I've read those sagas though!


message 3: by Jute (new)

Jute | 139 comments Mod
I know it's a double standard that has existed for forever, but the infidelity drives me nuts. I thought Calypso's complaint had merit where she said that it's alright for the Gods to dally but the Goddesses weren't allowed. And poor Penelope is expected to be virtuous when Odysseus is nailing everything that moves.


message 4: by Seawood (new)

Seawood Yes, me too. I actually waded into one of the forum threads which was complaining about how weepy Penelope was...I think she was really clever, keeping all those suitors off for so long. Odysseus didn't deserve her by any stretch of the imagination.

I'd also like to know why none of the goddesses helped her out!


message 5: by Jute (new)

Jute | 139 comments Mod
In general it doesn't seem as if the gods/goddesses do too much helping of females. But maybe I'm just remembering things wrong...


message 6: by Xiri (new)

Xiri | 187 comments Mod
Matt wrote: "A friend of mine teaches at a state university nearby; his MA is in classics and his PhD is in medieval literature. He wrote his thesis on the evolution of the heroic ideal in the west, which didn'..."

Excellent explanation.


message 7: by Xiri (new)

Xiri | 187 comments Mod
Jute wrote: "I know it's a double standard that has existed for forever, but the infidelity drives me nuts. I thought Calypso's complaint had merit where she said that it's alright for the Gods to dally but th..."

Yeah, that's Greeks for you!


message 8: by Emy (new)

Emy (EmyPT) | 88 comments Mod
Matt wrote: "A friend of mine teaches at a state university nearby; his MA is in classics and his PhD is in medieval literature. He wrote his thesis on the evolution of the heroic ideal in the west, which didn'..."

Don't suppose your friend has put his thesis up anywhere it can be read... *looks hopeful*


message 9: by Emy (new)

Emy (EmyPT) | 88 comments Mod
Matt wrote: "I can ask him the next time I see him."

<3

Academia.edu seems to be 'the' place atm to stick stuff if it isn't in an institutional repository...


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