Revenge is a reoccurring theme throughout the Odyssey. Nearly every motivation for conflict within the Odyssey is because one of the characters is craving revenge. The three main areas of revenge in the first twelve books are as follows. Initially, Zeus prevents Odysseus and his men from returning home. Poseidon also continually chastises Odysseus throughout the entire story. Finally, the key account of revenge the reader sees in the story is from Telemachus in that he feels the need to make the suitors compensate for their impudence to his house as well as his mother. Therefore, each of the characters in the story is put through many hardships which pushes them to seek revenge.
However, the major reason why Odysseus and his men are put through all of these horrible instances is the fact that they only had one motive for invading Troy. Troy was known for its strong walls and no one had ever been able to enter without permission. Odysseus and his men attacked an innocent city where countless men died. Zeus believed this to be an outrage and as a result made sure that if Odysseus and his men made it home, it would be a long and tiresome journey. Zeus saw Odysseus and his men raid the city of Ismarus where they ate and drank for days, never wanting to leave. The Cicones, from the city of Ismarus, ran to find help from other Cicones. With the help of Zeus, the two armies of Cicones fought Odysseus and his army where Odysseus lost “six men-at-arms.” (Homer, 358). As a result, Odysseus and his men decided to row away to outrun a sure fate.
In another instance, Odysseus and his men reached the island called, Thrinacia. Odysseus was warned by Tiresias and Cirice not to touch the cattle on this island. The men on his crew were starving and ignored this advice and slaughtered them. When Zeus caught word of this he created a storm. When Odysseus and his men sailed from Thrinacia, the ship was destroyed along with all of his shipmates. Fortunately for Odysseus, he had Athena on his side. She pleaded with her father, Zeus, to allow Odysseus to go home and reunite with his family. At this point Zeus finally chose to help Odysseus reach home. Regrettably, Zeus was not the only one holding Odysseus back.
In addition to Zeus, Poseidon held Odysseus at fault for blinding his son, the Cyclops. Although, Odysseus and his men had to fight off the Cyclops to survive Poseidon still blamed Odysseus for faulting his son after the fact. When Odysseus and his men arrived they found a monster’s cave which they entered and were unable to locate the host. They observed his cave and found many types of cheeses which they indulged themselves in. When the Cyclops returned, “he hoisted overhead a tremendous, massive slab—no twenty-two wagons, rugged and four-wheeled, could budge that boulder off the ground.” (Homer, 362). The Cyclops, feeling no conscious, ate many of Odysseus’ men. Finally, Odysseus decided to take action. He realized they needed the Cyclops to move the...