A 5 PAragraph Comparing the Religions of the Modern to Essay Odyssey Greek Underworld

How does the Ancient Greek beliefs of religion and death differ with the
view of other cultural groups? Death, the way it is represented in Homer's boo
k, The Odyssey, is always caused by human error. Whether their death was caused
by greed, selfishness, or just being curious, many people died in The Odyssey.
Still, the question of what happens after we die remains. Many religions have
different beliefs of religious ideas from the Ancient Greeks. Afterlife, is a b
elief where the comparisons among religions become extremely close. The Greek be
liefs of gods and death are different from the modern day beliefs of other relig
ions such as Judaism and Ancient Egyptian beliefs.
For example, The Odyssey begins with a scene containing a conversation
among the gods. The goddess Athena, goddess of war and wisdom, is discussing th
e matter of Odysseus with Zeus, the head god and god of sky (Homer 10). Of cour
se these are not the only Greek gods and goddesses. Other examples of Greek god
s and goddesses are Apollo, god of music, poetry, medicine, archery, and young u
nmarried men and Hestes, goddess of the home. As you can see, the Greeks believ
ed in many gods unlike the people of the Jewish fate who believed in one god. T
he Jewish god does not have an emblem that which it is represented by. The beli
ef is that the god is represented by everything. For example, members of the Je
wish religion believe god is everywhere, in everything, and represented by every
thing they do. Another example of the religious differences is how Ancient Egyp
tians believed in idol gods which are gods represented in statues. Ancient Gree
k beliefs are different from those of other societies because of differences bet
ween how gods are represented in Judaism and Ancient Egyptian beliefs.
Equally important are the Ancient Greek views of death. Death caused by
human error is widespread throughout the book. Human error is encountered in e
ach one of Odysseus's adventures on his return home. The Kyklopes represented t
he greediness, selfishne
s, and uncilvilization of Odysseus's men. Odysseus fel
l asleep and his men unleashed a bag of bad winds, throwing them off path (Homer
315). Skylla and Kharybdis was a representation of death from nature when Odys
seus's men stopped rowing and six of the men were killed. The Seirenes, with th
eir beautiful singing voices represent suicide death. Hades, probably the most
down to Earth adventure, represents time and fate. Many religions use time and
fate as representations of why people die. Ancient Egyptians believed that when
a person died, they were hand picked by god and therefore sacrificed. Modern d
ay occurrences make this seem more and more untrue. Time and fate do not demonst
rate the reasons of death. For example, the act of random violence is becoming
more of a regular practice of unjustified death, unlike the Ancient Greek ways w
hich always had a reason for death. Therefore, this is another difference betwe
en Ancient Greek beliefs and current religions and beliefs.
Next, what happens after death is a question that is yet to be answered.
The people of Ancient Greece believe of the Underworld. Hades is the god of t
he Underworld and has a special throne and place on the council chamber. It is
believed that Hades leads those through the Underworld and will guide them to th
eir designated place (Evslin 276). It is believed that each of the ways that a
person could be guided is similar to the Christian beliefs of heaven and hell an
d the beliefs of the Ancient Egyptians of weighing the soul for good and bad kar
ma (McDonald 356). The Jewish religion believes that the destined messiah will
appear in Israel. This is why many people wish to be buried in Israel, the holy
land of the Jewish people. It is believed the messiah will guide the Jewish pe
ople through the afterlife and the closer you are buried to the messiah, the clo
ser you are "to the front of the line." The Jewish religion teaches that when t
he messiah appears, it will guide the souls to a heaven like or hell like surrou
ndings to live forever (Yedwab).