Comparison between Odysseus Gods and St Augustine One God
The worship of many gods is referred to as polytheism while the worship of one God is referred to as monotheism. This to practices are adopted by different people and cultures in the world. The Homer’s Odyssey gods and the one God of St Augustine writing have some similarities as much as they are different. The similarities are brought about by how they handle the gods and God and the respect atoned to them while the differences are vivid from the number of gods they have to the selfish motives they have unlike God.
In both cases the people are working towards appeasing their god and being on the right side of god in order to achieve ones goal. Odyssey is not able to make a decision on whether to live or return when god Athena and god Poseidon when they have a quarrel on whom should be with him and he waits for them to settle their difference and decide. He does this in order to remain on their good side. This is similar to St Augustine God whom he says he is against anything which is not as per his laws called sin. Those who believe in God called Christians try as much as possible to go against His laws in order to remain in His good side.
Whether gods or God are handled and accorder so much respect and care. In both cases the people under them are obliged to listen to whatever the gods or God want and do accordingly. The sculptures of the two superpowers are kept in places of high power and worshiped. Odyssey’s wife worships one god with a lot of humility in order for her husband to be allowed to come back home, this is similar to the expectation of St Augustine on how Christians should plead and talk to God for their grievances.
The gods of Odyssey have a free will on whom you want to worship depending on what you want and when. Odyssey wife prays to god Zeus in order to help her husband return home. In St Augustine it’s only one God who holds all the power and might and one prays to him for everything from the two similarities it’s clear that the two cultures are both focused on being on the good side of their superpowers in order to gain what they need. The similarities also shows that the two cultures are aimed at being led in a good direction by their god without question as they have total trust in them irrespective of the gods motives. The similarities show that religion is highly valued in both eras and they both have someone they look up to. It also shows that the gods in Odyssey and God St Augustine writing are concerned about their subjects.
This two cultures as much as they seem to have some similarities, the differences are mega as their worship are view dim different perspectives. In Odyssey writing they have different gods for different purposes. They have gods like Athena, Poseidon, Calypso, Circe and minor gods like Hermes, Zeus, and Heracles who have different roles to keep the earth running. Looking at St Augustine writing, he only talks about one God who is all round. He neither competes nor enquires from others as He holds all the power.
The Odyssey gods also have personal motives towards their subjects. It seen in Odyssey journey how he suffers as God Athena does not want him to go back home and fights with god Poseidon about the same who wants to also maintain him. This brings quarrel between the gods and brings instability which is not there in St Augustine God who has no other gods to compete his attention from his people. He is the creator and controls everything He crested solely.
The gods of Odyssey also gives rules and laws as to what suits them and not the right thing. Athena wants to take Odyssey to be her husband knowing well that he is married. A war is broken between three gods fighting for the sane man who is married and deprives the family the love of the husband and father. Looking at God , He considers love as the strongest key and also gives His people free will to choose the good things and enjoy them in the wright way. God is also against violence as peace is love and it’s what advocated by God in St Augustine writing.
From the differences it shows that as much as the subjects as much as they have total trust on their superpower, the Gods and God have different motives towards them. St Augustine God is more concerned about the happiness and fulfilment of the subject while Odyssey gods are selfish as all they do target their own self-interest. The two religions are far much apart in terms of interest and objectives towards the subjects and eternity life.
Butler, Samuel. The odyssey. Longmans, Green, and Company, 1900.
Wetzel, James. “Saint Augustine Lecture 2012: A Tangle of Two Cities.” Augustinian Studies 43.1/ (2012): 5-23.