Literal vs. Figurative Blindness

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The power of inner vision is emphasized in Homer’s The Odyssey as being more influential than the power of the gods themselves. The lack of figurative vision caused an imbalance of power for Agamemnon and Aigisthos, which even the interference of the gods could not overcome. Similarly, Demodokus’ literal blindness demonstrates the power of the gods to keep mortal power in balance. However, it can be argued that Demodokus’ inner vision was stronger than his literal blindness. The gods themselves possess strong inner vision, which gives them power over mortals. Ultimately, the strength or weakness of inner sight is a force that even the power of the gods cannot overcome. An eye with figurative vision is more powerful than an eye with literal vision.

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The text emphasizes the significance of figurative vision over literal vision in influencing an individual’s power. Inner vision is shown to hold more power than even the gods. Homer illustrates this by highlighting the situation of Agamemnon and Aigisthos, demonstrating that the Greek gods cannot overcome the power imbalance caused by the absence of figurative vision. Despite their love for Agamemnon, the gods are unable to save him from death because he lacks knowledge. The gods attempt to prevent Aigisthos’ betrayal through warning, but they cannot assist Agamemnon when he is weakened by his ignorance. Another instance that indirectly illustrates the superiority of inner vision over the gods’ strength is seen in Demodokus’s case.

Demodokus’ example is unique in that it can be argued that his literal blindness is a demonstration of the gods’ power in maintaining balance among mortals. Even though he was a talented singer favored by the Muse, his blindness was a result of her gift, allowing him to perceive both the good and evil of life. This suggests that inner sight holds as much, if not more, influence than the Greek gods themselves. Otherwise, the Muse would not have needed to take away Demodokus’ literal sight to limit his power. The gods themselves are only powerful due to their strong inner vision combined with their literal sight. While they possess magical abilities, it is their inner sight that truly gives them power over mortals. Clearly, the strength of inner vision or the weakness caused by its absence is a force even the gods cannot overcome. Thus, an eye for an eye does not rectify the power imbalance caused by a mortal possessing or lacking inner vision, as figurative sight holds far more power than literal vision alone.

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Literal vs. Figurative Blindness. (2016, Jul 20). Retrieved from

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