The idea of immortality has existed through the ages, from the ancient Egyptian’s views on the afterlife and rebirth, all the way through to the Common Era with the Christian belief of eternal existence within heaven or hell. The Greeks felt that immortality could be achieved in a number of ways, including through heroic accomplishments in battle, dying a glorious death, being chosen by the gods, or through sport. The video documentary, The Odyssey, explains the legend of The Odyssey as written by Homer regarding the travels of Odysseus after the Battle of Troy, and the many obstacles that he must overcome on his quest to return home, however it also illustrates the idea of how immortality is achieved and what it truly means to live forever..
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The video, The Odyssey, explains that the Greeks believed that immortality could be achieved through our accomplishments in either battle or in sport, and the legend addresses these ideas in two of the trials that Odysseus must overcome in order to return home. The first occurs when Odysseus and his men are washed ashore on the Island of the Cyclops. When they arrive, they discover a cave with supplies and begin eating and drinking, only to find that they belong to a giant Cyclops named Polyphemus, who has trapped them within the cave and plans to eat them, one by one. After tricking the cyclops into believing that his name was No-One Odysseus supplies the giant with wine, which causes him to fall asleep.
Odysseus then stabs Polyphemus in the eye, blinding him, which causes him to open the cave and run away screaming that No-One has blinded him. Before leaving, Odysseus makes sure to encounter the cyclops again and advise him of his actual name, to ensure that he is remembered in infamy with the cyclops. The second trial occurs when Odysseus’ raft is blown off course and he arrives in the Land of the Phaeacians, who are participating in Olympic-style games. Odysseus is coerced into joining the games, under threat of embarrassment, and is successful in besting the other participants, which earns him fame and permanent recognition. Both of these stories illustrate how the Greeks believed that immortality could be gained through accomplishments within battle or within sport,
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