Essay on The Role of Gods

Type of paper: Essay

Topic: God, Religion, Homer, Society

Pages: 3

Words: 825

Published: 2019/10/11

Ancient Greeks live by the fate of their lives. This was dictated by the presences of a super natural being who was fearful and no one could attempt to question his unforeseen powers. The gods were believed to be part of people’s lives and nobody could imagine doing something without first consulting with the immortal world. The gods were omnipresent and Homer described them as ‘anthropomorphic’ that is they are like human in characteristics and all activities carried out during those days were literally controlled by the gods, this depicts their interaction with the mortals. Although, the presences of the Greek gods were associated with nature, they generally appeared in various forms like lightening and thunder, fire, water and other physical features (Homer 492).

Firstly, while they were considered the mighty, sometimes they could turn against their subject and spell disaster in the community. This was seen as the bad side of gods but this could only happened when they were angered or when they were predicting what to come in future. Homer further stated that the gods kept on alternating between spirit world and mortal world (Aristophanes 704). Gods have different roles and duties in the society and they have been given names according to their roles. We have the god of rain, wealth, animals and even for the rulers. The god of life “Athena’ is the most respected and adored as he his giver and protector without which all mortals will be extinct. This is seen when the mortals always pray and asked them to give them more lives and to protect them against any misfortune. Because of their supreme nature they are always respected and mortals offer them sacrifices to appease them. This constant interaction keeps the two worlds a kind of mutual understanding as they depend upon each other (Homer 322). The mortals mainly the rulers and king value gods as they guide them on how to rule and what they should do in order to excel for many years without their authority being questioned by the people. They are always requested for victory when they are going for wars.

In addition, people on the other hand seek the gods’ powers when they are preparing the lands for cultivation. They request that they be granted rain, and favorable weather conditions so that their crops will do well. In times of drought, hunger, plagues and other natural calamities the Greeks always go up the mountain to pray and ask god for forgiveness. This shows the close interaction between the supreme gods and the mortals (Homer 324) In relation to Greeks tradition, we realize that the gods played an important role in the society. They were of great help especially when it comes to human activities. There was nothing being done before seeking the hand of god. Religion was highly valued and everyone was to respect the supernatural being because it was everywhere and was the sole provider of everything. All this were based on traditional myths and norms (Aristophanes 683). Since all the goddesses or gods interacted together, there was need to offer sacrifices to all of them at specific times failure to which they could cause havoc in the society. The god of war for example was to be consulted first before dispatching the warriors so as to bless and cover them from spirit of death. The Greek also believed that when one dies it was the role of the gods to accept and guide its spirit to a safe place in the immortal world so that it does not come back to haunt the living.

Consequently, the gods were also helpful in predicting the future. The kings and rulers always visited the gods and consult them on what lies ahead. By so doing the kings would prepare accordingly and even if there is need to relocate they would do that in advance (Sophocles 659). Despite the benefits of gods to ancient Greeks, there are some few harmful effects which they cause. An example is when the gods are angry they can bring serious droughts or other calamities which might not go well with the people. When they don’t receive sacrifices as per their specification they cause deaths and deformities in children (Aristophanes 722). The gods appeared in different forms and shapes; this was in respect to the roles played by each goddess. The goddess of rain would appear in form of thunder and lightning and in most cases it appeared as moving clouds and for one to receive the message he was suppose to go up the mountains where the clouds was passing and perform some rituals before the god convey the massage (Homer 437).

In conclusion, it is evident that the gods of war appeared as wild wind and it could lead and direct the warriors all the way to the battle field. Since many gods manifested themselves in human forms, they did most of their works as kings and commanders. Some people were known to having extra ordinary powers and skills that no one new exactly their origin. This was a special case of gods performing human duties in immortal world (Homer 441). The religion and tradition benefited a lot because of the presence of gods so as to restore order and unity among the members of the community thus reducing instances of conflicts as people feared the consequences of disobeying the gods. In some situations the gods appeared as feathered serpent and under this condition it was only through the intervention of the foreseers to interpret the message they were carrying (Aristophanes 718).

Works cited:

Aristophanes. ‘Lysistrata’, The Norton Anthology of World Masterpieces Eds. Sarah Lawall et al. 2 vols. New York: Norton, 1999. 647-726. Print.

Homer “The Odyssey.” The Norton Anthology of World Literature, Second Edition. Ed. Sarah Lawall. New York, NY: W. W. Norton & Company, 1984. 225-530

Sophocles. “Antigone.” The Norton Anthology of World Masterpieces. Ed. Knox and Mack. New York: Norton, 1995: 632-67.