Fate: Cause beyond human control to determine events. This is the definition of fate from the Webster's dictionary. .
Fate is a common idea throughout the world and through the ages. No matter where you look, in whatever place or time the concept of Fate is the same with very slight alterations. .
In ancient Greek mythology, a man's fate was determined by the three fates, past, present and future. They were represented by three old crones who spun the thread of life, measured it, placed it in a loom, so that it mingled with the other threads, then cut it, thus ending a man's life. .
In Norse mythology, the Fates were young women and very beautiful. They were the spinners of thread and the weavers of the cloth of life, each thread representing a person's life. .
This raises many questions; do humans have free will or are our lives pre-determined? Is the pattern of the loom known to the Fates? .
Now a thread, as someone might first look at it, would seem a straight, thin line, ending abruptly. But on closer inspection, it can be bent, twisted or knotted to fit a need.
In The Odyssey, the main character Odysseus faces this concept throughout the book as Homer tells it. He only wants to go home. The gods have a different idea though what started out as a simple journey home turns into one that lasts 10 years and kills off all his crewmembers. Everything he is to do is already pre-determined, yet he is "given" choices. One of his "choices" is to give his name to Polyphemus, who had just been blinded by Odysseus. That choice cost Odysseus years in getting home thanks to Polyphemus's father Poseidon. Poseidon is angry at Odysseus and keeps the winds so that Odysseus can not get home. Odysseus's thread is long and twisted through his journey. .
Is Fate concerned with the small things in our life or the larger pieces? Athena tells Odysseus, that if his crew eats the cattle of the god Helios then only he would return home but if they didn't then all would return home safe.