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Gods and men in The Iliad and The Odyssey

The Ancient Greek gods are all the things that humans are — full of emotions, constantly making mistakes — with the exception of their immortality. It makes their lives and actions often comical or superficial — a sharp contrast to the humans that are often at their mercy. The gods can show their favor, or displeasure; men and women are puppets in their world. Barry B. Powell, author of a new free verse translation of Homer’s The Odyssey, examines the gods, fate, divine interventions, and what it means in the classic epic poem.

Fate and free in The Iliad and The Odyssey

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What role do the Gods play in The Iliad and The Odyssey?

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Who is Hercules and how does he play a role in The Odyssey?

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Greek Gods versus modern omnibenevolent God

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Barry B. Powell is Halls-Bascom Professor of Classics Emeritus at the University of Wisconsin, Madison. His new free verse translation of The Odyssey was published by Oxford University Press in 2014. His translation of The Iliad was published by Oxford University Press in 2013.

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