The Odyssey is rife with human vs. deity, human vs. society, and human vs. self conflicts. There are a few examples of each kind of battle in the poem. The most notable include Odysseus vs. Poseidon, Odysseus and Telemachus against Penelope’s suitors, and Odysseus versus his pride in particular.
Man vs. gods/nature. The hero of The Odyssey, Odysseus, must overcome numerous obstacles on his journey home. His conflict with Poseidon, the Greek god of the sea, is crucial. It is essential to understand various other conflicts. He incurs Poseidon’s wrath when he blinds Polyphemus, the cyclop’s son of Poseidon while leaving Calypso’s island on a raft.
With Athena’s aid, he survives the storm generated by Poseidon. Another example of a man vs. god conflict is Odysseus’ confinement on Calypso’s island. He is under Calypso’s spell. As a result, he spends seven years on her island. He only escapes her grasp as the result of Athena’s help. The goddess appeals to Zeus on his behalf.
Man vs. society. The Odyssey’s many plot lines allow for many important conflicts to arise at the same time. Odysseus is confronted with the anger of the gods. Meanwhile, his son Telemachus fights to maintain control of the home.
The crowd of suitors has taken control of things, attempting to marry his mother’s hand in marriage. This dispute develops in the first books, commonly known as “Telemacheia,” when Odysseus exacts his revenge. It was resolved at the poem’s conclusion when Odysseus took his vengeance.
Odysseus’s lengthy absence leads to instability in Ithaca. There is a lot of rivalry for the crown among many nobles. They intend to get it by marrying Penelope. Her young son, Telemachus, is unable to handle the suitors on his own.
Athena’s intervention restores order in much the same way as before. She encourages Telemachus to expel the suitors from the home himself after he returns. Athena then instructs him to leave the island and look for his father once he has returned home. Odysseus and Telemachus kill all of the suitors in the palace upon their return.
Man vs. self. The Odyssey is rife with internal conflicts. They are frequently linked to other sorts of conflicts. The dispute between Telemachus and the suitors serves as an essential component in the development of his personality. He is initially bashful and timorous, but he overcomes his fears thanks to Athena’s help. Telemachus establishes himself as the family’s leader while Odysseus is gone.
Odysseus’ excessive pride is the source of many conflicts in the poem. After blinding Polyphemus, Odysseus mocks him and makes sure he remembers Odysseus’ name. Poseidon gets angry as a result of this, and he exacts revenge on the hero.
Another major theme in The Odyssey is Odysseus’ fight against vices. In book 10, Circe’s graciousness causes him to lose sight of his real objectives. As a result, he remains on the island of the nymphs for an extra day. However, it is Circe who warns Odysseus about another temptation along the route back home. She claims that they will encounter the Sirens on their journey home.
To avoid being charmed by the Sirens, Odyssey orders his crew to tie him up. The king provides the team with bee wax to insert in their ears so they will not hear the Sirens’ song. Odysseus is unable to resist the Sirens’ music as he passes by their island. He commands his men to set him free. His companions, on the other hand, remain seated on their oars. As a result, they survive and get away unscathed.
There are two main conflicts in The Odyssey. The first one occurs on the island of Icaria, where Odysseus encounters Polyphemus the cyclops. The cyclops captures Odysseus and some of his men in a cave and consumes them immediately. To escape, Odysseus blinds Polyphemus with a burning stake while he is drunk. They all flee under the bellies of sheep, but this conflict leads to greater conflict because Poseidon has revenge for his son’s blinding.
The second major struggle begins when Odysseus returns to Ithaca. He has a crowd of suitors for his wife Penelope at home. He must fight them all, murdering each one and including the disloyal maids. The Odyssey comes to an end as a result of these two huge fights. They are both external because they are between persons. When Odysseus is tempted to remain in other locations rather than return to Ithaca, he faces internal difficulties, but he always does the correct thing.