Who is Hermes in the Odyssey?

The Odyssey by Homer features several divine characters, including Poseidon, Athena, and Hermes. Hermes, known for his role as a messenger in mythology, also acts as a protector of travelers, merchants, and thieves. He is depicted as having winged shoes, which allow him to fly.

In the epic, Athena asks Zeus to release Odysseus and his son from the captivity of the nymph Calypso. As a result, Zeus sends Hermes to Calypso’s island to deliver his order. Despite her displeasure, Calypso releases the prisoners in accordance with the message of the gods. Hermes is shown as a mediator in this situation.

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Later in the story, when Odysseus is stranded on the island of Circe, Hermes appears disguised as a young man. He warns Odysseus of Circe’s witchcraft and provides him with an antidote to her spell. The drug, called molly, helps Odysseus free his companions, who had been turned into pigs with human faces. With Hermes’ assistance, Odysseus saves himself and his friends from Circe’s wrath.

Overall, Hermes plays a vital role in The Odyssey as a messenger, mediator, and helper. He assists the main character on his journey and helps him overcome obstacles. Despite being a divine character, he shows compassion and empathy towards mortals, which makes him relatable to the readers.


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