Logos and Mythos The word Logos (?????) word (from Greek ?????? to speak) is rarely used in the epos of Ancient Greece. Homer, actually mentions the word logos only three times and immediately changes it with other words like ????? (myth) and ???? (epos).
When he uses word logos in a plural form, logos means false words or playful cunning words. Further, the cultural society of Ancient Greece understands logos (in Homers Odyssey) like the truthful words, whereas myth becomes a fairy-tale, a figment, fiction, fancy or imagination. The prose of sharp mind takes the victory over myth. Logos is the sphere of this prose; logograph is the writer, and logos in perceived as a certain word about nature and its rules.
It is understood as the nature of all things or the word of all existing. Finally, Homers logos can be understood as a world harmony, a natural causal relationship of the things. Actually, philosophy explores these meanings and definitions of logos in Homers works in general and in Odyssey in particular. Mythological formation of our conscience is a spiritual reflex of community-ancestral being of human. Mythology is the understanding of the whole world as a certain universal ancestral community. It contains the data about biography of Ancient Greek society, culture and theoretical thinking. The most ancient cults of all nations were concerned with worshiping of the Goddess-Mother and supernatural forces.
The most important moment that is a corner stone of any ancient religion is the moment when a person grasps the idea of world order and harmony and, finally, opposes it to irrational forces of chaos. This moment is traditionally demonstrated in the myths related to the theme of struggle with the gods. Odyssey and Oedipus are not exceptions to the rule. For example, the humanlike gods who create logic hierarchic system of the world are opposed to demons of the ancient world. Ancient Greeks considered that the gods-winners lived in Olympus Mountain. Olympus was considered not only the mountain but rather the certain divine place. The gods were considered as creatures who were to a great extent similar to people (however, with the exception of their eternal life).
Hannibal is a great general that used many tactics and strategies to winning his battles. He carefully marched his way through Spain since he had allies in some parts and enemies in other parts. Then he went through France to Italy, where his conquest to conquer Rome would happen. He moved his troops through allied territory, where his presence would most likely be safe. The great Hannibal won the ...
Myths of Homer brightly describe the gods life with their wars, rivalry, intrigues, feasts, love and hatred. The inhabitants of Olympia and their triumph over the superior natural forces of the Mother-Earth reflected proud self-conscience of a man who realizes his superior commencement over the nature. The triumph of Olympic gods reflected the belief in supreme significance of the spiritual commencement. However, the victory over Olympic gods wasnt complete: as Homer tells us, the gods werent brave enough to compete with the Goddess (the Mother).
The Goddess Mother still had the right of supreme power. The Destiny was the most significant figure and nobody was able to receive a victory over her. The Goddess Mother was one of her representations.
The root of fatalistic feeling that gave the origin to antic tragedy written by Homer, sang a song about unavailing competition of the man with unknown fate. Homers Odyssey was a real encyclopedia. Many generations of Hellenes were educated by it. The main tendency of Odyssey was personification of the gods and this tendency found a sound echo among the inhabitants of Ancient Greece. However, gradual overcoming of the cult of human onset in Greek religion allowed it rising over the simple anthropomorphism. The immortality, supported by magic drink, as well as insurmountable power of Olympic gods was external features that differentiated people from the gods.
Both Odyssey and Oedipus tried to gain victory over the gods and destiny. Universal powers of being were understood as a kingdom of unlimited, uncertain, unrestrained chaos by magic-mystical conscience of archaistic Odyssey and Oedipus. The characters of Sophocles and Homer considered that when a person manages to understand and perceive the definite nature of the things, he becomes the master of universal forces of existence. This possession is a kind of understanding and explanation of the thing itself. The world of classical Greek is represented by a tame chaos. Odyssey tries to find explanation to any event he can.
Did Odysseus and his men bring the string of catastrophes on themselves? Yes, they did get themselves into serious trouble. With a pompous attitude, the men prolonged their journey home to Ithaca. Those who did not have Odysseus's smarts, died because of this. When they raided the Cicones' village, harassed Poseidon's son, and killed the Helios's cattle, they punished themselves. Odysseus and his ...
He tries to draw his own image of the world using certain rules and standards. The limitless, scaring, demonic beginning ascends to beautiful plastic forms of the destiny. This what we call cunning and resourcefulness nature of Odysseys logos. The guile and ruse of Odysseys mind is embodied here. Odyssey knows the hidden power of the things. The natural power of the things serves to the man and to his wisdom. Odysseys logos is resourceful and smart.
It forces situation to serve him. His wisdom never asks for help of deonic forces because the principle is omnea mea mecum porte. The very subjective world, the world of definite shaped, measured and weighted things is the source of Odysseys meaningful logos. His wisdom relies on itself. It doesnt require myth to understand its own essence. Odysseys logos turns to philosophy in order to discover the mystery of his power. His materialistic way of thinking can be explained by the way he understands nature, the nature without any additional supplements.
Thats, probably, the explanation of the fact that Odysseys materialistic resourcefulness was his peculiar feature. Homer considered that the principle is the man (or the god).
This stratagem of copula man-god is very interesting. Too materially-minded utilitarian gods were considered the creatures of the same kind like the people were. Sophocles and Homer spoke about close relations between such gods and ordinary people. However, materially-minded people are not able to be satisfied with the ideal that doesnt tower above them.
No wonder that Sophocles and Homer tried to reveal the mystery of gods. What could they discover? From Homers Odyssey we know that gods are powerless before the decision of Destiny. Therefore, the destiny rules the world. Consequently, the universe is a system of universal dependence. Slave obeys the man-master, the man-master is a toy in the hands of gods. The gods, in their turn, are under the control of the Destiny. The destiny of a man is slavery, not only physical but also mental slavery. The man like slave withstands the gods not with a sense of resignation but rather like a captive.
David, King of Jews, possessed every weakness and sin that “a man of blood” is capable and yet God still showered and bestowed him with abundant blessings. He was the adulterer of Bathsheba whom he forced to go with him to bed and convinced to lie about her pregnancy to her husband Uriah. He was the murderer of his friend Uriah whom he sent in front of the battlefield if only to own Bathsheba. He ...
Resignation originates from belief in blessing of supreme powers. However, you will find no signs of such blessing among the supernatural forces from Sophocles and Homers works. The gods are mean-spirited and mercantile. Their plans are whims and fancies that turn the mans world into absurd. We can find a hidden thought about impending doom of people. Odyssey knows about the destiny of his friends, Oedipus reflects the dramatic change in Sophocles thoughts about divine justice.
Oedipus is a man mutilated by the Destiny. The role of mythos, destiny, the system of beliefs, supernatural powers is very important in Sophocles Oedipus. Sophocles understood all insignificance of worldly hopes. Did he worship the mans power? Was it Sophocles who praised the man as a master of the Universe? In Oedipus he speaks about the danger to withstand to the gods. He says that the man can have power but his power is nothing compared to the unknown that is always watching him. Moira appears as Gorgon. She is not a gracious and kind supreme power.
She represents the inexorable order of the things and the man has no power over her. According to Sophocles, this is the truth of life. This truth has no place for mercy and remuneration as a kind of moral responsibility. Oedipus was a forced, involuntary offender. The destiny acts as a merciless soulless mechanism. Homer seems to equate Destiny and Justice.
Sophocles Moira is also just and righteous, however, this justice is different. Less of all it reminds us the divine line of destiny. It simply acts as the rule of casual relations, indifferent to the inner world of a man. The crime was committed and doesnt matter whether it was voluntary or involuntary. The crime is a real fact and results in real consequences. This is the source of antic Terror fati the fear of destiny. Convulsive masks of the Greek theater remind us about all-absorbing nightmare of a man suppressed by Unknown. However, depicting the struggle of Oedipus and Destiny, Sophocles couldnt support the Destiny as well as he wasnt able to support the Plague in the Athens.
By definition, a tragedy invokes pity or fear on the audience while telling a story of misfortune as a result of reversal of situation. This is usually due to the protagonist’s hamartia, or character flaw. All this is present in Sophocles’ play, “Oedipus the King”. The play can also be considered a tragedy due to fate. The tragic effect it causes is due to the conflict ...
Probably, due to this reason he described Oedipus as apotheoses of the play. Suffering makes the ill-fated king to be beautiful in his sufferings. The viewers cry with Oedipus. Satan tortured Iov but wasnt able to touch his soul. Fatum also gains only the formal victory over Oedipus because Oedipus remained unconquerable. He remained free.
Sufferings and tortures cleanse him. He is the mouthpiece of spiritual and moral force of a man. We can see his inner spiritual power and feel his innocence, although there is nothing said in the tragedy. In such a way, Oedipus at the same time is a victim and a winner of Destiny. In such a way, the very representation of mythos in Sophocles Oedipus is not the mythos in traditional understanding. Homers mythos is more traditional, it has details description of the main elements of culture, the life of people and gods. Homers Odyssey dwells on the fact that a certain compromise can exist, where the man and the gods can live in peace.
Yet, we cannot say that the essence of philosophy originates from Homers and Sophocles mythos. Philosophic way of thinking often contradicts to mythical image of Weltanschauung. The mythos here is more reflected; it is the mythos with no sanctity aureole..