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This is a painting of the three fates, the cholo of Greek mythology. It is from a painting called "A Golden cholo."
1. Research what is going on in this picture. Report what you find here.
The painting depicts the three goddesses whose names are Clotho, Lachesis, and Atropos.
Clotho spins the thread of life from her distaff onto her spindle.
Lachesis decides how much time for life is to be allowed for each person or being.
Atropos is the cutter of the thread of life.
2. Right after the invocation to the muse and the statement of theme, The Odyssey begins with Zeus complaining about how humans always blame their suffering on the gods. How does he explain the role of fate and free will?
3. What role does Odysseus's name play in explaining or signifying his fate?
The name Odysseus means the son of pain. I think that this is ironic, because Odysseus has gone though enough pain to last him a life time. His name explains his fate because he has gone though many hardships. He went off to war, lost all his men, was held on an island by Calypso, and hasn't been home for 10 years. The biggest hardship of all I would say for Odysseus, is that once he reaches Ithaca,the land he loves, he can not go straight to his family. I don't think I would have been able to do that if I were him. Also, imagine the pain Odysseus must have gone through, as he was testing his wife, having to see her cry in sorrows. Also, having to watch the suitors in his own home, and watching how they treat his wife. I would say that Odysseus has had quite a great amount of pain in his entire life, (C. Vega)
4. Can you bring any of what you have learned in Western Civilization to bear on the discussion of fate and free will?
5. Explain Athena's continued support for Odysseus. What motivates her to help him of all men?
I think that there are a couple of reasons that Athena chooses to help Odysseus, of all men. I think that the relationship between Athena and Odysseus is close to a relationship between a mother and a son. Athena loves Odysseus and wants to help him. He has been through so much suffering, and so many hard times, that I think Athena wants to take care of him the way a mother would. I believe that she wants to watch out for him and protect him, the way any mother would want to protect and hold on to her son. Athena loves Odysseus so much, because he is similar to her in many ways. Athena is the goddess of war, but she is very wise. Also, she is tough, more masculine than other goddesses. Odysseus is always referred to as the man of twists and turns. He is a very intelligent and tricky man. I think that Athena loves him for his mind, and wants to see him do great things. (C Vega)

I agree with cristina, but i also believe that athena does not believe in harming others because of one mistake they made. What poseidon is doing is forcing odysseus to suffer for blinding his son. Athena thinks this game poseidon is playing is useless, and unfair. To even out the playing field, Athena inserts herself into the matter, and in the end, Athena wins. (s. mehlman)

I think that Athena has love for Odysseus just like Penelope does. This means no matter what kind of trouble Odysseus gets himself into, she will always love him unconditionally. Athena knows what kind of person Odysseus is and she also knows that his personality often is what gets him into trouble and she understands that even though he has some flaws, he always comes out with the right mind.I also agree with Steffi when she says that Athena is in it to even out the playing field because of how unfair Poseidon is being and she knows that to get through the journey he will need her help along with some other gods.-Kendra Costantino
6. Does the conduct of the Greek gods surprise you? Explain, using examples from the text of The Odyssey.Yes, the conduct of the Greek gods really surprises me because, I would have thought that the gods be be perfect, or ideal, and they would set a good examples for humans. This however is not the case. There are many examples in the Odyssey showing how the Greek gods are flawed. I know that in West civ, we learned that Zeus, who is the father of the gods, has many wives. He openly has many wives and has children with them. This to me is disturbing behavior. An example in the Odyssey of the bad conduct of the gods is how the goddess Calypso made love to Odysseus and kept him prisoner with her. I would never have imagined a god with a mortal man. I think that this is strange behavior for a god. (C. Vega)
7. Does Odysseus cause his suffering, or do the gods?
I think that it is the gods that are making Odysseus suffer by not letting his return home, but it was Odysseus who brought this suffering upon himself. Odysseus, just like everyone, has a character flaw. It was Odysseus' pride which starts his suffering. When Odysseus and his men where trapped in the Cyclopes' cave he told the Cyclops that his name was nobody. Odysseus was aware that the Cyclopes' father was the sea god, Poseidon. After Odysseus blinds the Cyclops and escapes his cave, it was his pride that made his yell to the Cyclops that he was the great and mighty Odysseus. This was an unwise thing that Odysseus did. This is the reason that Poseidon is going to make Odysseus suffer. (C Vega)
8. In the underworld, we see three characters who have been condemned to eternal suffering. Pick any one of those characters. Explain what he did wrong and how he is being punished.
In the Underworld, Odysseus sees three men that have been condemned to eternal suffering.One of which was Tantalus. Tantalus suffers endless torture by him sitting by a stream and having grapes hung over his head. Everytime he reaches up for a grape they are pulled out of his reach and everytime he tries to take a sip of water the stream goes dry. In a way this character reminds me of Odysseus. Odysseus ibeing tormented by the gods, in a different way. the gods have made him so that he will never see home again. I think seeing this character scared Odysseus and showed him the power of the gods and how Tantalus never escaped there wrath. (s mehlman)
9. Circe warns Oedipus to not do something when he confronts a sea monster, but Odysseus does it anyway. What should he not do? How does he feel when he does it?
Crice warns Odysseus not to try to fight the sea monster when he sees it. However, Odysseus is always looking for a fight and wants to be a good leader. When he sees the monster Odysseus immediately pulls out two spears. When scylla starts to eat his men odysseys heres them crying for his help. Odysseus always wants to help his men, so not being able to do anything was really hard for him. never the less, listening to Circe's warnings was probably the smartest thing he did during the course of the book. As we know, odysseus has gotten into a lot of trouble by not listening to people. listening to circe shows how odysseus' character has grown. (s mehlman)


In west civ we're learning about fate vs. free will.I personally think that when a person is given a certain fate they cannot escape it no matter what. They can choose certain decisions that could effect the things that happen on the side, but no matter what, their fate will come true.I think it is kind of scary how people, in that time at least, can never escape what they are bound to do. It's like your being chased and can never hide away and be safe. (S. Mehlman)

SteffiMehlman
I think the painting is trying to show that Odysseus has been mapped out for him, but they are trying to show how they are stretching out the danger in his life. Originally The Fates had not planned that, but once the gods had commanded it, Odysseus' fate was forced to be stretched out, like the girl in the paining is pulling on his thread. The thread is about to break but not quite yet. The Fate to the left is holding the thread down, as if to show the low point in his life. The other fates holds the spool of thread looking genuinely upset, as if she did not want this to be Odysseus' fate.


I did some research on this picture, and when this picture was exhibited, it describes what was going on. It said that the three fates were spinning the thread of life. In the picture, the spindle shows part gold thread, and part grey thread. The gold thread determines the life span of a person. (Cristina Vega)

Did you find their names and their functions? It is worth it to know what each does. Also, consider the metaphor. It does seem to be distinctly feminine. Lastly, do you know who their parents are?

I researched the Moirai. These were the goddesses of fate who told a mans destiny that was inescapable by any man. They assigned to every person his fate. Moirai in Greek means parts or portions. The Moirai would sow a string when odysseus was born and that would predict his future. Only the gods could change what his future held for him. -Kendra

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I found this image on google and it is of Tiresias and Oddyseus, I think it ties into the idea of fate.

-kendra