Women Portrayed in Homers The Odyssey

Women were very important to the Greeks, and they showed this value in many ways. In The Odyssey Homer shows us the different ways women were looked upon through female characters, such as Penelope, Naussica, and Anticlia. With Penelope, a faithful and loving wife to Odysseus, Homer reveals to us how the Greeks believed wives should act. She was loyal to Odysseus the entire time he was away on his journey, and even when it appeared as if he had passed on she still had faith that he would return.

She resisted the suitors on the sole basis that she loved Odysseus and could not see herself with another man when he could still be alive. She was smart, and cunning. She shows us this in Book II when we learn she has avoided having to choose a husband by telling the suitors she would choose one of them once she finished the garment she was weaving. She would work all day, and remove the stitches by candlelight while the suitors slept. Odysseus was “blessed in the possession of a wife endowed with such rare excellence of understanding, and so faithful to her wedded lord” (p. 6). Penelope was the picture of a perfect, devoted Greek wife. Homer also portrayed the loyal daughter type using Naussica, the young princess of Scheria and daughter of King Alcinous. Like most daughters from the Greek civilization, she thought the world of her parents, and they thought the world of her as well. We see that she thinks highly of her father because she refers to him as her “excellent father” and tells Odysseus about everything her father can give to him. Her father seems to be wrapped around her finger.

I got this impression because when she asked if she could use a big wagon, her father immediately replied “You shall have the mules, my love, and whatever else you have a mind for. ” (p. 60) She does almost anything her parents ask of her, without question. Alcinous offered Odysseus her hand in marriage without consulting with her first and Naussica had no problem with this. It is what was expected of her. The duty of a Greek daughter is to obey her father and mother no matter what.

In The Odyssey, through Naussica, Homer illustrates this quite well. The suffering mother in The Odyssey is Anticlia, Odysseus mother. During his journey to Hades, he talks with his mother only after she drinks out of the pool of blood. When he left for the war she was alive, and while he visits with her she tells him she has died from the “longing to know what you were doing and the force of my affection for you” (p. 116) She dies of a broken heart, and still seems to be suffering from it while she is in Hades.

She knows it is an unpleasant place for the living to visit, and Homer makes it easy to detect the sorrow she feels. Odysseus is unable to embrace her, and is distressed by this. She tells him about his wife, and his father, who “has no comfortable bed nor bedding, andgrieves continuously. ” (p. 116) She seems very sad, but she is wise and acts motherly by telling him he should go back to the light of day as soon as he can. Even though she is deceased, she still depicts the caring mother that is so highly regarded by the Greeks.

In the epic The Odyssey we see how the Greeks looked upon different sorts of women. Wives and daughters were to be loyal, and mothers sometimes suffered. Greek women didnt have much freedom, or choice in their lives, and Homer shows this to us well. The Greeks had many different views of women. The one that sticks out in my mind though, is the view that women are to obey. Though these three characters, Homer illustrates that view, and other views as well.

Odysseus: A Mere Mortal, But Purely Moral

In Homer’s Odyssey, he uses the stories of Calypso and Circe to give a reader a glimpse at Greek values. Odysseus is a perfectly moral man by Greek standards. In the Calypso episode, Odysseus demonstrates the value of faithfulness, and in the Circe episode, he illustrates Greek values in general. While both goddesses seek Odysseus to be their husband, Odysseus responds as a perfect Greek hero. During the Calypso episode, Homer teachers that one must remain faithful in their hearts.

The Circe episode shows the loyalty between a commander and his troops, burial rights, hospitality, and the relationship between host and guest. The Calypso episode explains how a man must be faithful to his wife in his heart. The Calypso scene opens with a description of how beautiful her island of meadows and flowers is and how even a deathless god who came upon that place would gaze in wonder, heart entranced with pleasure (154). The story proceeds to describe the goddess as having a breathtaking voice (154) and being lustrous (155).

Yet, when the story describes Odysseus, he is wrenching his heart with sobs and groans and anguish (156). Even though, Odysseus resides on a beautiful island with a goddess who takes care of him, he still wishes to be at home. Odysseus recognizes that fact that the island is beautiful, but he still longs to be at home. Additionally, Odysseus remains faithful to Penelope, not by modern day standards, but he chooses Penelope over the goddess. When Calypso questions Odysseus, he recognizes that fact that Calypso is more beautiful.

Odysseus even mentions that Penelope falls far short (159) of Calypso, but yet, Odysseuss heart is with Penelope. Next, Odysseus must build a raft himself. Yet, he finds this labor minimal since he is given a chance to return home. He even realizes that he may become shipwrecked or die on the voyage, but he is willing to take these risks to return home. The final temping offer to make Odysseus turn away from his home and his wife is when Calypso offers him immortality to stay with her. Again, Odysseus chooses his land and his wife.

In modern times, sleeping with a goddess would be considered unfaithful, but Greek values allow this if and only if the man still wishes to return home and return to his wife. Thus, one of the highest values for a Greek was to be faithful to their home and their wives in their hearts. The stories involving Circe describe several values. The stories describe hospitality, the loyalty between a commander and his troops, the relationship between host and guest, and burial rights. When the story begins with an analysis on how guests ought to be treated.

Circe is an enchantress who welcomes some of Odysseuss troops into her home for food and drink. Then, she made a potion that would clear their memories so that when she struck them with her magic wand, they turned into pigs. Zeus or Hermes must have witnessed this episode because Hermes came to Odysseus with a potent drug (239) that would counteract Circes potion. Since Zeus is the god of hospitality, Circe was in the wrong by harming her guests as she did. So, Odysseus went to Circe with the drug, and when she attempted to do the same thing, Odysseus was able to triumph over trickery.

Thus, another important Greek value is to be kind to strangers, treat them as guests, and follow the hospitality etiquette. The next event demonstrates that the commander must be loyal to his troops. Circe offers Odysseus marvelous food with appetizers aplenty too, lavish with her bounty (242), but her refuses the food saying that any man in his right mind (242) could not accept food before hed freed his comrades-in-arms and looked them in the eyes (242). So, Greek soldiers must be loyal to each other. This is further demonstrated when Circe sends for Odysseuss ship to come closer to shore.

Eurylochus hesitates and is mutinous against Odysseuss order to bring the ship about. Odysseus, though, still remains loyal to him. Even though he had half a mind to draw the sharp sword from beside my hip and slice his head offBut comrades check me, each man trying to calm me (244). This event offers another important value: the soldiers must be loyal to their commander and heed every order. So, Homer demonstrates how troops and commanders ought to be extremely loyal to each other. While the troops and Odysseus are at Circes palace, they each respect each other as hostess and guest.

Circe tries to make them comfortable and joyful as she says, no more tears now, calm these tides of sorrow (244). She hosts Odysseus and his troops for a year. Odysseus graciously accepts Circes kindness and is good to her. When Odysseus requests to leave, Circe grants him his desire, and she even helps him. Here, Homer demonstrates that it is necessary to give the host warning when planning to leave and even ask the host for leaving rights. Circe tells him to visit Tiresias in the Kingdom of the Dead for advice on how to get home safely.

Then, on their final departing from Aeaea, Circe gives them food and drink to take on their voyage as well as a swift wind. She gives them several gifts as expected by a hostess when her guest leaves. Therefore, while host must be gracious and giving to guests, the guests are expected to be respectful of their host. Finally, Homer tells how the dead are to be given their rights. Before departing Aeaea again, the troops must mourn the Elpenor, give him a funeral, and bury his body. The fact that Odysseus and his troops returned all the way back to Aeaea shows that the burial right of the dead is extremely important.

Therefore, the Greeks held the right of services and burial to be a significant value. Homer portrays Odysseus as a nearly perfect man with nearly perfect Greek values. Hence, the reader is able to get a glimpse of Greek values by using Odysseuss decisions and action as a guideline. The Calypso story shows that Greek values require a man to be faithful to his land and to his wife no matter what the temptation is. The Circe episode shows the loyalty between a commander and his troops, burial rights, hospitality, and the relationship between host and guest.

Temptations of Odysseus

Odysseus: a hero in every way. He is a real man, skilled in the sports, handy with a sword and spear, and a master of war strategy. Most of the challenges and adventures in his return voyage from Troy show us this even if we had no idea of his great heroic stature and accomplishments in the Trojan war. I found in my reading of the Odyssey that most of the trials the gods place upon him are readily faced with heroic means. These challenges are not necessarily welcomed by Odysseus but accepted as part of his role. He is the hero, its his lot to wield sword and shield and bravely face the next army or monster.

Then we begin to see more of the challenges do not require our hero to fight his way out. These threats are the most difficult problems for Odysseus to overcome. The tests like the isle of the lotus eaters, Circe’s island, and Calypso’s island were the hardest challenges for Odysseus. His encounter with Polyphemus the Cyclops, the Laestrygonians, Charybdis and Scyylla, and the kingdom of the dead: these dangers were on his level, heroic battles where he could fight valiantly and if it was his fate, die valiantly.

The challenges where heroic means were not a solution to overcome the danger were the most formidable tasks that could easily destroy Odysseus. Odysseus and crew are finally on their way home after the war, after nine days on the rough sea, they arrive at the isle of the lotus eaters. The lotus eaters are a group of people who have a lot of fun, thanks to their consumption of the lotus flower. This confrontation provides Odysseus and his crew with the first of their challenges (Odyssey 9:1-103). This threat is definitely one that a heroic confrontation is unlikely.

This danger is not any physical threat to him or his men. The lotus eaters create a situation where Odysseus and his crew are tempted by a gift. This gift of immediate gratification threatens to take away several their basic heroic element. By eating the lotus flower they would find immediate happiness, however they would never make it home. They would died old men on that island without their families, they would be broken in a sense. Without the memories of their homes, wives, and children they would be just a shell of who they were.

Odysseus would sooner die than to never see Penelope again and be robbed of their long term gratification of returning home. He would cease to be a man and a hero if he stopped caring and lived out the rest of his days on the island with the lotus eaters. On that level the lotus eaters were trying to rob the men of their memories. What do you have left without memories? Are you still a human being without your memories? Memories are what shapes a person and without them you’re just a shell, a shadow of what you were.

Odysseus responds to these tests as he knows best, with brute force, dragging his men back to the ship and lashing them down. They immediately depart the island so no others can be tempted by the lotus eaters. If by some chance fate he had gone first and tried the lotus flower, our hero’s voyage would have been over before it started and he would have not even put up a fight. However, he does learn to be more wary of the people he encounters along his journey. After two more stops Odysseus proves again that he is a real hero by out smarting the Cyclops and escaping the giant Laestrygonians.

However, even hero’s can’t win all of the time and he losses many of his men to the Cyclops and the cannibal Laestrygonians. By the time he arrives at Circe’s island his ship is the only ship left. Odysseus, being more cautious now, sends a group of men ahead to check out her house. The men called to Circe, and she came out of the house. She invited them in to share a meal. Unfortunately for them, Circe had mixed a magical drug into their food. This drug caused them to forget their native land, and turned them into pigs(Odyssey 10:146-268). Odysseus rushes off to save his men.

On his way, he meets up with the god Hermes. Hermes helps him out and gives him a plan to help save his men. So our hero is saved by the god Hermes from a horrible fate. Still Odysseus is not content to sail on and leave the goddess behind (Odyssey 10:269-532). Here Odysseus lost sight of his goal, thinking he was in full control of the situation. Only after a full year has past does he even ask Circe to help them on their way and only at the urging of his crew. He forgets that it was only by the gods help that he was able to triumph over Circe.

There was no other way he could have survived her magic. In a sense he is beat by her because he forgets his voyage home and wastes a year in tarring there. By forgetting the voyage he denies himself, a hero, and forgets his family and subjects in Ithaca. Exactly the same threat that the lotus eaters posed to Odysseus and his men. The temptation that Circe offers is a life of pleasure. Anything you desire: food, sport, beautiful women, anything at all. For a time Odysseus is taken in my her offer but thanks to his men he is able to break free of it and remember his home and family.

After many heroic deeds and much danger and peril Odysseus journeys to the underworld and back, escaped the sirens, evades Charybdis and Scyylla, and loses all of his men. His men eat the sungod’s cattle even after promising Odysseus that they wouldn’t, so Zeus kills all of his men by striking their ship with a bolt of lighting (Odyssey 11-13:1-452). Odysseus was adrift in the water for nine days with no hope at all. Then on the tenth day, he washed up on the island home of the nymph Calypso. Once he landed on the shore, he was discovered by the beautiful goddess Calypso(Odyssey 13:453-491).

Here Odysseus is tempted by Calypso. Her temptation is by far the worst for Odysseus, he doesn’t have his men to help him and he doesn’t have a ship to sail away in. Calypso is quite taken with him, and tempts him to stay with her. Hoping that he would become her husband, she offered him immortality and eternal youth, if only he would stay with her forever. However our hero struggles on and now after many years of hardship he never loses the sight of his wife Penelope, his family, and his people in Ithaca. For him to really be the hero he must return home no matter how long it takes.

Here faced with something so tempting, immortality and eternal youth, he withstands and mourns for home. So he endures and longs for home until time ran its course and the gods decreed that it was time for him to return. If Odysseus had given in to Calypso or any other of his temptations on the homeward voyage, however, that would be the a fate worse than death for a hero. He wouldn’t have made it home to reclaim what was his. He would never see his loving wife again or ever see his son. If he couldn’t ever get back then there would have been no reason to ever leave.

All of his heroic deed would have been in vain and no one would have even remembered him. He could not have fought the suitors and proved himself . The act of returning was always the ultimate goal for Odysseus and the temptations of happiness, beauty, immortality, and eternal youth were much harder for him to pass up every time he had to put his life on the line and fight an army or evade a monster. He could have given in to any of the temptations at any time and never had to endure the pain and strife that came from his homeward journey.

Without his heroic resources to help him escape the temptations by battling his way out or using his wit to escape he holds on and endures and finally returns. Dying on the battlefield would be a fantastic ending for a hero such as Odysseus. Dying alone without a fight or giving in and living without ever returning to his home or Penelope would be a fate no hero could accept. He would have been forgotten and others would claim what was his. Odysseus does endure and returns, escaping danger and great temptation to be the hero and claim his own.

Penelopes Role In The Odyssey

The character of Penelope in Homer’s Odyssey reflects the faithful wife who waits twenty years for the arrival of her husband. Only a strong woman could sustain the stress, anxiety and confusion resulting from the chaos of a palace with a missing king whose fate is unknown. Her responsibilities and commitments toward the man she loves are particularly difficult to keep, under the strain of the situation. Although she does not actively pursue an effort to find him, her participation in the success of Odysseus’ homecoming can be seen in her efforts to defend and protect the heritage, reputation and the House of Odysseus in his absence.

As Odysseus withstands his trial, Penelope withstands her trials against temptations to give in to the many anxious suitors, to give up on her faith and respect for her religion, her husband and even her self. Penelope’s strength in keeping the highest standards in her function as a wife, woman and mother contributes to the success of Odysseus’ homecoming by keeping the home and family for him to come back to. Through many examples Homer indicates to us the standards of those times. Major examples about what is valued in a wife are encapsulated in book 6 (about Nausikaa).

Homer uses this short story to present a standard from which we can evaluate Penelope’s performance. In making a comparison we see that Penelope never stood idle and helpless. She continued to perform the duties expected of her, while her husband was missing. Athena guides Nausikaa with a list of how to prepare herself for marriage. Of major importance is the upkeep of the household as well as good personal hygiene (starting as line 25), and as a young woman must try to please her parents.

In all the instances Penelope scores perfectly. Penelope is always bathing, protects her beauty, and she respects her parents. Also in book 6 we have a reinforcement of the standard functions of the woman and the man. Nausikaa’s mother is with her female attendants, weaving clothes. Nausikaa’s father is shown on his way to the council with other male officials (line 50). This same distinction of roles is often referred to in the whole poem.

Telemachos often tells his mother, as in book 1 line 356, to go back to her distaff, while he was to attend political councils: “Go therefore back in the house and take up your own work, the loom and distaff, and see to it that your handmates ply their work also; but the men must see a discussion, all men, but I most of all. Penelope as usual performs this duty of the household faithfully. All those duties however are a part of a larger goal, the goal keeping a good name for oneself in the eyes of others and the eyes of gods.

We see finally in the Nausikaas short episode, the most important factor a woman must realize. Nausikaa directs Odysseus to the city but recommends that he goes by himself to avoid the scandal that might arise if she were seen bringing in a male stranger. It is Precisely this the best reputation which is presented in the Odyssey as the most valued goal in life. Penelope’s responsibility is to develop and maintain the best reputation. As wife she must preserve the reputation of her husband, her family, and must maintain the system of the household.

As a woman she must arise above scandal and maintain a position in society. Her position in society is only revealed in relationship to the patriarchy. As a wife and family member, she preserves the heritage and foundation of her patriarchal lineage. Whenever she approaches the suitors she continually reminds them to their sense of history, their fathers, and the past. She further admonishes them for not behaving in a manner appropriate to their past: “You keep gathering here consuming away much livelihood, the propery of wise Telemachos, nor have you listened to what you heard from you fathers before you… (Book IV 686-689)

In direct relationship to her defense of her patriarchal heritage is the defense of her husband’s reputation. She protects her husband’s position by never compromising to marry the many suitors until the hour she finishes the web-when Telemachos grows up to govern: Young men, my suitors now that the great Odysseus has perished, wait, though you are anger to marry me, until I finish this web… ” (Book II line 96-98) She indirectly keeps Odysseus power and authority alive since is not that powerful she is holding out.

In public statements she repeatedly boasts her husbands’ fame: “** so dear a head do I long whenever I am reminded of my husband, whose fame goes through Hellas and midmost Argos. ” (book I line 343-345) Also she says in book IV line 724 “… I lost a husband with a heart of a lion and who among Danaans surpassed in all virtues… In this was Penelope reinforces the authority of Odysseus and keeps his reputation great. Penelope is able to keep the palace in order too.

She still maintains the system of philoxenia, however is a response to the will of the gods which she respects and is faithful to. Her network of communication also remains strong a d efficient under circumstances. Even though she is physically isolated from the outside activity she had reliable and faithful messenger service especially from Medon, Dolios and Eurykleia. They keep her formed on the conspiracies of the suitors and provide information about Telemachos and Odysseus.

For example, she receives word from Medon: “… Now they are minded to kill Telemachos with sharp bronze on his way home. ” Book IV line 700 Right away Penelope directs another messenger to spread the word to the appropriate authorities. Before the eyes of the gods, Penelope never wishes to tarnish her reputation either. She honors them regularly in a ritual of bathing, anointing herself and her handmaidens with olive oil, saying prayers and sometimes making sacrifices.

From all the above we see that Penelope reflects successfully the faithful wife, the strong woman, the responsible woman the woman who cares about herself. She is loyal both to the principles of the palace and the principles of those times. During Odysseu’s absence she continued to perform the duties expected of her very well and that is the reason, I believe that she managed to achieve the best reputation for Odysseus and herself, even though woman’s role was restricted at that time. Like I always say behind evey great man there stands a greater woman.

Homer’s poem The Odyssey

Homer’s poem The Odyssey depicts the tendency of people to ignore the consequences of their actions. Odysseus punished Penelope’s suitors without thinking of consequences that he would have to endure. He did not acknowledge the consequences because that would prevent him from doing what he wants to do. Odysseus wanted to kill the suitors; they ate away at his fortune. Finding consequences for murdering the suitors would force Odysseus to realize what he is about to do is not a good idea. Odysseus chose to ignore the consequences and killed the suitors anyway.

Odysseus had absolutely no reason to kill the suitors; they had the right to stay in his home because Penelope made them feel welcome, Penelope and Telemachus both told them that Odysseus was dead, and although Telemachus told them to leave, he did not have the right to do so. Throughout the poem, Penelope encourages the suitors to stay in her home by making them think they are welcome. With Odysseus gone Penelope chooses whom she hosts in the great palace. Penelope does hate the suitors but she never once tells them to leave.

She even makes the suitors think that she would be choosing her new husband soon and in this way she makes them feel welcome in her home. Antinous, a suitor, responds to accusations Telemachus made to the suitors at an assembly. It’s not the suitors here who deserve the blame, It’s your own dear mother [Penelope], the matchless queen of cunning. Look here. For three years now, getting on to four, she’s played it fast and loose with all our hearts, building each man’s hopes- dangling promises, dropping hints to each- but all the while with something else in mind.

Penelope makes each individual suitor feel special and makes him believe that she would pick him as her new husband. This action implies not only that she allowed the suitors to remain in her household, but more importantly that she wanted the suitors to stay. Therefore, Penelope’s speech and actions toward the suitors justified their remaining in the home. Statements made by Telemachus and Penelope about Odysseus’ whereabouts leads the suitors to believe that he is deceased and, therefore, that Penelope is single and ready to court once again.

When a woman is widowed, she begins trying to find a new husband and single men come to court the woman. Since Penelope and Telemachus tell the suitors that Odysseus is dead, the suitors have the right to stay and court Penelope. When speaking to the suitors about weaving a shroud for Laertes, Penelope says, ” [] King Odysseus is no more’ ” (2. 105). By telling the suitors that her husband is dead, Penelope insinuates that she is single once again and looking for a husband. Telemachus also speaks to the suitors as if his father is deceased, telling them, “Now great Odysseus is dead” (1. 454).

In essence, Telemachus gives away his mother when he notifies the suitors of Odysseus’ supposed death. The death of Odysseus would mean there is a need for a new king of Ithaca. Penelope’s new husband would become the new king of Ithaca. Because a king is extremely important to have, the suitors had the right to stay, not just for their own personal gain, but also for the welfare of the country. Telemachus commands the suitors to leave, but the suitors do not have to obey him because he is not at liberty to make that decision. Penelope is the rightful owner of the household because of Odysseus’ absence.

Therefore she decides which people may stay. Anyone else who lives in the house would not have the right to choose who is hosted or cast away. Telemachus, therefore, is not at liberty to make that decision. Telemachus’ authority to tell the suitors to leave is further undermined by his immaturity, as shown by his tendency to resort to violence as a solution instead of using words. At an assembly with Ithacan citizens, Telemachus said “Oh I’d swing to attack if I had the power in me” (2. 67). Telemachus voices his want for bloodshed just as a little kid pushes or shoves others if they are angry with them.

A child’s first instinct in disputes is to use force; they have to learn to use words instead. Telemachus uses violence just as a child uses violence. An immature person is not able to make important decisions well. Immature people should not be allowed to make important decisions because they are so close-minded and unable to recognize other ideas. Telemachus is still a child and has not matured enough to make such a heavy decision. Therefore, Telemachus cannot control the suitors’ actions because of his immaturity and his low amount of authority. In The Odyssey, Odysseus acts impulsively in killing the suitors.

He attacks and kills them without contemplating the consequences for his actions. It is true that Odysseus wonders how he would handle the parents and relatives of the suitors once they were dead, but those possible consequences were not enough to keep him from murdering Perin 4 the suitors. Odysseus knows what would happen to him if he kills the suitors, yet he kills them anyway. Odysseus’ choosing to ignore the consequences for his actions is an example of selfishness and greed. Ignoring the consequences allowed Odysseus to do what he wanted. If he had acknowledged them, he would not have killed the suitors.

He was so set on getting back at them for their parasitism that he did not let anything get in his way. People today have the same problem as Odysseus did; they ignore the consequences of their actions. Ignoring consequences gets people in trouble. People need to think before they act; if there are serious consequences to what they are about to do, they should not do it, no matter how great whatever they are about to do seems. Homer demonstrates the need for people to acknowledge the consequences to their actions through his telling of the story of Odysseus and the slaughter of the suitors.

Homer, the author of the Iliad and the Odyssey

Homer, name traditionally assigned to the author of the Iliad and the Odyssey, the two major epics of Greek antiquity. Nothing is known of Homer as an individual, and in fact the question of whether a single person can be said to be responsible for the creation of the two epics is highly controversial. Linguistic and historical evidence, however, allows the supposition that the poems were composed in the Greek settlements on the west coast of Asia Minor sometime in the 9th century BC. Both epics deal with legendary events that were believed to have occurred many enturies before their composition.

The Iliad is set in the final year of the Trojan War, which forms the background for its central plot, the story of the wrath of the Greek hero Achilles. Insulted by his commander in chief Agamemnon, the young warrior Achilles withdraws from the war, leaving his fellow Greeks to suffer terrible defeats at the hands of the Trojans. Achilles rejects the Greeks’ attempts at reconciliation, but he finally relents to some extent, allowing his companion Patroclus to lead his troops in his place.

Patroclus is slain, and Achilles, filled with fury and remorse, turns his wrath against the Trojans, whose leader, Hector (son of King Priam), he kills in single combat. The poem closes as Achilles surrenders the corpse of Hector to Priam for burial, recognizing a certain kinship with the Trojan king as they both face the tragedies of mortality and bereavement. Odysseus, in Greek legend, a Greek hero, ruler of the island of Ithaca and one of the leaders of the Greek army during the Trojan War. Homers Odyssey recounts Odysseuss adventures and ultimate return home ten years after the fall of Troy.

Initially, Odysseus was mentioned as the son of Laertes, king of Ithaca, although in later tradition Sisyphus, king of Corinth, was considered his real father, his mother having later married Laertes. At first Odysseus refused to accompany the Greeks to Troy, feigning madness by sowing his fields with salt, but the Greeks placed his son Telemachus in front of the plow, and Odysseus was compelled to admit his ruse and join the invading army. Throughout the Iliad of Homer, he is portrayed as a brave, sagacious, cunning warrior, and he is awarded he famous armor of the Greek warrior Achilles on the latters death.

Odysseus was responsible for bringing the Greek heroes Neoptolemus and Philoctetes to Troy for the final stage of the conflict. In the Odyssey it is said that he proposed the strategem of the Trojan Horse, the means by which Troy was conquered. The Odyssey describes the return of the Greek hero Odysseus from the Trojan War. The opening scenes depict the disorder that has arisen in Odysseus household during his long absence: A band of suitors is devouring his property as they woo his wife Penelope.

The focus then shifts to Odysseus himself. The epic tells of his ten years of traveling, during which he has to face such dangers as the man-eating giant Polyphemus and such subtler threats as the goddess Calypso, who offers him immortality if he will abandon his quest for home. Many of the places that were visited by Odysseus and his crew are Aeaea, Thracek, Erebus and the island kingdom of Phaeacia. While on this odyssey he and his men had to fight many strange creatures and gods and goddess such as Aeaea, the witch goddess,

Clypso who keeps Odysseus on her island for seven years, Charybdis who by sucking is water forms a deadly whirlpool. Also included in the epic are Circe who turns Odysseus men into swine and Cyclops with one eye, the son of the sea god Poseidon who Odysseus blinds. The second half of the poem begins with Odysseus arrival at his home island of Ithaca. Here, exercising infinite patience and self-control, Odysseus tests the loyalty of his servants, plots and carries out a bloody revenge on Penelopes suitors, and is reunited with his son, his wife, and his aged father.

The life of a God, forever bliss, complete happiness

The life of a God, forever bliss, complete happiness: Odysseus slights all of these things in order for him to return to his loving wife and son. The concept of true commitment was a very commendable quality for a Greek hero to possess. With this character trait, Odysseus models the ideal husband, father, and leader. Unfortunately, in todays society, one rarely encounters such outstanding morality. Being raised in an explicit society, a decrease in certain morals has become fashionable. In particular, the college experience has become accepted as the wild times of ones life.

Certain activities ordinarily shunned are now perceived as a learning experience when involving a college student. Drugs and alcohol abuse are commonplace around the college campus, as is sexual promiscuity. In addition, the amount of college dropouts after the first year is at a high rate. Todays average student does not seem to contend with hardship very well. These things seem to increase at an outstanding rate with no sign of leveling. Odysseus faced all of these things, yet still made it back home.

Some of the decisions of Odysseus probably were accepted as required actions in ancient times, but in todays hedonistic world, not every person– especially the typical male college student– would be able to resist the wonders of temptation that were presented to Odysseus. The Odysseys main theme involves the exploring of the hardships Odysseus endures. Ranging from a whirlpool, unfavorable winds, and a visit to the Cyclops, disaster finds him at every turn. Zeus decided Odysseuss fate when he proclaimed: let him depart.

But let him have no company, gods or men, Only a raft that he must lash together, And after twenty days, worn out at sea, He shall make land upon the garden aisle. (263) This edict of Zeus summarizes the journey Odysseus makes in order to return home. He endures dire hardships to make the journey home, yet he still chooses to continue forward. Although Odysseus accepts this hardship as a mere speed bump, many people today would not prevail through such adversity. A knack for finding the easy way out has seemed to blossom as the one uniform skill possessed by most young people today.

With todays technology, a person rarely spends an afternoon by himself, and if so, would not like it. With this in mind, choosing to continue on with the journey in present times would be much harder of a decision to make than in ancient times. Another problem around school campuses is the growing rate of alcohol and drug abuse amongst students. Extreme marijuana usage has taken claim to many victims. The drug may not kill the person using it, but it does kill motivation. The drug becomes a part of the users life, and the user will eventually become lethargic.

This lethargy continues to increase until most productive activities are eliminated. Although Odysseuss crew did not have marijuana on their ship, his crew did encounter a drug that posed a similar threat. Odysseus explains the drug, but those who ate this honeyed plant, the Lotus,/ never cared to report, nor to return:/ they longed to stay forever(305). This Lotus plant seems to have a similar effect as the marijuana plant. Unlike many college students, Odysseus does not yield nor does he allow his crew to indulge in the plant.

Odysseus warns his crew,no one taste/ the Lotus, or you lose your hope of home(305). Obviously, Odysseus places the idea of returning home above the idea of a life of complete bliss with no worries. Drugs are not the only temptation facing Odysseus during his journey. He encounters the beautiful goddess Calypso on an island. Calypso develops a strong affection for the hero, and to Hermes she explains, I fed him, loved him, sang that he should not die/ nor grow old, ever, in all the days to come(265). Odysseus finds himself the object of a goddesss desire, but still is not happy.

This is demonstrated when Odysseus begins to cry while looking at the sea. The hero finds himself in a very enviable position: a beautiful goddess loves him, and he will be able to live forever with her. The typical male college student can actually find himself in a similar position. This situation usually occurs when one has to leave his high school sweetheart back home in order to go a great distance to college. In most cases, this long-distance relationship does not work out, usually ending when the guy meets a beautiful coed who lives next door.

However, Odysseus leaps at the chance to return home, and explains to Calypso: If any god has marked me out again for shipwreck, my tough heart can undergo it. What hardship have I not long since endured at sea, in battle! Let the trial come. (267) His resolve to return to his wife Penelope is obviously strong; so Odysseus does what most college students did not, return home. Throughout these journeys, Odysseus proved himself to be very committed to returning home. This noble quality cannot be found as easily today.

With all the temptations and distractions in modern times, men with such commitment may be a dying breed. Difficult times, alcohol or drug abuse, and the presence of women have certainly provided the young college male equal distractions to those Odysseus faced when he was lost. Although the great commitment Odysseus possesses does not occur today as much as it should, this quality is still admired, and those who have it are held in high prestige. With this in mind, Homers Odyssey still represents a similar journey that most college males must endure.

Women in The Odyssey

In The Odyssey the main character, Odysseus, meets and entertains an impressive array of women. All of the women that he meets are very different and have different personalities and Homer clearly states his attitude towards each of the women. Some of the women are seen as essentially ‘good’ or essentially ‘bad. ’ It is also clear that Homer adopts a sexist attitude towards the women in his novel. In The Odyssey women are generally portrayed as manipulative and deceitful and Homer is a sexist who holds a double standard of There is one thing that all the women, be they human or god, in The Odyssey have in common: they are all very clever.

There are two ways that the reader can interpret this characteristic that women share: either Homer feels that women are very intelligent or he feels that women are underhanded and sneaky. The opinion of Homer is probably the latter because the most of the women that Odysseus, the hero of the novel, encounters use their intelligence against him. Kalypso and Kerke both try to seduce Odysseus into staying on their islands, hile Penelope uses her cleverness to trick the suitors into believing that it took There are two goddesses that Homer wants the reader to perceive as ‘bad’ women: the goddesses Kalypso and Kerke.

Kalypso is a goddess who kept Odysseus on her island for seven years so she could have him. She is portrayed at this very greedy and lustful nymph who seduces Odysseus into forgetting about his home and “forces” him to have sex with her every night. She is also ‘bad’ because she, through her great guile, makes Odysseus forget about his home and his beloved wife, Penelope. She even offers him immortality if he stays with her forever. She only lets him go when she is force to by Zeus.

This type of behavior suggests that Kalypso does not love Odysseus because she would not let him live even though he wanted to. Kerke is another prime example of the deceitful woman. When Odysseus’s men wash up on the shore. She lures them into her home by signing in an enchanting voice and gave them thrones to sit on and honey to eat. But as soon as they turn their backs Kerke “adding her own vile pinch” (Page X, 260), turns them all into pigs. The one man that stayed behind, Eurylokhos, says “I saw cruel deceit” (X, 285) when he finds out that this evil she-witch has turned perfectly good men into pigs.

But Odysseus is much to clever to be tricked by this goddess and he eats a plant that allows him to resist the poison of Kerke. Once Kerke realizes that Odysseus has found her out she cowers under the sword of such a strong man but does not just turn Odysseus’s men back into men. Instead she offers sex to Odysseus which is, of course, the typical seductive tactic of the woman. After Odysseus sleep with her he then forces her to turn his men back into men and after a year he leaves. Homer holds a double standard for the morality of men and women.

In the beginning of the book there is a story about a king named Agamemnon. While Agamemnon was away Aigisthos stole Agamemnon’s wife and killed then killed him. But when Agamemnon’s son, Orestes, came of age he killed Aigithos and his mother. Zeus says “Now he [Aigisthos] has paid the reckoning in full. ” (I, 62) What Zeus means by that is Aigithos got was he deserved and so did Agamemnon’s immoral wife. But if Homer feels that adultery is wrong, why does he not condemn the adultery of Odysseus?

Never does Homer mention that Odysseus should not be sleeping with all these women because his wife Penelope is at home and loves him very much? And not only does Homer not condemn the actions of Odysseus he accuses Kalypso and Kerke of seducing Odysseus into their respective beds of lust. When Odysseus uses his love it is seen a tactic to find a way to get home to his beloved wife and his beloved countrymen. But when women use their love it is used for nothing but the The Odyssey is not without good women- or women that Homer feels are good women.

The perfect example of such a woman is Penelope, Odysseus’s wife. She uses her feminine cleverness and cunning towards helping her husband. She convinces the suitors that she working on a shroud for her husband so that she can we be with her beloved Odysseus (who by the way is off sleeping with other women). It seems that the ideal woman is one who sits faithfully at home, while her husband goes off to fight wars and have adventures. It is not fair for Homer is have these double standard for male and female eroes/heroines- the man can leave his wife at home and go off and sleep with women other than his wife.

But the woman should stay at home, she should be noble and not remarry even if her husband does not return for twenty years and it is simply out of the question for her to have an affair even if her husband is In The Odyssey women are generally portrayed as manipulative and deceitful and Homer is a sexist who holds a double standard of morality for men and for women. Even though there are women who are considers good they are seen as good because they are subservient to their husbands.

Homers’ Epic Heroes

Homers characters are real human beings with all the strengths and weaknesses. They live, they breathe, they love, they hate. They are subject to fear and they tend, on occasion, to rise to heroic greatness. His most explored stories The Illiad and The Odyssey both have characters that exert these characteristics. Although the stories are different, both heroes share similar backgrounds, plights, and triumphs. The heroes of the novels, thanks to the literary prowess of Homer, share similar experiences in their backgrounds. Achilles, the hero of the

Illiad, was early deserted by his mother Thetis and sent by his father Peleus to Mount Pelion to be raised by Cheiron the Centaur. There he was taught the arts of manhood and when only six years old he killed his first boar. Odysseus has a similar experience in book XIX of the Odyssey during his boar hunt on Mt. Parnassus. There are similar stories as well concerning the recruitment of Odysseus and Achilles for service at Troy. Both had been forewarned that the expedition to Troy would be dangerous and both were haled off to Troy only through the trickery of the recruiting fficers.

The relationships that the two heroes have also contribute to their similarities. Both heroes seem to be isolated-Achilles certainly more than Odysseus, who appears, characteristically, with wife, son, father, and people in the final vision of the poem. Yet for all Achilles’ inaccessibility, the intensity of his friendship for Patroclus surpasses Odysseus’ more conventional regard for his men or attachment to his family and homeland. Hardships seem to be the things that define a man’s life. Both Odysseus and Achilles go to extraordinary lengths to achieve their goals.

Odysseus who journeys, who has a number of adventures with adversaries both terrible and beautiful, who visits the land of the dead, and who then comes to a land where he wins a bridal contest, marries the beautiful woman who is the prize and lives on as king of the country. As for Achilles, he must overcome the driving force that is the Achaean army and protect his wife Helen from the Trojans. Odysseus’ plight is much more consuming than that of Achilles. Odysseus is forced to traverse the seas for twenty years before returning whereas Achilles’ plight all occurs near the walls of the ity of Troy.

We see both characters however changing as their plight thickens. Odysseus comes to the realization in book XI that all his traditional gifts are useless, making him appear seemingly somewhat less commanding when he stands alone and uncertain amidst the heroic departed. Much like Odysseus’ downtrodden thoughts, Achilles hears from the delegates what consequences his decision has entailed for the Achaean army. He is reminded of his family, of the wider contexts of his heroism, and of the mythic precedents for his situation.

The war also has any adverse affects on the heroes, just as war affects everyone. Achilles is out of sight through much of the battle, sulking in his tent as Patroclus leads the Achaeans against the Trojans in an attack that is spurred by desperation. This scene, along with the journey of Odysseus from Eumaeus’ hut to the royal palace, sets the stage for two intensely dramatic scenes, Achilles’ return to the battle to avenge Patroclus, and Odysseus’ revelation before the Suitors. This represents the return of the hero in both stories, setting the stage for a climactic return.

Every Greek epic written in it’s time ended in triumph. Man’s desire to appear glorified when all is said and done shows through even in Homer’s word. What a story of a hero be without a dramatic climax. Achilles returns to battle after he sees Patroclus has been slain by Hector. Achilles becomes overcome by rage and is able to march into battle, slaying many Trojans on his way to Hector. In an epic struggle, fit for the climax of this war story, Achilles kills Hector remorselessly and thus avenging the death of his friend. Throughout history man has had to overcome dversity.

When faced with the death of a loved one, men can triumph over mountains. Achilles’ triumph speaks highly of his character. He is a man of action; letting his emotions guide those actions. Odysseus is also a man of action. Upon his return to the palace of the Suitors, Odysseus recaptures the heart of his beloved Penelope. He never gave up even while traveling the rivers of hell. The main similarity between the two heroes is their determination and their abilities to overcome the challenges that face them. A man is based upon what he has in his life.

Both Achilles and Odysseus had friends, family, and glory. In the end the great hero always triumphs. Great characters make great stories. Obviously you wouldn’t have an epic battle without an epic hero. Both Achilles and Odysseus are epic heroes from Homer’s world. The stories of their background, plights and triumphs, along with many other stories, helped inspire the arts of a civilization. The similarities of these characters, their background, plights, and triumphs, added together made for a great story of love and adventure.

The Odyssey The Role Of Prophe

When one ponders the Greek mythology and literature, powerful images invariably come to mind. One relives the heroes’ struggles against innumerable odds, their battles against magical monsters, and the gods’ periodic intervention in mortal affairs. Yet, a common and often essential portion of a heroic epic is the hero’s consultation with an oracle or divinity. This prophecy is usually critical to the plot line, and also to the well being of the main characters. Could Priam have survived in the Achaean camp if not at the gods’ instruction (200-201)?

Could the Argos have run the gauntlet of the Prowling Rocks if not for the gods’ advice of using a sacrificial bird (349). Moreover, prophecy can be negative as well as positive. Achilles was prophesied to die gloriously in battle if he chose his life’s way as a warrior. Oedipus was exiled and condemned by his own words, after he slew his sire and wed his mother. This type of prophesy can blind even the gods themselves; Chronos was fated to be defeated and his throne stolen by his son. Demeter loses Persephone periodically every year because her daughter ate Hades’ pomegranates.

Prophecy plays an important role in the whole of Greek folklore. Something this ever-present bears further examination. In The Odyssey, prophecy in its myriad forms affects nearly every aspect of the epic. Prophecies are seen in the forms of omens, signs, strict prediction of the future, divine condemnation, and divine instruction. Though conceptually these forms are hard to distinguish, they are clearly separate in the Odyssey. Moreover, prophecies can be interpreted not only on the “plot device” level, but also on the level of characterization.

Whether a character accepts or denies the gods’ prophecies tells the reader something about the character himself. Omens are brief prophecies intimately connected to the action at hand, which must be interpreted in terms of that action. Halitherses comments on the eagle attack after Telemakhos condemns the suitors (463-464); he correctly interests it to mean that if the suitors keep feeding off Odysseus’s possessions they will be destroyed. Yet the suitors ignore the omen, inviting their eventual destruction. This haughty treatment of a divine omen is a justification for their deaths.

When Penelope says if Odysseus had returned he would, with his son, surely slay the suitors, Telemakhos let loose a great sneeze (429). This omen reinforces the previous one, and simultaneously prepares the reader for the carnage to follow. However, not all omens are effective. In the case of Telemakhos we see many bird omens signaling for him to do something about the suitors. Whether it was his immaturity to interpret the bird omens or blind arrogance Telemakhos does not act on them. In fact, it’s not until Athena comes to him that he thinks to take action against the suitors in his house.

Signs are similar to omens, but differ in one crucial aspect; the prophesee is looking for a specific omen in order to decide whether he should or should not take some action. There is only one good example of a sign in the Odyssey; on page 460, Odysseus asks Zeus for two divine signs to decide if it is time to slay the suitors. Zeus answers with a thunderclap from a cloudless sky and allows Odysseus to overhear a maid’s prayer for vengeance. Because of these signs, Odysseus begins his plan to slay the suitors.

Later on, with a thunderclap Zeus actually signals for the precise time to strike. Signs are helpful devices; they allow not only a rationalization for when an event occurs but also shows the approval of the gods on such an action. Not only are signs and omens plentiful in the Odyssey, but also the type one usually associates with prophesying, strict prediction of the future, abounds as well. Penelope states that she will marry the man who can string Odysseus’s bow and perform his famous feat (469). Since Odysseus is the only one to do so, the prophecy is fulfilled.

This “prophesy” is just a statement of the future; it contains no judgmental quality whatsoever. Theoklymenos’s prophesies to Penelope that Odysseus is at hand on the island and plotting vengeance on the suitors (417) This, of course, is already true, so the prophecy is technically true as well. However, it makes no judgement on the rightness or wrongness of either Odysseus’s or the suitors’ position. Teiresias shade’s speech to Odysseus (333) is a strictly objective foretelling, but nevertheless crucial to the plot and character development.

He states that Odysseus will land on Thrinakia; that if his shopmates eat Helios’s cattle they will be destroyed; that Odysseus will make the suitors pay in blood; and that if he makes reparations to Lord Poseidon he will be granted a gentle sea-borne death. Though Teiresias S prophecy is devoid of the bias which signs and omens possess, it contains enough to characterize not only him but also Odysseus. Teiresias is level headed and just, “forever / charged with reason even among the dead” (329). Odysseus is characterized by his reply to Teiresias: ” my life runs on then as the gods have spun it” (334).

Odysseus does not try to escape his destiny or change the prophecy to suit his personal desire; he merely accepts it and thereby accepts the will of the gods. Although there are myriad examples of divinities avenging themselves on mortals for wrongdoings, there is only one good example of divine condemnation contained directly within a prophecy. Aigisthos is warned by the gods not to kill Agamemnot (341), but he ignores the advice and is eventually slain by Orestes, Agamemnon’s son. By his very act of not heeding to the prophecy, he invites the gods’ revenge; the gods avenge themselves by allowing the prophecy to be fulfilled.

In this case, the gods condemn Aigisthos through the prophecy because he did not listen to it in the first place! Easily the most often seen type of prophesy is that of divine instruction. A sample follows: Hermes gives Odysseus advice and help on how to overcome Circe’s trials (323-324); Circe also later tells Odysseus the route he is destined to take home, and the trials he will face (349-350); through Calypso, Zeus prophesies that Odysseus will return to the “civilized world” on Skheria after twenty days at sea (364).

A general relation between a character’s traits and his heeding of prophecies can be seen when the prophecies are divine instruction. If the character follows the gods’ advice he will prosper. But the advice is offered not because a man is prosperous but because he is worthy. Therefore, if a man is worthy, he will repeatedly receive advice, and vice versa. How is a man worthy? By being brave, honorable, true, and following the gods’ advice! This relation is strictly a generalization, but can be applied to the other types of prophecies as well.

The generalization helps us characterize the prophesees by their heeding of the prophecy. On the negative side, Aigisthos was slain because he didn’t heed the gods’ warning; this makes him unworthy, which means he wasn’t brave, honorable, etc. The suitors repeatedly ignored the omens of the gods and Halitheses’s prophecy; therefore they were unworthy and deserved to die, etc. On the positive side, because Odysseus is worthy he is brave, honorable, true, and follows the gods’ advice. Also, because he is worthy the gods offer him advice. It is circular sequential logic, but it holds in the book.

Odysseus blinds Polyphemus, offends his father, and Poseidon extends Odysseus’s voyage home. But because Odysseus is worthy and just made an error, the gods guide him back to reconciliation with the earth-shaker. How? Bad luck leads Odysseus to Aiaia. There Hermes helps him face Circe. Because of this, Circe leads Odyseus to the underworld and Teiresias. Teiresias instructs Odysseus on how to appease Lord Poseidon; Circe tells Odysseus how to get home. Moreover, though it is difficult to see, prophecies also help characterize the prophesier, in the Odyssey, mainly the gods.

That the gods have the power to see the prophesier, in the Odyssey, mainly the gods. That the gods have the power to see the future sets them apart from mortals; that they use this information wisely indicates that they are responsible beings. That a worthy man like Odysseus continually follows their advice means that the gods are trustworthy; that they can fulfill their prophecies even without the prophesee’s cooperation shows that they are powerful, responsible, trustworthy and aloof. This description is not exact, but within the superstructure of the Odyssey it is approximately correct.

All the different forms of prophecy, omens, signs, strict prediction, divine condemnation and instruction, collectively shape character development: many of the key actions in Homer would not have occurred if the characters failed to demonstrate faith in prophecies and omens. Though its use as a plot device is more easily seen, its use for characterization in the Odyssey is far more important. In previous works, prophecy was used strictly as a plot rationalization, but in the Odyssey it has a critical role, affecting both the plot and characters.

The Bond of Love

There are many essential emotions that form the building blocks of our lives. These emotions help to shape the people that we are. These feelings are ones that are ultimately necessary to keep us happy. Nothing makes these feelings more evident than the Odyssey by Homer. Through out the course of this book there is one major emotional theme, which is love. Love is shown within a family, which chose to fight to keep their togetherness no matter how much that had to endure.

One main strife in life is to be in search of a companion who makes us happy and for whom we would do anything. Odysseus and Penelope’s lasting loyalty is an obvious representation of love in the Odyssey. Although Odysseus is gone for twenty years he never forgets his faithful wife in Ithaca. This love seems to help him persevere through the many hardships that he encounters on his journey home. On the other hand, Penelope too remains loyal to her beloved Odysseus no matter what happens.

At home in Ithaca, she stays loyal to Odysseus by unraveling his shroud and delaying the possible marriage to one of the many suitors. She always keeps the hope that her love, Odysseus, will return. Odysseus and Penelope’s marriage clearly illustrates the theme of love in the epic. The bond formed between father and son is another one of life’s ways of showing love. This relationship is shown throughout the Odyssey. Telemachos’s desperate search for his father, and Odysseus longing for his homeland and the warmth of his wife and son are prime examples.

Although Telemachos knows not weather Odysseus is really his father, he still cares for him and the well being of what could be his father. When Odysseus hears of all the suitors devouring Telemachos’s future fortune and mistreating him, he wants to return and do away with them. Odysseus, like any parent, also misses his only child while he is at war. Telemachos leaving Ithaca in search of knowledge of his father, not knowing anything about life on sea, shows his love for the father figure that he really needs.

Their relationship seems to show how love can give you the strength to carry on. Love is major emotional theme and it is frequently shown throughout the Odyssey. Even though love comes and goes it still plays and important role in everyone’s lives. The bond of a family is an inseparable thing, and it gives one the will to persevere through anything. It is a given that happiness relies on the love we have inside for others.

The Settings and Themes of Book 13 of the Odyssey

Book 13 of the Odyssey begins with Odysseus finishing his tale in the King Alcinous’ palace. It is King Alicinous that tells Odysseus he will give him a safe passage home to Ithaca. Odysseus is not surprisingly grateful and hopes that Alcinous and his people and island are blessed by the gods. The king then gave Odysseus a great black ship with a crew and more treasure then he could have ever gotten from Troy. The men sail Odysseus and his treasure home to Ithaca. When they arrive at Ithaca, they place Odysseus on a beach while he is sound asleep.

Poseidon sees that Odysseus has reached home and asks Zeus if he can punish Odysseus for the final time. Zeus suggests he punish the Phaecians instead for helping Poseidon’s enemy. Therefore, as the Phaecians’ ship is just outside the reach of their harbor on the journey homePoseidon sends the ship crashing into the rocks. Alcinous then speaks of a prophecy that his father told him – that the great god Poseidon would punish them, crash one of their ships, and raise a mountain blocking their harbor. Back on the island of Ithaca Odysseus awoke.

He awoke to meet Athena disguised as a shepherd boy. Odysseus asked the boy where he was, because he had no idea, he thought the Phaecians did not bring him to his desired destination. The boy tells him Ithaca. In response to this, Odysseus created an extensive lie about who he is in front of Athena. Athena then scolded him for this. The Goddess then told Odysseus that Telemachus is with Menelaus searching for answers and tales of his father. There are three settings in Book 13 of The Odyssey. This book began in the kingdom of Alcinous where Odysseus began his short voyage home.

It later in the book comes back to this setting when Alcinous told of the prophecy and Poseidon punishing the Phaecians. The second and main setting is Ithaca. This was when Odysseus finally reached home. It is here he met Athena and learned of his son’s own personal odyssey. A good deal of imagery was present in this chapter. One image that stood out was that Odysseus was finally called King Odysseus (288). This shows that Homer is trying to finally show that he is worthy of wearing the title of King.

More imagery present was when Odysseus departed from Alcinous’ island and he looked at the ship that would carry him home. It showed that Odysseus had a yearning for the sea and was amazed by great ships. Ithaca was also presented as beautiful imagery. By doing this, Homer shows how much Odysseus loved his homeland and how beautiful it really was. The imagery of Athena’s eyes was also repeated in this book. “Athena answered, her eyes brightening now” (294) is just one of the lines used. Odysseus was very dynamic in this Book.

In the beginning, he seemed so unselfish when he thanked Alcinous and blessed him. He seemed to show the qualities that a king should have. When he reaches Ithaca, all he could think about was where he could stash his loot and money. He did not thank the gods or anyone else that he made it home. This is the exact opposite of what was shown earlier of his unselfishness. When he began to speak with Athena, it was shown that he was clearly dependent on Athena and had a hard time getting by without her.

This was clearly not a characteristic a king should have. There are several themes in this book. Being grateful was a theme in this book. Odysseus must be grateful to his hosts that had given him so much. Riches came from his gratefulness, not only riches of gold and silver, but also the riches of a safe passage home. If he had not been polite, he would probably not have been offered a ship home. Home Sweet Home was a predominant theme in this book. Odysseus yearned for home, his family, and his kingdom.

It is shown in this book that there is nothing greater than your own home. Athena shows the theme of lying is bad when Odysseus fibbed. Odysseus began to create a lie and was caught in front of a goddess. One of the less obvious themes was that the Gods are arrogant. Athena speaks of herself in a manner of praise toward herself. “I am famous among the gods for wisdomI am here once more, to weave a scheme for you” (296) is one of the passages which shows her arrogance. Be grateful, home sweet home, honesty, and arrogance are themes in Book 13 of the Odyssey.

Female Power in The Odyssey

Throughout time women have had to fight hard for respect and the rights that come with it. Many societies have potrayed women as second class citizens, teaching that they should be subservient to men. There have been those who have spent entire lifetimes working to break beyond the traditional concepts of women and power. It is very challenging, however, for the sex to achieve higher status, when a society teaches not to speak out or against men’s wishes. How can one try to express a more enlightened view when he or she is not allowed a voice with which to make it?

In The Odyssey, Homer shows the reader an ancient Greek society where women are given specific roles and are often underestimated simply because of gender. Characters, such as Penelope, who keeps quiet at the epic’s beginning about her wishes for the suitors to leave, and Odysseus’ nurse, who obediently washes his feet, are examples of the chauvinist mind set. Despite the unfairness of the period in which the story takes place, certain women try in their own way to rise above the binds of tradition and show feminine power.

In The Odyssey, through cunning manipulation and plotting three women stand their ground in individual protests to get what they want; Penelope’s trickery in evading the impatient marriage proposals by suitors, Helen’s deceit over Menelaos during the Trojan War, and finally the control that Nausicaa seems have upon first meeting Odysseus each illustrate power possessed by females of the epic. At the Epic’s beginning the reader finds Penelope, Odysseus’ wife in Ithica facing the pressure of suitors who wish her hand in marriage.

Despite the fact that her husband has been gone for twenty years, she holds true to her husband’s memory and refuses to remarry. At first glance her situation seems hopeless. The men have moved into her home, taking complete advantage of her husband’s land and riches, eating his prize livestock, and drinking his finest wine. Penelope is however in control, carefully plotting against her rude guests. It has been said that one must keep their friends close and their enemies closer. She does just that, by keeping the suitors in her home for three years in order to later seek vengeance:

Here is an instance of her trickery: she had a great loom standing in the hall and the fine warp of some vast fabric on it; we were attending her, and she said to us: “Young men, my suitors, now my lord is dead, let me finish my weaving before I marry, . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . So every day she wove on the great loom- But every night by torchlight she unwove it; (98-103, 110-111, 2. 3) By sneaking to the loom at night to unweave her threads she is able to stall her decisions.

She further buys time by stating that she needs time to pick a husband, giving the impression that she is indeed considering remarriage. Penelope’s devotion in never swayed by the suitor’s begging, presents, or their threats. It is her trickery that is her strength, in which capacity she will have victory. The manipulation of men is also a source of power for Helen, wife of Menelaos. Helan has left her husband to be with Paris, upon his death she lives with Deiphobos for the remainder of the Trojan War, eventually returning to her husband.

Although it is easy to make character judgments on her, even perhaps blaming her for initial cause of the war, the focus must remain on her personal strength in achieving her goals. It is amazing the way that the text depicts her ability to take charge over her husband, even after all she has done to him. This is shown in book IV when Odysseus’ son, Telemacchus, goes the great hall of Menelaos, hiding his identity. With everyone gathered, ready to eat, Helen takes it upon herself to discover the identity of their guest: Menelaos, my lord, have we yet heard our new guests introduce themselves?

Shall I dissemble what I feel? No, I must say it. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . This boy must be the son of Odysseus Telemakhos, (145-147,4. 3, 150-151,4. 4) Helen, not even waiting for permission from Menelaos, lashes out at Telemakhos. Most women of this time would have never made such a bold move, especially without first consulting their husband. Helen is very secure in her authority using her sex to her benefit rather than as a handicapt. The third character of Focus, Nausikaa, seems at the start of book VI to be helplessly trapped by gender boundaries.

The reader sees her supposed innocence as she waits to be married. She is responsible for her brothers and for making sure that she gets herself married. The tables are suddenly changed when she wakes the sleeping Odysseus. This young woman, having no prier knowledge of the male body is face with this nude warrior: Streaked to the brine, and swollen, he terrified them, so that they ran this way and that. Only Alkinoos’ daughter stood her ground, being given a bold heart by Athena, and steady knees. (146-149,6. )

The fact that she stays with the stranger, although all others run displays great courage on her part. She does not allow fear of this strange man’s possible motives frighten her, standing her ground. She continues to show her bravery by providing Odysseus with clothing and a place to stay, inviting him into her own house. Even by today’s standards, her assertiveness to remain in control is remarkable. As individuals approaching the twenty first century it is hard to believe that the simple actions of the women of The Odyssey are to be viewed as acts of power.

It is only when one looks at the society described by Homer and the time period in which the epic is set, that the defiance of tradition can truly be respected for what is. Peneope, Helen, and Nausikaa, lived under strict constraints and were of a gender whose opinion was neither accepted nor wanted. These women are to be applauded as revolutionaries for their actions, no matter how small they may seem, in exercising their natural Feminine power.

Book 23 of the Odyssey

In book 23 of the Odyssey, reoccurring Homeric themes appear, characters roles change, and a homecoming for an epic hero is finally accomplished. Book 23 may be the one book in this poem that can be related the closest to the poem as a whole. In this book, we see the relationship of a god/goddess and a human being as a reoccurring theme throughout Homers works. This god/human relationship is shown throughout the poem mainly through the actions of Athene, who is trying to assure that Odysseus receives the glorious homecoming that he deserves.

Book 23 concludes Odysseuss twenty-year homecoming journey by uniting him with his beloved wife, Penelope. The homecoming that is looked forward to by so many throughout the poem is finalized by the romantic reunion of Odysseus and Penelope This reunion shows a cunning side of Penelope that is almost the same as her husband, Odysseus, shows numerous times throughout the epic. This cunningness by Penelope exhibits a different example of the role of women in the time of the Odyssey.

The relationships between humans and gods are looked at numerous times in both the Iliad and the Odyssey. Gods in these poems hurt some humans and help others. The relationship with Odysseus and certain gods is what shapes this epic into what it is. The reason that Odysseus is so misfortunate on his way home is because he angered Poseidon, the god of the sea. Also, the reason that Odysseus eventually received his homecoming is because of the admiration and love of the goddess, Athene.

The relationship between Athene and Odysseus is shown in book 23 The goddess, Athene, and Odysseus are two characters that are very similar to one another in their personalities. Both Athene and Odysseus use their intelligence to trick others in thinking that they are somebody else. Odysseus quick wit seems to be what Athene appreciates most about him. Her appreciation is seen in line 287 of book 8 when she smiled on him, and stroked him with her hand after he made up that long, detailed story to try and trick her. This shows her appreciation for his great ability to deceive. She enjoys how he uses his resourcefulness in making up this story.

Athene, once again, helps out Odysseus and Penelope in book 23 when she lengthens the nighttime, because both Penelope and Odysseus are similar in that they are quick-witted and cunning. Athenes help is described by the quote: Now Dawn of the rosy fingers would have dawned on their weeping, had not the gray-eyed goddess Athene planned it otherwise. She held the long night back at the outward edge, she detained Dawn of the golden throne by the Ocean, and would not let her harness her fast-footed horses who bring the daylight to people (XXIII. 1-246).

Athene does things to help Odysseus, because she wants him to fulfill his goal and receive his homecoming. Athene has so much respect for Odysseus that she wants to do anything to help him get to his homeland and regain his kingdom and household from the wrath of the suitors. Athene helps Odysseus and his family a number of times throughout the epic in order to do so. Athene even helps Odysseus son, Telemachos, in the journey that he has in the first four books of the epic. This journey prepares Telemachos for the battle with the suitors.

Athene and Odysseus both greatly appreciate one another. Odysseus appreciates Athene for all the help that she gives to him. Athene appreciates Odysseus for his resourcefulness and for being far the best of all mortal men for counsel and stories (VIII. 297-298). This shows that Athene likes that Odysseus is a great leader as well as a great deceiver. Many times within the Odyssey, Odysseus either physically disguises himself or tells artful lies in order to hide his true identity. For example, he does this with Polephemos the Cyclops, with the suitors, and even with his own wife.

This is done in order to obtain the righteous homecoming in which he has been striving for. He tricks the Cyclops in order to escape death, and he disguises himself in the presence of the suitors to assure that he is not recognized, and therefore, can organize his plan. He, again, disguises himself for Penelope, his wife, in order to make sure that she has been loyal to him. These are all dishonest, yet justifiable, because they are to assure that Odysseus does not suffer the same inglorious homecoming as Agamemnon (XI: 405-434).

Athene and Odysseus are described very similarly throughout the epic. They are both described as deceiving. Athene relates the two of them when she says, for you and I both know sharp practice (VIII. 296-297). In these lines, she relates to Odysseus that she thinks they are both good deceivers. The relationship between Athene and Odysseus is important, because if not for the goddess, Poseidon may have fulfilled his own goal and destroyed Odysseus. Penelope, like Odysseus and Athene, also has the ability to deceive. She shows this in book 23 as well as in her confrontations with the suitors.

She lies to her suitors to delay having to choose one to be her husband. Like Odysseus, her lying is for a worthwhile reason. She lies to the suitors because she still believes that her real husband, Odysseus, is still alive. In book 23, Penelope turns the tides on Odysseus, assuring him trustworthy by using her own trickery. Where we usually see Odysseus lying to people to assure their loyalty, Penelope shows that she is truly Odysseus equal by using this form of trickery on him. Odysseus parallels the trickery that Penelope uses on him when he tricks his father, Laertes, in book 24.

Like Penelope, when she first sees Odysseus in book 23, Odysseus is at a crossroads when he first sees his father in book 24. He is contemplating whether to hug and kiss his father and tell him of his journey, or to question him [Laertes] first about everything and make trial of him (XXIV. 236-238). The choice that Penelope has to make is described quite similarly when it says, She spoke, and came down from the chamber, her heart pondering much, whether to keep away and question her dear husband, or to go up an kiss his head, taking his hands (XXIII. 85-87).

Both Penelope and Odysseus take the route to assure loyalty. They need to assure this loyalty because they both have people around them that are looking to deceive they. If they are deceived, they each have much to lose. The parallelism that Odysseus and Penelope have in books 23 and 24, show how much these two are alike. In book 23, Penelope lies to a person who is closer to her than anybody in the world, because she has doubts. Odysseus has the same doubts about his own fathers loyalty to him. Penelopes trickery on Odysseus brings upon a new example of the role of women in the years following the Trojan War.

The Odyssey, as a poem, is the product of a society and time where the males played the dominant role in society. Women in Ancient Greece occupied a subservient position. Women were valued in society, but they only participated in the affairs of the society when the men who ran their lives approved it. Immortal woman like Athene, Circe, and Calypso were treated with more equality and respect by a man than any other mortal woman, but due to the love and respect that Odysseus has for Penelope, he rightfully treats her as his equal.

Loyalty is the prime character trait that Odysseus looks for in any of his companions. If a person in disloyal to Odysseus, he/she will lose their life. An example of this is seen in book 22 when the disloyal Melanthios as well as the serving women are gruesomely murdered for betraying Odysseus. On the other hand, Odysseus will treat the people that are loyal to him with kindness and respect. Penelope is a prime example of loyalty and fidelity. She refuses to marry for years because she is waiting for the return of the husband that she loves so dearly.

By tricking Odysseus in book 23, she earns a higher level of respect and admiration by him. This respect and admiration is much like that which Athene has for Odysseus for much of the same reasons. The goal that Odysseus has throughout the epic is to get home to his beloved wife and son. Book 23 is the conclusion of his journey home. Odysseus has returned to his kingdom, joined with his son, and taken back his home. The last thing that he must accomplish to finalize his homecoming is to reunite with his one true love, Penelope.

In accomplishing this in book 23, this is the end of the journey that has become known as the Odyssey. Book 24 seems to be Homers way of showing the likeliness of Odysseus and Penelope. Book 24 also relates why the families of the suitors dont seek vengeance on Odysseus. Book 24 is an important book due to the way it concludes the story of Odysseus, but Odysseuss journey home ends when he and Penelope reunite. Book 23 of the Odyssey serves as a conclusion to the journey that Odysseus has been on for ten long years. Odysseus wraps up his ten-year journey home with an extra-long night of passion with his wife.

This chapter also reiterates the importance of mans relationship with the gods and goddesses. In addition, we see Penelope use Odysseus-like trickery in order to assure her husband was whom he said. This trickery relates so closely with that of Odysseus in the last book that readers can see Odysseus and his wife as equals. With her trickery and cunningness, she goes against the standard way that modern women of that day are looked at. Book 23 includes many themes and ideas that are repeated throughout the poem. With these themes and ideas present, book 23 serves as a tying together of the epic as a whole.

Heroes Adventure Essay

“Furthermore, we have not even to risk the adventure alone, for the heroes of all time here gone before us. \” (p. 1 A Heroes Adventure). This quote from Joseph Campbell tells you the essence of a hero. Odysseus might be a hero in the book but Telemachus was the one who went through the real journey. Campbell defines a hero one as \”who has found or done something beyond the normal range of achievement and experience. A hero is someone who has given his or her life to something bigger than oneself. \” (p. A Heroes Adventure)

Now if you consider he fact that Odysseus was put in this series of predicaments but outside forces that would consider him a hero, wouldn’t you? But, he did not believe in or accept those gods as power above beyond himself. Now if he does not believe as the gods as a higher power then he is not a hero because Campbell specifically states that \”a hero is one who accomplishes something bigger than one’s self. \” If Odysseus does not believe that the gods are a higher power, than he did not accomplish something above and beyond an bnormal adventure by defeating the spite of Poseidon.

Campbell defines a hero by the type of adventure as well. \”Well there are two types of deed. One is the physical deed, in which the hero performs a courageous act in battle or saves a life. The other kind is the spiritual deed, in which the hero learns to experience the supernormal range of human spiritual life and then comes back with a message. \” p. 1(A Heroes Adventure) So this does say that Odysseus is a hero to some degree, but who is the real hero? Telemachus is the real hero.

He went both through the physical journey searching for Odysseus and the spiritual journey. He went on the spiritual journey of becoming a man. Facing the hardships of keeping his mother safe from freeloaders and somewhat of keeping a kingdom in order until the return of his father. With juggled his period of adolescents, he showed that he had the strength not in his muscles because one on one he would get beaten badly, but in his heart to overcome his hardships to the best of his ability.

Campbell yet again flat out says that Telemachus is a hero on page 129, \”Odysseus’ son Telemachus was told by Athena, \”Go find your father. \”That father quest is a major hero adventure for young people. That is the adventure of finding what your career is, what your nature is, what your source is. \” This quote directly states that Telemachus went on an adventure and became a hero. It also states that he went in search of not only his father, but something more. Like a spiritual journey.

Telemachus while on the hysical journey of searching for Odysseus he went through the spiritual journey simotaneously making him more of a hero than Odysseus. In conclusion the real hero according to Campbell is actually Telemachus. It was not Odysseus because he did not go through the physical and spiritual journey as his son did. Telemachus went through the spiritual journey with Athena mentoring him through adolescents. the physical journey obviously seeking his father. So the real hero that lives on in this book the Odyssey is actually Telemachus.

Telemachus’ Odyssey

The Odyssey, though named for the great warrior and story focus Odysseus, cannot be soley regarded as a single man’s journey. The growth in intellect, maturity, and strength the Odysseus undergoes is reflected distinctly in his son, Telemachus. In the first books, other characters continue to treat him much as a child, and in many respects, Telemachus still acts like one. The first few books illustrate the relationship between Telemachus and his father, a father he has barely known. When Odysseus left his wife and child, Telemachus was still an infant.

For his want of a father, Athena acts as a mentor to him; particularly when she gives him the courage to journey from his home in search of his father. Had he not the courage here, he could not have stood against the suitors’ wills in the final books. Telemachus’s emotional growth is key to the paralleling storylines. When Menelaus mentions his father, the young Telemachus breaks down in tears, betraying his immaturity. However, the pride he feels leaving Sparta hints at the courage he shows in later books, aiding Odysseus against the suitors.

Odysseus faces a similar situation. He, like Telemachus, worries about his family Penelope in particular and kingdom, possibly triggered by Proteus’ mention of Agamemnon, who was killed by his own wife. The titular hero of this epic romance laments his seeming fate and the deaths of his crew, but continues with the courage and hope of reaching home. It seems that Odysseus learns little, unlike Telemachus, but not by any fault of his own, I think. He may simply be the epitome of Greek standards, clever and noble as he often is, and actually has little room to grow.

For Telemachus, the goals he sets reflect the maturity he gains: to reach a level of adulthood and to stand by his father’s side, to protect his family and kingdom, and most importantly, to be respected as a man. At the story’s onset, Telemachus can bee seen as an inactive young prince. When the challenges rise, however, Telemachus himself rises to meet them. He challenges the suitors with his divinely-inspired courage, and, though not completely effective, he surprised them a great deal with his authority as he did with his own mother in later books.

Telemachus undoubtedly gains a new awareness, not only about his father, but also about the kingdom, his mother, and the role he needed to play. By the end of his long emotional journey, Telemachus realizes what it takes to be a man; a feat which could not have been possible without his escapades to Pylos and Sparta. The key moment, the point at which Telemachus exceeds even his own expectations if not dreams, comes when Penelope offers the challenge of Odysseus’ bow. Each of the suitors tries and fails, but Telemachus makes the same bid for his birthright; he could have strung the bow, but for his father’s signal not to.

Had Telemachus succeeded, he would have been fully grown, but at the mercy of the vengeful suitors. Odysseus’ revelation catches them off-guard enough to make his assault. Telemachus, we can safely assume, will someday assume his father’s place as hero and king of Ithaca, because he undergoes parallel ordeals and is a match in strength and courage. The Odyssey creates a parallel for readers, between Odysseus and Telemachus, father and son. Telemachus learns the role of his father, the king of Ithaca, in order to follow in his footsteps.

The two are compared in the poem from every aspect, Telemachus at home often acting as a distant foil for Odysseus. However, in analyzing The Odyssey, one may also presume that Homer had not intended for the Telemachus to be as great a hero as his father had. This may be due to the fact that he never fought in the Trojan War (his setting, unlike his father’s, is a time of peace); but more notably, although he has matured, Telemachus never has the opportunity to learn through hardship, like his father.

The Odyssey Paper

In The Odyssey, Odysseus had to face many challenges during his travels; a few of these difficulties were a cannibalistic Cyclops, huge whirlpools, determined suitors, along with many hardships. Odysseus fought constantly to return to his homeland of Ithaca, but to accomplish this Odysseus had to be clever, resourceful, and have great leadership qualities. Odysseus proved throughout the story that he was very clever.

When he was faced with having to get out of Polyphemus’s cave, Odysseus first told the Cyclops, “My name is Nohbdy: mother, father, and friends, / everyone calls me Nohbdy”. g. 452, 341-342) Odysseus told him this because he knew if the other Cyclopes would come and ask who was with him, they would think that “Nohbdy” was there. In another episode, Odysseus outsmarted the Sirens; he wanted to listen to their sweet song, but he knew he would try to jump overboard. It was then he got the notion to tell his crew, “you are to tie me up, tight as a splint, / erect along the mast, lashed to the mast, / and if I shout and beg to be untied, / take more turns of rope to muffle me. ” (pg. 59, 536-539)

This and telling the crew members to put ax in their ears ensured that Odysseus, alone, could listen to the Sirens’ song and not die. When Odysseus had to figure out how he could kill the Suitors who were staying in his house, he had Athena disguise him as an old beggar and then told Telemachus, his son, to hide all of the Suitors’ weapons and armor. If they asked Telemachus what he was doing, he was to tell them he was storing the weapons so that none of the suitors would kill each other if they got into a fight.

Many times throughout the story, Odysseus had to be resourceful enough to accomplish a task by using surrounding things, whatever was at hand. When he was drifting back towards Charybdis, Odysseus grabbed onto a nearby fig tree and held on until a piece of driftwood shot out of the whirlpool; then he grabbed a hold of the driftwood and soared to safety. In order to escape from the Cyclops’s cave, Odysseus wanted to blind the Cyclops.

To do this, he carved a large stave which he planned to use against the Cyclops and poke his eye out. But in order to keep this stave a secret from Polyphemus, he had to hide it in a place where Polyphemus would not suspect. It is here he hid it, “under / one of the dung piles in profusion there. (pg. 451, 303-304) To make this stave, Odysseus first had to find a tree which he could cut down, “an olive tree, felled green and left to season” (pg. 51, 293) Odysseus also had to find a way to prevent the suitor from knowing that he was back, so he prayed to Athena to disguise him as a beggar.

Odysseus had to be a good leader in order to make tough decisions about what he and his crew should do. When passing through the strait between Scylla and Charybdis, Odysseus chose to lose six men to Scylla instead of risking losing the entire ship to Charybdis. Upon the Island of the Lotus Eaters, Odysseus had to get the men who had eaten the Lotus off the island.

I drove them, all three wailing, to the ships, / tied them under their rowing benches,” (pg. 445, 97-98) On the island of the sun god, Helios, Odysseus warned his men not to kill the cattle which belonged to the god; but, unfortunately, his men disobeyed him and slaughtered the cattle, which they feasted upon. Zeus later punished his men with death. Trapped inside of Polyphemus’ cave, Odysseus knew he had to be a good leader if he was to get himself and his men out of the cave.

Originally he was going to kill Polyphemus hen he ate two of Odysseus’s men; but when Odysseus was about to stab him, he realized that he should not kill him, because “I had touched the spot / when sudden fear stayed me: if I killed him / we perished there as well, for we could never / move his ponderous doorway slab aside. ” (pg. 450-451, 273-276)

During his adventure Odysseus proved that he was smart, and able to deal with adversity skillfully. He proved an able leader despite all the troubles that he encountered on his adventure. In the end, Odysseus proved he could surmount the challenges which might have prevented him from getting home.

Comparing Odysseus and Medea

“Let me hear no smooth talk
of death from you, Odysseus, light of councils.
Better, I say, to break sod as a farm hand
for some poor country man, on iron rations,
than lord it over all the exhausted dead.”

Right before restless Odysseus leaves Circe, she tells him that he must go down into Hades to visit the shade of Teiresias, the blind prophet who advises Odysseus of his homecoming (the Wanderings). He then goes on to meet the shades of the queens and lovers of dead heroes and finally the heroes themselves. In the quotation cited, Odysseus is talking with Achilles, the greatest hero of the Trojan War. Achilles, while alive, was fully cognizant of his choice between a long life spent in obscurity or a short life, filled with glory. He chose the latter.

I suppose Achilles quickly realized after he died that fame has no meaning for you after you’re dead. In retrospect, he understood that death gives meaning, and fills one up with the passion for life. Every action, however mundane, is filled with the miracle of life and completes itself when one interacts with others. This is what Achilles meant when he asks Odysseus about his son and his former kingdom–never mind the dead, what are the living doing? Achilles yearns to be back among the living.

This theme of death giving meaning to life is prevalent throughout the Odyssey. Hell is death, heaven is now, in life, in the field of time and action.

Odysseus nearly died of homesickness (or boredom) when Kalypso detained him on her island, hoping to make him her immortal husband. Odysseus knew if he drank that ambrosia, life would be eternal, you’d have a beautiful house and a babe for a wife, but things would get terribly vapid after a certain point. Immortality is death, in this sense. Finally, it is Athena (thought, action) who convinces the gods (who are, I think, jealous of us mortals) to let Odysseus off the island and back into his life. It is interesting to note that even Hermes couldn’t wait to get off Kalypso’s island–“who would willingly come here? There is no city of men nearby. . . . .

Ultimately, Odysseus’ journey to Ithaka is about embracing one’s life, accepting the challenges, the dangers, pitfalls, and joys, with courage, tenacity and a keen sense of what it takes to maintain balance in one’s life. As the Odyssey suggests throughout, keeping balance in your life also reflects the macrocosm–the need for reciprocity, sacrifice, justice, love, etc. One must learn to keep one’s head in an unsure world (lotus eaters, Cyclops, Laistrygonians, etc.) And enjoy the journey home because the journey is the map of one’s life. It is best to be a breathing hero, in full possession of himself, than a dead one.

Home is Ithaka, a place of completion, the sound of a woman’s voice, the merging of male and female. Both Odysseus and Penelope carried the sound of each other’s voices in their heads for 20 years. When Odysseus came home, it was both an end and a beginning. Another beautiful challenge. Another journey, another homecoming to look forward to.

Medea, on the other hand, is a nightmare. Unlike Odysseus, she has been betrayed and will stop at nothing to destroy everything around her. Life holds no meaning for her, so she sets out to destroy everything precious belonging to the betrayer–fatuous Jason. In her irrationality, death or life have no meaning–they are simply tools used for vengeance.

In a sense, Odysseus and Medea are polar opposites: he maintains the balance between the micro/macrocosm, and Medea is self-absorbed, driven blindly by love, and myopic. She is forever the outsider, the exile who knowingly destroyed the chance of ever returning home, while Odysseus (representing society here) is the preserver, who sees and understands the forest, and is, by comparison, a glowing humanist next to Medea. If Odysseus can be looked upon as a metaphor for society (and everything included in it), then Medea can be seen as Nature, what happens when you upset the balance of that society.

Odysseus, the Hero The “Odyssey”

Odysseus, the Hero The “Odyssey” is an epic story that has been a significant piece of literature since it was first composed and will remain so for ages to come. One of the reasons it has been so is because of the hero, Odysseus. Odysseus is one of the first Greek mythic heroes renowned for his brain as well as his muscle. He is a man with an intelligent mind, and he is also a man with outstanding bravery. I also must not forget that he is a top-notch athlete which only adds more to this seemingly insuperable character. It is no wonder why many people refer to Odysseus as a powerful mythic hero.

Odysseus often hesitates before acting, because he uses his reason and gift to evaluate things. This patience is one of his most important additional attributes. This has saved him and his men many of times, and it can be easily seen in various instances throughout his travels such as when he disguised himself as a beggar when he finally reached Ithaca, waiting for the right moment to reveal himself. As great as he was, Odysseus still had some weaknesses that prolonged his voyage back to Ithaca. His most important weakness that he possess is that of his pride. Pride is good to have, but in Odysseus’ case he had to uch of it.

This is clearly evident in the episode on the cyclopes’ island. When Odysseus and his men are clearly safe away from the island Odysseus braggs about his exploit. Polythemus hears this and hurls giant boulders in the direction of the ship. A couple came very close to sinking the ship. Still that was not enough for Odysseus. Carried away in his pride he unwisely gave away his identity to Polythemus. With that Polythemus called upon his father, Poseidon, to punish the man who had harmed him. That incident hurt Odysseus more than losing a few men, because Poseidon made his travel home ever so longer and rduous.

Yet another weakness of our hero is his sensualness. Odysseus enjoys women. He stayed with Circe for one year before his men reminded him of home. He also stayed with Calypso for seven years. Although we must take into thought that there were some other reasons why he stayed with her for so long, like that she was an immortal and he didn’t want to have her against him. Nonetheless, Odysseus survived all that happened to him. His courage, wits, and endurance enabled him to come through each and every difficulty and arrive home safely. Therefore I believe that Odysseus is a hero.

Odyssey written by Homer

Every Epic follows a certain guideline, it is written in an elevated style consisting of a hero and deeds he does during his travels or journey. In the Odyssey written by Homer, the hero named Odysseus portrays many Hero-like characteristics that can make the reader envious. Homer gives Odysseus 3 traits that fit the definition of a hero like a glove. Odysseus is courageous, has great strength and ability, and exhibits noble qualities. Odysseus shows his courage early on in the Epic by agreeing to go and fight in the Trojan War where he was needed.

He knew he was risking never seeing his family again but he was willing to fight. The greatest proof of Odysseus being a true hero was his strength and ability. During the war he showed his smarts. He devised the wooden horse plan, where a bunch of soldier packed into a huge wooden horse and were brought into the city of Troy then came out during the night and burned and attacked the people and the city. The smart thinking of Odysseus ended the 10 year long war. Also in book 21 Penelope held the contest to win her hand.

The contest was a simple as; whoever could string Odysseus bow and shoot the arrow through 12 ax heads would be Penelopes husband. Penelope knew Odysseus was the only person who could perform such a feat. This event showed how strong Odysseus was. After the contest when Odysseus made his presence clear he has the courage and Strength to give the suitors 4 reasons for to die. He tells them you took my house, you took my maids, you tried to take my wife, and you disrespected the gods. It took guts to say that after being gone for 20 years.

He shows his strength by proceeding killing all of the suitors without any outside help. Odysseus is a noble character who everyone looks up to. Besides some of the suitors, Odysseus is respected by most of the other characters. Antionoos and Euremakus are especially rude suitors who treated Odysseus like dirt when he was dressed as a beggar. Odysseus treated everyone with the same amount of respect they gave him. When compared with other heros for example Superman, Odysseus fits right in. He has the traits of a true hero and it shows throughout the Odyssey.

Odysseus Truly A Hero

To be known as a hero takes a lot. But what is a true hero? To some, a hero might just be a person who has a lot of courage and bravery, to others a hero might be a person that is a strong warrior and leader who wins battles; still to others a hero might be a person who uses his brain just as much as his muscle to win battles. In Homer’s epic poem, The Odyssey, Odysseus proves that he is a true hero in all of these ways. Courage and bravery are two things that Odysseus has a lot of Maybe even a little too much.

In the movie, he does something that although takes a lot of courage and bravery, has more to do with his pride. He defies the god Poseidon, telling him that he is unstoppable and that even the great god Poseidon can’t stop him. Odysseus then gets back on his ship on starts to sail on Poseidon’s waters back to Ithaca. Pride is good to have, but in Odysseus’s case, it’s a little too much. On the other hand, he does things that make him a great hero. When Circeturned his crew into animals, he climbed straight up a mountain, risking his life just to save his crew.

He will do anything to get back to Ithaca and see his wife and son, no matter how crazy it is. He even goes into the underworld to speak to a prophet about how to get back to Ithaca. Being brave and courageous is all about being willing and able to go to the extremes to help or possibly save people or even a place in need. As well as having courage and bravery, Odysseus is also a strong warrior and leader. Living as king of Ithaca, he leads his fleet of warriors across Poseidon’s sea into a great battle against the Trojans.

It is here where Odysseus and his fleet of warriors defeated the Trojans because of his great leadership. Knowing that he cannot defeat the Trojans from outside the immense walls, he comes up with a different plan. A plan that will get him through the walls with a little help from Poseidon. He makes a giant wooden horse (Trojan Horse) and has a person present it as a gift to accept a peace with them. The Trojan accept the gift and open the walls for the horse, not knowing that inside the horse was Odysseus and a small fleet of soldiers. The Trojans had a great celebration for what they thought was a victory.

As the Trojans finally went to sleep, Odysseus and his fleet crept out of the horse and completely laughtered the Trojans in a very bloody battle. Ithaca was victorious and could now return back home happy, all because of the great leadership of Odysseus. Yes, Odysseus and his soldiers were mighty warriors and did have the strength to defeat the Trojans, but Odysseus used something that was more powerful than his strength. Intelligence. This is something that Odysseus has the most of and also the reason why he not only defeated the Trojans, but also survived the great journey he went through to get back to Ithaca.

Throughout the story, Odysseus often hesitates before acting. This being because he uses his reason and his gift of intelligence to evaluate what the situation is. This patience is one of his most important attributes. It has saved him and his men many times, and can be easily seen in numerous instances throughout his journey, not only when he makes the wooden horse, but times such as when he disguises himself as a beggar when he finally reached Ithaca. Here he used his patience and waited for the right moment to reveal himself.

Many people in his situation would’ve been too anxious to wait and would immediately show who he was, risking a chance of being killed. Odysseus hesitated and used his reason to think of a better way to show himself. He succeeds and things work out just the way he wants. Like many heroes, Odysseus does have weaknesses such as his chronic cheating problem and his problem with pride. Nonetheless, Odysseus survived all that happened to him. His courage, bravery, wits, and endurance enable him to come through each and every challenge and eventually arrive home safely. Thus proving himself worthy of being a true hero.

Heroic Qualities Essay

Ancient civilizations pass on their contributions to society through oral traditions now written down. They felt the best way to continue their livelihood was to create fabulous stories that encompassed the general ideal of the people. These stories were used as tools for teaching societal standards, displaying consequences, and modeling expectations. Today new look back at these most famous stories and try to derive a consensus of how the people of the past thought and believed. The main characters in these stories were usually described as the hero.

People idealized this person and used him as an example for general reference. Two of the most prominent heroes were Odysseus the Homeric epic hero, and Oedipus, Sophocles’s tragic hero. The immediate nature of both Odysseus and Oedipus displays heroic characteristics in each of their stories; they both struggle with imperfections, but each deals with his weakness differently. Both heroes begin each story as a good leader or leader. Odysseus can be best described as an embodiment of the ideal of the people. He displayed great strength and creative wit, but he was subject to his own character.

Odysseus was a heroic man coming home from a long war. While he was gone his wife’s suitors had turn his home and its surroundings in to shambles. The people recognized Odysseus’s importance to the organization of the town. He was the strong ruler that they turned to in times of need. He was also known as a strong and clever warrior. Odysseus was known for helping create the Trojan horse and the down fall of the city of Troy. The horse was presented as a gift to the Trojans. Inside the hollow horse, Achaean troops were waiting to pounce on the unsuspecting Trojan’s.

After the victory of the war, Odysseus tried to journey home only to be delayed continually. When he and his shipmates encounter the Cyclops who traps them in his cave, Odysseus devises a plan to help them escape. The Cyclops, Polyphemos, let his prized sheep out graze during the day, so Odysseus decided they should hang on the bellies of the sheep when he let the out, Odysseus saved his men from certain death. However, as Odysseus was escaping from Polyphemos he disclosed his name to the giant, which he had earlier tried to keep a secret.

He wanted to pridefully exclaim that he was the man who had tricked the awful Polyphemos. He did not realize the consequences of this disclosure made him in particular responsible for his actions. It happed that Polyphemos was the son the sea god Poseidon. Throughout the rest of the journey, Poseidon works against Odysseus and his crew. Odysseus allowed pride to get the best of him; this becomes a common occurrence of epic heroes. He feels he can accomplish all things on his own, forgetting to honor the gods.

This character flaw seems to appear later in the epic when Odysseus arrives home to find his home in the middle of a terrible ordeal. He allows anger to engulf him and vows to get revenge on the suitors and their accomplices. He kills the handmaidens of the suitors; they are given an offensive and dishonorable death “by hanging rather than by the knife or sword, as in the ritual sacrifice of an innocent animal” (Wilkie and hurt 571). This dishonorable death showed Odysseus lack of respect and extreme anger, which he took out on the maids.

They were not allowed a proper burial, which dishonored their families and all that knew them. Oedipus is another famous hero who served as the Theban king. Oedipus became famous when he solved a riddle and rid the city of the monstrous Sphinx. The Theban people had just lost their king and so the hero Oedipus was crowned as their new leader. He then married the queen and ruled over the city. A terrible plague later haunts the people of Thebes, Oedipus vows to find the cause and later vows to avenge the death of the past king of Thebes.

Oedipus tries to be an honorable king and defend the welfare of his people, yet he is unaware that he is the cause for his city’s affliction. As a prime example of the tragic hero, Oedipus experiences a quick change in his luck. Aristotle said that a tragic hero would “ change fortune from prosperity to adversity” (Wilkie and hurt 972). Oedipus is described as humanely intelligent and a vigorously active leader”(Wilkie and Hurt 735). Slowly Oedipus begins to realize his fate; the fate that he has lived his life to avoid.

He has spent his life trying to avert the oracles that declared he would kill his father and marry his mother. After running away, Oedipus kills a traveler on the road to Thebes. He would later find out that this traveler was his father. Often times Oedipus would act in order to avoid his fate before thinking about what he was doing. His flaw is that he believes he can run away from or alter the effects of fate. Fate was guarded by the gods and so Oedipus is suggesting that he is capable of functioning without the help or intervention of the gods.

His life displays an awkward possibility that one could kill his father and marry his mother. “Nothing is improbable in the life of a tragic hero”(Wilkie and Hurt 975). The story of a tragic hero is suppose to warn people that even the most pious can have a downfall. Oedipus finds his wife (and mother) hanged and stabs his own eyes out. This depicts Oedipus’s metaphorical blindness throughout the play and now after the realization his physical blindness. Oedipus begins as an extraordinary man and falls by some fault or frailty.

Both characters are strong willed leaders who often times try to take control of too much at one time. They both display strengths and heroic characteristics. Odysseus is the embodiment of the ideal as the epic hero. On the other hand, Oedipus is a good man tested by fate and later comes to his downfall as a tragic hero. Both heroes is told of to teach a lesson to the people, the epic hero gives people a standard which to idealize and the tragic hero gives an example of how fragile life is and how much fate rules our lives. Most of all these characters display the abilities of humans even with imperfections and frailties.

Telemachus: Hero or Puppet

Pawns are often used in literature to manipulate the storyline. In many cases, these people are minor characters. They usually support the main idea, but are just tools that the author uses to convey the message and not very significant to the true meaning of the novel in question. But there can also be people in the story itself who control the weaker individuals. In the case of The Odyssey by Homer, the Gods are the ones who control the mortals. Athena repeatedly uses Telemachus as she pleases. She does not use every human in this fashion, and she specifically chose him or her pleasure and manipulation.

Telemachus is a mindless vehicle of the Gods. Athena used Telemachus as a way to prove her admiration of Odysseus. She did not give assistance the mortal to benefit him. She simply was helping the son of the object of her adoration. Athena aids Telemachus by giving him confidence where he needs it the most. She gives him the strength to stand up for his father’s estate when his mother’s suitors disrespect it. “But now, I urge you, think how to drive these suitors from your halls. Come now, listen closely. Take my words to heart.

At daybreak summon the island’s lords to full assembly, give your orders to all and call the gods to witness: tell the suitors to scatter, each to his own place. ” Athena tells Telemachus to show the suitors that he was in charge and not a child anymore. Telemachus is given this confidence by the goddess, so that he would seem to be more like his father, who Athena cherished. The goddess provides Telemachus with advice on how to relieve the estate of the suitors. He is also told to take a ship to seek rumor of his father’s whereabouts.

Athena wants Telemachus to search for Odysseus for herself, not to bring happiness to the wife or son of her favorite war hero. She knows that she will not be able to retrieve Odysseus from Calypso, so she uses the vulnerable Telemachus as a puppet, to use in any way she sees fit. She gives him bravery again, this time for the journey to Sparta. “Telemachus, you’ll lack neither courage nor sense from this day on, not if your father’s spirit courses through your veins. ” Athena gave inspiration to the young man instead of giving him material possessions.

Athena soon moves into the more practical domain when she decides to give Telemachus a boat and become part of his crew. She does this just so they will find Odysseus sooner and the bright-eyed goddess won’t have to wait for them to build or buy the supplies. “Telemachus, your comrades-at- arms are ready at the oars, waiting for your command to launch. So come, on with our voyage now, we’re wasting time. ” Athena is so impatient to find Odysseus that she actually becomes the prince in order to hasten the gathering of the crew. Telemachus is just a manipulated pawn in Athena’s plan.

Yet he grows and changes dramatically from the time when he first meets the disguised goddess to when he sets sail for Sparta and on his journey to find his father. Many times in literature, a character will greatly mature as a result of someone using them. This happens in the world of non-fiction as well. Sometimes a person will actually be helped by the person who is attempting to put them in a position of inferiority. It is often a challenge to find the good in every situation, and to make these circumstances work to our benefit.

The Odyssey – Telemakhos

His youth was spent in Le Havre, where he first excelled as a caricaturist but was then converted to landscape painting by his early mentor Boudin, from whom he derived his firm predilection for painting out of doors. In 1859 he studied in Paris at the Atelier Suisse and formed a friendship with Pissarro. After two years’ military service in Algiers, he returned to Le Havre and met Jongkind, to whom he said he owed `the definitive education of my eye’. He then, in 1862, entered the studio of Gleyre in Paris and there met Renoir, Sisley, and Bazille, with whom he was to form the nucleus f the Impressionist group.

Monet’s devotion to painting out of doors is illustrated by the famous story concerning one of his most ambitious early works, Women in the Garden (Muse d’Orsay, Paris; 1866-67). The picture is about 2. 5 meters high and to enable him to paint all of it outside he had a trench dug in the garden so that the canvas could be raised or lowered by pulleys to the height he required. Courbet visited him when he was working on it and said Monet would not paint even the leaves in the background unless the lighting conditions were exactly right.

During the Franco-Prussian War (1870-71) he took refuge in England with Pissarro: he studied the work of Constable and Turner, painted the Thames and London parks, and met the dealer Durand-Ruel, who was to become one of the great champions of the Impressionists. From 1871 to 1878 Monet lived at Argenteuil, a village on the Seine near Paris, and here were painted some of the most joyous and famous works of the Impressionist movement, not only by Monet, but by his visitors Manet, Renoir and Sisley.

In 1878 he moved to Vtheuil and in 1883 he settled at Giverny, also on the Seine, but about 40 iles from Paris. After having experienced extreme poverty, Monet began to prosper. By 1890 he was successful enough to buy the house at Giverny he had previously rented and in 1892 he married his mistress, with whom he had begun an affair in 1876, three years before the death of his first wife. From 1890 he concentrated on series of pictures in which he painted the same subject at different times of the day in different lights—Haystacks or Grainstacks (1890-91) and Rouen Cathedral (1891-95) are the best known.

He continued to travel widely, visiting London and Venice several times and also Norway as a guest of Queen Christiana), but increasingly his attention was focused on the celebrated water-garden he created at Giverny, which served as the theme for the series of paintings on Water-lilies that began in 1899 and grew to dominate his work completely (in 1914 he had a special studio built in the grounds of his house so he could work on the huge canvases). In his final years he was troubled by failing eyesight, but he painted until the end. He was enormously prolific and many major galleries have examples of his work.

Homers The Odyssey

Homers The Odyssey, a magnificent story of lust, deceit, greed, and heroism, still fascinates scholars and casual readers alike today in the same way it fascinated its audience at the time it was written. The Odyssey, a journey of determination, patience, and virtue, tells the tail of Odysseus, the main character, on his voyage home to Ithaka after the end of the Trojan War. Odysseus goes through many unforeseen trials and tribulations, which exemplify his character. During these different happenings, Odysseus makes decisions that do not correspond to his character.

Odysseus character , as seen in the Iliad, is much like that of a Homeric hero. A hero in Homers world entails many attributes other than physical strength including, but not limited to, courage, honor, respect, intelligence, and good morals. Throughout The Odyssey, some of these character traits are illustrated, and some are slightly changed. His journey starts east from Troy to smaros. Odysseus and the Akhaian forces battle with Kikons. Odysseus, knowing of the Kikons skill, intelligently order back out to sea. They refuse and, in return, many are killed.

Here, Odysseus intelligence would have saved the men, if they would have listened. Though they failed to obey, Odysseus exhibited patience as he did not hold them at fault. Their next destined endeavor takes them to the land of the Lotos Eaters. The Lotos flower possesses powers which cause men to forget any thought they have of leaving the island. Odysseus, knowing of the Lotus special powers, orders his men to avoid the flowers. Three men took it upon themselves to taste the flower and were subsequently drug back to the ships kicking and screaming.

Again, Odysseus intelligent command, if it would have been taken more seriously, would have saved the heartache of his men. The next land Odysseus and his men come across is the land of the Kyklops. Odysseus curiosity and desire for adventure, driving him inland, somewhat hinder his attempt to return home. Odysseus men want to loot the goods and return to the ship. But, despite the pleading of his men, Odysseus wants to meet the cave-dwellers and see what they have to offer. This came to be a dire mistake.

Polyphmos enters the cave, and after brief words, he, in one swift motion, grabs, dismembers, then proceeds to feed on two of Odysseus men. After a brief stay in the cave and a few more dead men, Odysseus congers a plan which defeats Polyphmos and returns Odysseus and his men safely back to the ship. This episode cost Odysseus the lives of men – lives lost for pure curiosity and his yearn for action. Directly after escaping Polyphmos, Odysseus cries out in anger at the Kyklops, who proceeds to toss boulders at Odysseus ships. After each cry, Polyphmos gets closer and closer with his tosses.

Then, unintelligently, Odysseus, for sake of false confidence, reveals his name to Polyphmos. Polyphmos then prays to his father, Poseidon, against Odysseus voyage home to Ithaka. Instead of the mens, now Odysseus actions endanger their lives. Odysseus and his men sail to another land – Aiolia Island, the home of Aiolos Hippotads, the wind king. Aiolos plays host to Odysseus and his crew for a month. Staying for this length of time suggests Odysseus desire to return home is diminishing. Being controller of the winds, Aiolos grants Odysseus a bag containing storm winds to aid his journey home.

After ten days at sea, the men finally catch glimpse of their long sought after homeland. As Odysseus slept, his crew, wondering what was in the bag, opens the it. The great winds rush out, blowing the ships clear back to Aiolia. Odysseus, despite his courage, has thoughts of suicide but decides against it: “Should I go overside for a quick finish / or clench my teeth and stay among the living? ” (10:57-8). Odysseus confronts Aiolos in a manner not characteristic to the great orator that Odysseus is. He explains the situation as to why they are back.

Aiolos refuses to help them and orders them off his land. For six days Odysseus and his men sail until finally they come to the land of the Laistrygons. After landing, they catch a glimpse of the daughter of Antiphats the Laistrygon. She motions them to her fathers lodge, and , again, curiosity kills the cat. Once in the lodge, Antiphats quickly grabs a man and eats him. The other two me run back to the ships. Many men and ships were lost as the Laistrygons plague the skyline and shoot boulders down upon them. Only Odysseus ship remains. The lone ship sails on to Aiaia, the island of Kirk.

After seeing puffs of smoke coming from the mainland, Odysseus informs his crew, who are disheartened by the news, recollecting the Kyklops incident. Unlike the episode on the Kyklops island, Odysseus stays with the ship, and he sends his men into the woods. This is definitely unlike Odysseus, the hero. One would think that such a man as he would lead the group, yet he stays behind. When the men reach Kirk, she quickly turns the men into pigs with a magic drink mixture. Eurlokhos runs back to the ship and tells Odysseus of the foul magic played on his comrades.

Given instructions and a magical plant by Herms, Odysseus saves his friends. He goes back to the ship to collect the rest of the crew. Why, one would ask, does Odysseus keep on prolonging his return home? After being hosted for a year, the men finally get Odysseus back on track. Kirk tells Odysseus he must go to the land of Death. Odysseus loses yet another man, Elpnor, who falls off Kirks roof unnoticed. At the land of Death, spirits appear around him. First, Elpnor appears and asks for a proper mourning and burial, to which Odysseus promises, exemplifying Odysseus honor and respect for the dead.

But, what about the living? Teirsias appears to Odysseus and speaks of the future. Teirsias tells of many obstacles Odysseus and his men will encounter and how to deal with them. Odysseus sees many other spirits including his mother, Agammnon, and Akhilleus. Sailing on, they head for Kirks island to give Elpnor a proper burial. While there, Kirk, like Teirsias, tells Odysseus of perils that lie ahead. They set off again on the sea. They sail past the island of the Seirns, whose voice has effects of those of the Lotos flowers.

Odysseus covers his mens ears with beeswax and has them tie him up so that he may here the songs of the Seirns. Odysseus seems to want to be the only man to hear the Seirns and escape. This is either extreme courage or a dangerous greed. They make it past the island and onward they sail toward Skylla and Kharybdis. While cruising by, Skylla snatched up six of Odysseus men. This is the price they pay for return to their homeland. With Kharybdis and Skylla behind them, they sail on. They coast by the island of the god Hlios. On this island are bountiful sheep, rams, and heifers.

They are not to be touched, as prophesized by Kirk and Teirsias. He instructed his men of this yet they refused and landed on shore. Odysseus took off into the mainland in search of more adventure. He then falls asleep. His men, back at the shore, decide to go ahead and kill and eat the animals to suffice there hunger. This time, the men, not Odysseus, are responsible for destined danger. While they were out to sea, Zeus, in revenge for Hlios slain animals, strikes the ship with a huge lightning bolt. This destroys the ship and sends all men to their death, except Odysseus.

He stays alive by grasping onto pieces of the ship floating on the waters surface. He begins to drift back towards Kharybdis which sucks down his life-preserving wooden planks. Odysseus, for a whole day, grasps a limb hanging above the death trap until the planks reappear. This is sheer determination on Odysseus part. When he regains his planks, he drifts towards Kalypso, the sea nymphs, island. Odysseus character is challenged in many ways throughout books 5 through 12. In some instances he holds strong, and in others he fails. His sense of adventure sometimes overwhelms him.

The length of time Odysseus spends away from Ithaka also dilutes his desire to return, and possibly dilutes his desire to live. Under certain circumstances, any man can succumb to the evils to which he despises. A perfect example is Akhilleus in the Iliad. He started out an honorable man. With the death of his friend, he turns into a maniac who wants nothing but death for the enemy. Odysseus starts out wanting nothing but to return to his family and his homeland. Over the course of the many years away, this feeling dwindles and he is left with nothing but adventure to prolong his reason for living.

The Odyssey – Development of desire

The development of the male warrior, throughout literature, has a direct relationship with the development of western civilization. The attributes a warrior holds, fall respectively with the attributes that each society held as valuable. These characteristics, started by societies ideals, become the warrior’s only reasons for continuing their heroics. The ideals however do change with each warrior. At the beginning we have a warrior with one mission, which later the warriors become more challenged and have to change ideas and concepts to continue.

The evolution of the warriors desires becomes the complex deals that western civilization develops over time. With this progression of civilization, from simple to complex ideals, so will the evolution of the ideals and desires of our heroes change from simple to complex. Odysseus is a man who is both strong and smart, but most known not for the brawn of his body, but the wits of his brain. A man who is loved in every country, but Trojan, and could stay where ever he chooses, his sailors knew this to be true as one bench mate to the next, It never fails.

He is welcome everywhere: hail to the captain when he goes ashore! (Homer 166). The irony alls as Odysseus only desires his homeland. Begin when all the rest who left behind them headlong death in battle or at sea had long ago returned, while he[ Odysseus] alone still hungered for home and wife (Homer 1). Odysseus has many opportunities to end his journeys and start a new life. For instance, if he desired, Odysseus was able to stay with Kalypso who wanted him forever, Her ladyship Kalypso clung to him in her sea-hollowed caves- a nymph, immortal and most beautiful, who craved him for her own (Homer 1).

Kalypso knows even though she has Odysseus in her home, he is not hers to have. Son of Laertes, versatile Odysseus, after all these years with me, you still desire your old home? Even so I wish you well( Homer 87). To which Odysseus replies, …Yet, it is true, each day I long for home, long for the sight of home… (Homer 87). Another chance for Odysseus to start a new life is offered by the king of the Phaecians to marry his daughter and live there; …seeing the man that you are, seeing your thoughts are my own thoughts-my daughter should be yours and you my son-in-law, if you remained. Homer 120).

In each case, Odysseus, only wants to return to his wife Penelope, his son, and most of all his homeland. Odysseus, who endures many hardships throughout his journeys, always seemed to be one step ahead of the reader in knowing what to do to get out of a situation. The problems during the stories come not from Odysseus judgment, but the judgment of his men. This became evident more than once when his men would disobey his orders, which resulted in death or peril.

To illustrate, the story of the men taking the bag from Aiolos from under the deck right when they were at the sight of their homeland: Nine days and night we sailed without event, till the tenth we raised our land. We neared it, and saw the men building fires along shore; but ow weary to the bone I [Odysseus] fell into deep slumber…but while I slept the crew began to parley: silver and gold , they guessed, were in that bag…. [bench mates] ‘Who has gifts from Aiolos? He has. I say we ought to crack that bag, there’s gold and silver, plenty, in that bag! (Homer 166), with such greed, by opening the bag, the adverse winds are unleashed with full fury.

Then every wind roared into a hurricane; the ships went pitching west with many cries; our land lost(Homer 166). With these trials of Odysseus, and throughout the journey, we see Odysseus spares nothing on his return home. He loses men, hips, and wealth from Troy and the gods. With all the losses he sustains over the long journey he is unmoved, for his only passion is to return home. Odysseus’s biggest attribute is his personal control of emotions and events.

He has many emotions throughout the story, but always exhibits control in thinking and actions. Look at the careful planning and patience when waiting for the time to kill all his suitors. Another duration, Odysseus wants to punish his men many times over for the greed and stupidity they show throughout their journeys, My men are mutinous fools… (Homer 146), but he controls his anger nd continues on their journey back home. Odysseus, with such control, is the very model of a leader and king. Control was very valuable in Greek society.

A perfect contrast to Odysseus’s’ control is the character Antinous. Antinous has no control over his emotions or actions, as he leads the ban of suitors, being the most brash of the suitors. Look at the anger he displaces on Odysseus during a dinner in which Odysseus is in disguise as a beggar: God what evil wind blew in this pest? Get over, stand in the passage! Nudge my table, will you? Egyptian whips are sweet to what you’ll come to here, ou nosing rat, making your pitch to everyone! (Homer 325). The desire of Odysseus to returning home is that of pure dedication.

This is easily seen throughout the text, by the rejections he sends to all who give him gifts to stay. This dedication falls into the ideals of the Greek culture, and the belief behind community above all other ideals. Wealth, and power would be nothing without the sense of community behind the individual. A careful look into the story of The Odyssey, points out Homer’s feelings of when the sense of community can be abused with the presentation of the suitors. A statement speaks of Odysseus’s absolute desire to return home.

When he nears Ithacas’ shores which falls asleep from exhaustion, his men doom him by taking the gift from Aiolos, as mentioned previously in the text, the gloom and despair Odysseus confesses to as the thought he whispers to himself, Roused up, despairing in that gloom, I thought: ‘Should I go overside for a quick finish or clench my teeth and stay among the living? ’…(Homer 166). Such a thought does occur to our hero, but he fights to return home instead of taking the simple way out, and eventually becomes triumphant in his desire.

Beowulf becomes a different type of male warrior which surfaces at a new time in civilization from The Odyssey. Written after the ancient civilizations of Greek and Rome, dawning in the hour of the dark ages. Our warrior surfaces during a time when different tribes throughout Europe were trying to keep their different identities alive. To accomplish such a feat, the warriors of this era had to have an ideal that connected them to their tribe, but ,above all, the warriors had to be menacing. The ability to scare away invasions by the rumors of their warriors is possibly how the story of Beowulf first surfaced.

This is here Beowulf’s size and strength become a valuable attribute to the society. He is the epitome of pure strength and power. He is also a man who is the first story in which our hero is Christian. In the stories before Beowulf, like The Odyssey and The Aenied, the stories are between men and gods on an even playing field[Earth], but different level of players. It would be like a basketball game between high school players and NBA players. No longer are the events occurring between the gods and men, instead we have the super human versus those of the evil realm.

Beowulf becomes more complex as a warrior, and a character who ransforms throughout the story: To you I will now put one request, Royal Scylding, Shield of South Danes, one sole favor that you will not deny me, dear lord of your people, now that I have come so far, Fastness of Warriors; that I alone may be allowed, with my loyal and determined crew of companions, to cleanse your hall Heorot As I am informed of this unlovely one is careless enough to carry no weapon, so that my lord Hygelac, my leader in war, may you take joy in me, I abjure utterly the bearing of sword or shielding yellow board in this battle!

With bare hands shall I grapple with the fiend, fight to the eath here, hater and hated! He who is chosen shall deliver himself to the Lord’s judgment (Beowulf 64-5). He is a man of honor, and seeks that honor throughout his life. He feels that the fight shall be on even terms, of no weapons on each side. This honor is another aspect of the society of the times. The idea of honor to your allies and towns people to help them with their needs was existent to survive in these times of invasions by other tribes and hoards, and strengthening the ties leading to the forming of nation states.

He is also a man of God, with this statement, …shall deliver himself to the Lord’s udgment. (65) He vows to send Grendal to God for judgment on his evil deeds on earth. Beowulf as a warrior ,has two levels to his character; an upper level, of honor and religion, and a lower level of sheer emotion and power. Of these levels of Beowulf, we see the lower level dominates his personality with power and emotion dictating his actions and speeches, but later in life, as king, relies more on his religion and honor to dictate the judgment of what is right or wrong.

No longer do the gods of Rome and Greek mythology dictate what is wrong or right, with offerings to appease the gods. With the knowledge in the arrior for what is, and will be, wrong, has an effect of making Beowulf an extension of God. In all these acts of honor, Gods glory above all is sought. Sir Lancelot becomes the final touch to the evolution of the warrior. He is a warrior with all the attributes of the warriors before him. He has the skill of Odysseus with control of his emotions, thoughts, actions, and the same pure desire for something.

He has the same honor, and belief in God’s guidance to what is right as Beowulf believed. Before Lancelot, the warriors all battled the likes of monsters, either from the will of the gods or monsters on their own mission. Lancelot is a man who has no battles with superhuman beings or arguments with gods, but a fight within himself and the fight for his desire. A man possessed, he risks pride, reputation, body, and soul, all for the return of love from his lady Guinevere.

His battles and stories are not all physical, as the previous warriors, but a mental triumph over the various tasks. Look at the ride in the cart and the battle within Lancelot to obtain the right decision on what to do: Woe that he did this, and woe that he was ashamed of the cart and so did not jump in at once, for he would later consider himself ill-fallen. Reason, hich disagrees with Love, told him to refrain from climbing in and admonished and instructed him not to do or undertake anything that could bring him disgrace or reproach.

Reason, which dared speak this way, spoke from his lips, but not from his heart. But Love, which was enclose in his heart, urged and commanded him to climb into the cart at once. Love achieved his desire. The knight leapt up without concern for the disgrace because this was Love’s will and command (Beowulf 174). Lancelot battles between his heart and mind on what choice to make. Yet we see Love is much more powerful in his desire, or as he says, Love chieved his desire (174). This is not the only case of such a battle in Lancelot, and it is not always over love.

This tale of honor by Lancelot, who saves a maiden who holds a deed he does not want to fulfill. Before the night is long, the maiden is attacked and pleas for help from Lancelot who thinks: God what can I do? The object of my great pursuit is no one less than the Queen Guinevere. Having embarked on this quest for her, I must follow have the heart of a hare. If cowardice gives me her heart and I follow her rule, I shall never reach my goal. I am disgraced if I stay here. Merely to have spoken of remaining rings deep shame onto me now.

My heart is sad and dark… May God never have mercy on me if I speak with pride and would not rather die with honor than disgrace (de Troye 155). The story shows the honor that Lancelot has for what he believes is right by God, although he knows by saving her will only mean that he will still have to sleep with her, which he replies The object of my great pursuit is no less than Queen Guinevere (155). Yet his feelings of honor takes hold and he goes on to save the lady of the castle, and feels horrible for his hesitation. This sense of honor even goes above Beowulf’s honor for what was

Beowulf’s desire. Lancelot holds it as something he must do even if it is against his desire. This is an attribute of the society of these times. The ideals of the society was that the knights would uphold honor above all other matters, even matters they disagreed with. Another aspect is this desire for courtly love with utter devotion to the admired and loved. Perhaps the most compelling aspect of Lancelot is the act in which he hears of the rumor that Guinevere is dead. He becomes so sorrowful that he proclaims: …My health is good, but you have struck me down.

I am crushed, yet the sole pain I feel is the grief in my heart. This grief is an illness, indeed a fatal one, and I wish it to be fatal (de Troye 165), at this he attempts to commit suicide, and fails. This act is completely out of love for Guinevere for which he believes is over. The great pursuit (155) for Guinevere, he believes is over, so to than will his life perish, for his life was nothing without her there. Yet, the passion he displays is nothing short of amazing, to love so strongly to risk his own personal beliefs for that love.

The last complex piece to the puzzle of the warrior, not just personal sacrifice in time, or your life, but the ideals and beliefs one holds discarded or the desire to reach what he wants. Evolution, over time, has shaped the ideas and beliefs on what the warrior holds in his journeys. That the warrior tales started with a man trying to return home, to a man sacrificing his beliefs for the love of a women. The desires of these warriors have been that of building blocks. Each one builds to the next ideal. Yet we see that all the desires were pursed with a persistence unsurpassed throughout literature and history.

These men were able to fight insurmountable odds to achieve what they deemed valuable. It is the act of something no one would be able to challenge. Take the example of Lancelot and Sir Gawain, during The Knight in the Cart. Sir Gawain is praised as a noble, and a Valiant knight, while Lancelot is presented as a less knight than Gawain. Lancelot’s sacrifice of his own beliefs only prove that these were acts above those of a normal person, even Sir Gawain, a higher more noble person than most, would not sacrifice as Lancelot .

A perfect example of this is the cart scene in which Sir Gawain approaches the cart and sees Lancelot in the cart; Sir Gawain galloped after the cart, and seeing the knight sitting in it, was amazed…He ould certainly not climb in the cart, he said, it would be base in extreme to trade a horse for a cart (de Troye 151), he was not ready to sacrifice the same as our hero Lancelot. These acts by Lancelot could be parallel to those of Beowulf and his physical fights and sacrifices throughout his story.

Or that of Odysseus and the long journeys he had to endure to get to his homeland. The most striking aspect of these warriors is the complexity of the characters themselves. We see that the travels of Odysseus is purely for his return for home, and return to the community he loves. He has no realization hat he is anything else nor does he change his outlook on life from his journeys. Odysseus stays the same from beginning to end of the story even though time has taken many years from him. The story of Beowulf has a different development over the story.

We watch as Beowulf transforms from a powerful young man who will go out and fight all; Had they not seen me come home from fights where I had bound five Giants-their blood was upon me- cleaned out a nest of them? Had I not crushed on the wave sea serpents by night in narrow struggle, broken beasts? (Beowulf 64). A man all-powerful among men, and yet he changes from the ercenary, to the king, against his wishes but what the town people most desired from him. This transformation from a man who helped people, for his own pleasure and honor, to a man who becomes helper of the people, not to the people.

Last we have the change of a man who risks death by fighting, and running after Guinevere and her capture’s on foot, and then sacrifices his own beliefs to be next to his love. He starts out as a man possessed to save Guinevere. To a man who is controlled, willfully, by Guinevere. Take the example of the fight between Meleagant and the stopping of the first fight: .. The last words she uttered, ‘To show you my gratitude, I will Lancelot to halt,’ had scarcely left he lips when he would not lay a hand on his opponent or make a move, even if Meleagant were to kill him (de Troyes 162).

He would not defend himself for the sake of breaking this devotion to his love! A previous line in the text points out why Lancelot would do such an action during a battle, A lover is obedient; when he is completely in love, he performs his beloved’s pleasure eagerly and promptly. Thus Lancelot, who loved more than Pyramus- if love more than any man could- was compelled to comply (de Troyes 162). Such a power dominates his every thinking moment, even during the fight for his life and the life of those captured. This development of the warrior is one, close to the transformation of the King Beowulf to his people, but more complex.

Whereas our hero Beowulf still sacrifices himself for his own honor and to help his people. The actions of Lancelot start as a man of individual status to one who is immersed in his devotion to the one he loves. We are to understand that these attributes and actions our warriors have, are those which each society saw as grand and wonderful that all should strive or in their society. The strong sense of the homeland to Odysseus is what the Greeks were to strive for in the building of their empire around the main homeland of Athens.

We see the attributes of Beowulf as important to the dark ages and the invasions of the Franks where our most important task seen for the warrior in the culture was to defend your hoard from all intrusion, evil or human. That the sacrifice for the hoard was the most honorable thing you would ever be able to achieve in your lifetime to the hoard. Last we have Lancelot, who shows the attributes most liked during this society is that of courtly love, onor, and the devotion one gives to their soul mate, with the relinquishing of his views for that of his lady’s wishes. e performs his beloved’s pleasure eagerly and promptly (de Troyes 162).

The actions are fulfilled with eagerness and promptly for the love of the person. Although each one has been similar in the way they are triumphant in there quest, and the men continue to look tough through all actions, the quality they start to show, subtly, is that of compassion and willingness to help all people, even if it circumvents their own desire temporarily. The progression of society from the time of less diversified ancient

Greek culture, to the explosion of diversity in tribes and people, creating identities and forming the groundwork for nation states, the warriors desires and attributes also rose from a single idea or goal, to that of complex characters and values. Where the complexity involved the ideas of laws pertaining to all. These laws, unwritten, developed through Beowulf, and latter in The Knight in the Cart, as that of honor. Overall, the development of characters became a way of projecting the proper ideals on the society to uphold. This became the link between the warriors and the civilizations they represented.

The story “The Odyssey” by Homer

There are many qualities one must have to be a good leader. Without these qualities he wouldn’t be able to make it through many hardships. A good example of someone who shows these qualities well is Odysseus I the story “the Odyssey” by Homer. In the story Odysseus is witty, strong, and loyal. Odysseus shows his intelligence many times in the epic. One example is in line 315. It shows that he tells the Cyclops his name is Nohbdy.

This makes it so that when he pokes the Cyclopes eye out he will scream Nohbdy has tricked me and the other Cyclopes wont do anything. He’s also smart not to kill the Cyclops because if he does he will be stuck in the cave. Strength is also displayed well by Odysseus. One example that he’s strong is when he holds on to the bottom of a ram for an entire night. Another example is in line 101 and 102 it shows that he carries three grown men that are struggling back to the ship and ties them under the boat.

He also is shown as strong when he is tied to the boat when heading toward the sirens and he struggles so much that the ropes almost come undone and his crew members have to tie it tighter. Last is Odysseus is extremely loyal. He always stays loyal to his crew though they doubt him with the bag of winds and with hellios’s cattle. He is also loyal to Ithaca because he could have stayed on one of the islands that offered him happiness, but he always stayed loyal to his homeland. He is also, for the most part, loyal to Penelope.

He only did things that broke his loyalty to her when it was the will of the gods. Which brings us to the last thing he was loyal to, the gods. During his journey he did what the gods told him to and made sacrifices to them when ever necessary. Without a leader as great as Odysseus, the crew would have been dead far before the journey was even started. It is clear that Odysseus is witty, strong, and loyal. This proves that Odysseus is a perfect example of what a good leader is.

Homer The Odyssey

The classic epic The Odyssey and the Old Testament show many differences in the Greek and Hebrew religions. The Greek religion is polytheistic and the Hebrew religion is monotheistic. In comparing the nature of the gods there are many differences. In comparing the relationships between Odysseus and Athena on one hand, and Job and God on the other, we can discern differences between the religious attitudes of the Greeks and Hebrews. These differences include, one God versus many, and childish gods versus a loving God.

In Homer’s Odyssey, Odysseus deals with many Gods while in the Old Testament Job deals with one God. Homer states, “the master of heaven and high thunder, Zeus, went to his place among the Gods”(101). This is a reference that the Greek religion is a polytheistic religion. The quote continues to state that Athena forewarns Odysseus of the “woes” that he will encounter (101). She proceeds to warn him because she cares about him. Athena cares about Odysseus just as God cares about Job.

God respects Job, for he says, “no one on earth is like him-he is a truly good erson, who respects me and refuses to do evil” (Job 1. 8). Because Job has never done anything to disrespect God, God loves Job and doesn’t want any harm to happen to him. Although the books are different, the concern the gods have for their people is similar. Greek gods acted in a childish manner some of the time. Poseidon, the God of the sea, wanted to destroy Odysseus (Book V). His actions were immature and uncalled for because he is supposed to be a god, which is not how he behaved.

The gods are also jealous. Calypso states, “a hard- hearted lot you are, you gods, and as jealous as jealous can be! “(bookV). If the gods are supposed to be rulers then why are they jealous? Jealousy is not a godly trait. One can see in the Old Testament that the Hebrew God is never jealous. When conversing with Satan, God says, “All right, Satan, do what you want with anything that belongs to him, but don’t harm Job”(Job1. 12). God is not jealous because first of all, that is not his nature. Secondly, he knows that Job is his loyal servant.

In the two books the gods act differently according to their nature. In conclusion, it is important to notice the differences and similarities in the two pieces of literature. The relationships between Odysseus and Athena and Job and God are similar in some ways. Both Athena and God care for their loyal subjects. In the Odyssey there are different gods and in the Old Testament there is only one God. Some of the gods in the Odyssey have childish traits, while in the Old Testament, God acts in a godly fashion.

Telemachus Is A Hero

“Furthermore, we have not even to risk the adventure alone, for the heroes of all time here gone before us. ” (p. 1 A Heroes Adventure). This quote from Joseph Campbell tells you the essence of a hero. Odysseus might be a hero in the book but Telemachus was the one who went through the real journey. Campbell defines a hero one as “who has found or done something beyond the normal range of achievement and experience. A hero is someone who has given his or her life to something bigger than oneself. ” (p. A Heroes Adventure)

Now if you consider he fact that Odysseus was put in this series of predicaments but outside forces that would consider him a hero, wouldn’t you? But, he did not believe in or accept those gods as power above beyond himself. Now if he does not believe as the gods as a higher power then he is not a hero because Campbell specifically states that “a hero is one who accomplishes something bigger than one’s self. ” If Odysseus does not believe that the gods are a higher power, than he did not accomplish something above and beyond an bnormal adventure by defeating the spite of Poseidon.

Campbell defines a hero by the type of adventure as well. “Well there are two types of deed. One is the physical deed, in which the hero performs a courageous act in battle or saves a life. The other kind is the spiritual deed, in which the hero learns to experience the supernormal range of human spiritual life and then comes back with a message. ” p. 1(A Heroes Adventure) So this does say that Odysseus is a hero to some degree, but who is the real hero? Telemachus is the real hero.

He went both through the physical journey searching for Odysseus and the spiritual journey. He went on the spiritual journey of becoming a man. Facing the hardships of keeping his mother safe from freeloaders and somewhat of keeping a kingdom in order until the return of his father. With juggled his period of adolescents, he showed that he had the strength not in his muscles because one on one he would get beaten badly, but in his heart to overcome his hardships to the best of his ability.

Campbell yet again flat out says that Telemachus is a hero on page 129, “Odysseus’ son Telemachus was told by Athena, “Go find your father. “That father quest is a major hero adventure for young people. That is the adventure of finding what your career is, what your nature is, what your source is. ” This quote directly states that Telemachus went on an adventure and became a hero. It also states that he went in search of not only his father, but something more. Like a spiritual journey.

Telemachus while on the hysical journey of searching for Odysseus he went through the spiritual journey simotaneously making him more of a hero than Odysseus. In conclusion the real hero according to Campbell is actually Telemachus. It was not Odysseus because he did not go through the physical and spiritual journey as his son did. Telemachus went through the spiritual journey with Athena mentoring him through adolescents. the physical journey obviously seeking his father. So the real hero that lives on in this book the Odyssey is actually Telemachus.

The Odyssey – Telemachus

In “The Odyssey”, Athene helped Odysseus numerous ways physically and mentally by aiding him, Telemachus, and Penelope. In book I, Athene urged Telemachus to give up boyhood, act like a man, present his case to search for his father to the assembly, and take stronger steps to search for his father. After Telemachus presented his case to the assembly and no action was taken on his request for a ship to enable him to search for his father, Telemachus prayed to Athene for help. In response to his prayer, Athene appeared as Mentor and borrowed a ship and crew for Telemachus.

Athene also helped Telemachus by appearing to him in a dream, urging him to return to Ithaca and warning him about the ambush of the suitors. Athene helped Penelope numerous way also. Athene helped her by comforting her so she would not go into a nervous break down over all her stress, the suitors and Odysseus returning or not. Athene gave Penelope hope of Odysseus returning. Athene even made Penelope appear more beautiful than she really was, because Penelope was actually really ragged. Athene also helped Penelope by giving her a dream of gulls, representing the suitors, and an eagle, representing Odysseus, killing the gulls.

Athene helped Odysseus numerous ways as well. She helped by persuading the gods to free Odysseus from Calypso. Athene even helped Odysseus by telling Naussicaa to do her laundry at the beach and telling her to help the man she meets. So when Odysseus came to shore he was ugly and he scared the other women on the beach away, except Nausicaa. Nausicaa washed Odysseus up, gave him clothes, and told him how to act when they return to her place. As they were going to Naussicaa’s place Athene made Odysseus invisible so the guards would not see him and Athene made

Odysseus look better by making him look taller, stronger, and giving him more hair on his head. Athene also helped Odysseus by counseling him on how to handle the suitors, and she disguises him as an old begger so no one will recognize him immediatly. Athene later restores Odysseus to his own form when he reveals himself to his son and together after twenty years they plan a vengeance on Penelopes wooers. As Odysseus was fighting the suitors, Athene made Odysseus appear to look stronger to strike fear in the suitors. Athene also made the Odysseus’ enemies miss with their attacks and Athene gave

Odysseus precise aim. Athene last and final help was when she interrupted the relatives of the suitors from attacking in revenge of the suitors deaths. Athene spoke stating ,”men of Ithaca, cease this dreadful war, and settle the matter at once without further bloodshed. ” Then Zeus sent a lighting bolt that struck in front of Athene, so Athene said to Odysseus, “Odysseus, noble son of Laertes, stop this battle, or Zeus will be angry with you. ” Then Odysseus gladly agreed, and in the voice and form of Mentor she made a covenant of peace between the two parties.

The Importance of Love in Homers Iliad and Odyssey

Homers Iliad was a tragedy illustrating the despair and useless suffering associated with war. Homer’s Odyssey was an epic tale of long suffering resolving in triumph. Though there were a great many differences between the two works, there was an underlying theme of love which ran through both. Not just the physical manifestation of infatuation, but the kind of love that makes one willing to die for another The events portrayed in the Iliad were set in motion by love. Paris’ love for Helen and her love for Paris, resulting in Helen deserting Menelaus and leaving with Paris for Troy.

Helen, consumed by her love, leaves for Troy with “no thought for her child or husband. ” Menelaus’ love for Helen drives him to raise an army of thousands and lay siege to Troy to recover her. Thousands of young men from both sides of the struggle, Troy and Argos, died. The result was a ten year siege of Troy finally resulting in the plunder of the city, the women of troy being enslaved, and all of the men being slaughtered. Patroclus, Achilles, and Hector, all dead for the sake of Helen.

Achilles withdraws from battle because he loves Briseis, the favorite of all the women captured in battle, and refuses to return until she is recovered. Achilles returns to battle in order to revenge Patroclus, but not until after Briseis is returned to him in the same condition in which she was taken. It is apparent, I grant, that after the death of Patroclus, the motivations in the Iliad quickly turned to revenge as is demonstrated by Achilles proclamation to Hector – “Would to god my rage, my fury would drive me now to hack your flesh away and eat you raw…!

These are the words of a man driven by revenge, but isn’t revenge, in this case, motivated by love – Achilles love of Patroclus? While the events of the Odyssey were different from those of the Iliad, they were, none the less, driven by love. The suitors love for Penelope, Odysseus’ love for Penelope, and Odysseus’ love for his home, are all examples of the motivations in the Odyssey. Odysseus’ love for his wife, his home, and his son were so deep that he gave up becoming immortal to continue his quest for them.

Even the actions of the gods revolves around love. The most obvious display of love by any god in either book was Aphrodite’s betrayal of Hephaestus with Ares. Tempted by a physical love for Ares, Aphrodite breaks her vows of marriage and betrays Hephaestus in his own bed. Hephaestus, motivated by his anger and pain, constructed a trap of invisible chains and trapped the lovers, the put them on display for the gods amusement. Hephaestus’ reaction, of jealousy and a craving for revenge, motivated this elaborate revenge.

Yet, didn’t the jealousy and revenge come from his love for his Aphrodite. Other examples of the gods motivated by love are scattered throughout both the Iliad and the Odyssey. Consider Calypso; her love for Odysseus was so strong that she offered to bestow immortality upon him in exchange for his company, and delays his return home for seven years keeping him as her consort. Athene certainly has strong feelings for Odysseus, and intervenes in his behalf throughout the Odyssey. Her love for him seems to be almost like that of a mother for a child.

Circe also showed at least a strong physical love for Odysseus. The result of this love was the further delay of Odysseus’ returning home by more than a year. Thetis felt such strong feelings for her son Achilles that she convinced Zeus to swing the tide of the assault on Troy so that her son could win more glory. She begged and pleaded to other immortals for the sake of his glory, and even gave her mortal son divine armor. If love is the thread running through both Homers Iliad and Odyssey, then romantic love is the force that drives the plot.

Love is the motivation for the siege on Troy. The Iliad is, in its entirety, a documentation of the actions resulting from Helen’s love for Paris. Love is the force driving Odysseus home. The love for Penelope, Telemachus, and his home keep him striving for ten years to reach the shores of Ithaca. Its that same love that leaves Romeo and Juliet dead on the floor of a tomb in William Shakespeare’s play approximately two thousand years later. Its that same love that Snoop Doggy Dog sings about.

Its that love that one person feels for another that makes them realize that they would beg, steal, lie, kill, die, or do anything for that other person – any thing except live without them. That’s why the Acheans lay siege to Troy. That’s why Odysseus suffered all that he did and continued on his quest for home, why he gave up so much in his quest for Ithaca – riches, a life of ease, and immortality. Odysseus had kind of love that men and women still write and sing about twenty-five hundred years later.

Hospitality In The Odyssey

In The Odyssey by Homer, hospitality plays a very important role. There are certain rules of hospitality needed, such as inviting a stranger into your home, not asking them their name before they have dined at your table, and sometimes even gift offerings. If these rules of hospitality are not carried out, the consequences are very severe. Hospitality is to be given to all by all. Being a good host is very important in The Odyssey, even to the gods. It is a sign of respect for all no matter where they are from or how poor they appear to be.

This means that as soon as you see a stranger, you invite them into your home to sit at your table just as king Nestor did. “As soon as they saw the strangers, all came crowding down, waving them on in welcome, urging them to sit. ” (III, 38) After you have invited them into your home, you must invite them to dine at your table. Only after they have dined, you have the permission to ask for their names, like King Menelaus did, “‘Help yourselves to food, and welcome! Once you’ve dined we’ll ask you who you are. ‘” (IV, 68-69)

Many times before dining “… men had washed them, rubbed them down with oil and drawn warm fleece and shirts around their shoulders… ” (IV, 56-57) If the host enjoyed the company of the guests, many times they will honor them with gifts. The kind of gifts given varied depending on the wealth and generosity of the host. For example, Aeolus, the king of the winds, gave Odysseus a leather bag which contained all the adverse winds which could drive his ships off course.

Other generous gift givers are the Phaeacians who give Odysseus many valuable gifts, such as “… bronze and hoards of gold and robes… XIII, 155) and transported him to Ithaca in one of their magic ships. If you are unable to host the strangers, it is your duty to “send them to someone who could host them well”. (IV, 34)

Although, if the host is not willing to help, it is considered to be bad hospitality and proper punishments will be taken into effect. Just as good hospitality was rewarded, bad hospitality had its consequences. Not being a good host means that you do not respect the gods, and that means trouble. A bad host does things that are out of the ordinary, such as: eat the guests, try to kill them, or both.

Just as the Cyclops named Polyphemus does to two Achaeans that he discovers are in his den. Unfortunately for him, he did receive his punishment for the way he treated his guests. Since Polyphemus did not treat Odysseys and his men well, Odysseys wanted his revenge. They seized their “… stake with its fiery tip and bored it round and round in the giant’s eye till blood came boiling up around the smoking shaft and the hot blast singed his brow and the eyelids round the core and the broiling eyeball burst. IV, 433-437)

Odysseys got revenge on another group of men that weren’t very hospitable to him, not even in his own house. When he returned home, disguised as an old man, the suitors that were guests in his house, did not give him a very warm welcome. Antinous, one of the suitors, hit him with a stool while the others “… all gave to the beggar, filled his sack with handouts, bread and meat. ” (XVII, 53-54) Odysseus waited patiently for a chance to get revenge on Antinous and the other suitors for not being good hosts.

After asking Apollo, the god of archery for glory, “… Odysseus aimed and shot Antinous square in the throat and the point went stabbing clean through the soft neck and out… ” (XXII, 15-16) After that, Odysseus also killed all of those that were disloyal to him and that were bad hosts. The Odyssey depicts the importance of good hospitality and also the consequences that follow bad hospitality. Inviting, dining, and gift gifting are the rules of being a good host and are very pleasing to the gods.

Loyalty Shown In The Odyssey

Loyalty to family, community, and the gods is an important quality in the lives of ancient Greek citizens. These qualities are clear demonstrated in The Odyssey through Penelope, Telemakhos, and Odysseus. Penelope shows her loyalty in several ways. She shows loyalty to Odysseus by waiting for his return for twenty long years. She did not choose a suitor until she knew for sure that Odysseus was dead. To delay the decision of choosing a suitor, Penelope said she would marry a suitor after she had finished weaving her shroud.

She showed that she was weaving the shroud during the day, but at night, when it got dark she secretly unwove it. That is how Penelope shows her loyalty to her family. Telemakhos also shows loyalty to his family and community in various ways. He shows loyalty to the community by welcoming strangers to his home with feasts and gifts. He shows loyalty to his family by risking his life on the search for the knowledge of Odysseus’ situation. He journeys to Pylos and Sparta to seek news of his father whether he is dead or lost.

This shows loyalty to Odysseus because he risks his life to know of his well being. This also shows loyalty to Penelope by journeying to Pylos and Sparta, even though his path may be dangerous, just so he can find knowledge of Odysseus and ease his mother’s pain. He also shows loyalty to Penelope by trying to protect her and keeping the suitors away from her. During the final battle, Telemakhos shows loyalty to his father by fighting side by side with him against the suitors even though he knows he might die in battle.

Odysseus shows loyalty like Telemakhos and Penelope to the gods and his family. Odysseus is a man that can be described as tenacious. He is always focused on one objective and that is to get home. He is persistent and overcomes any temptation that gets in his way. An example of this is when he is with the beautiful nymph Kalypso. She offers him immortality to stay with her and leave his thoughts for home but he gave it all up for his family and home. He never gave up hope and continued to trudge his way back home.

He also shows loyalty to the god by not cursing them for all the harmful events that occur during his journey home. This book shows many clear examples of loyalty in the ancient Greek society. Loyalty was an important quality and to be disloyal meant death for the ancient Greeks. This is shown through the women who were disloyal and slept with the suitors. By Odysseus’ command “they would be hung like doves or larks in springes triggered in a thicket. ” In conclusion, loyalty is shown throughout this book and is considered very important to the ancient Greeks.

The Odyssey and The Epic of Gilgamesh

Both The Odyssey and the Epic of Gilgamesh are two incredible stories written long ago everyone knows this but what a lot of people don’t is that these two epics share many of the same concepts. Such as the nostro (the Greek term for homecoming), xenis (guest/host relationship), oikos (household), and aganoriss (recognition). In both epics these themes are illustrated. In The Odyssey the theme of nostro is very prevalent in this epic. Basically the whole story is based around this concept. The main character Odysseus whole goal in the book is his homecoming.

Along his journey he faces many challenges separating him from his home Ithaca and his family. The main thing that keeps Odysseus going is the thought of one day being home with his family no matter how many set backs he faces. In The Epic of Gilgamesh the theme of nostro is more or less established the only difference between the two epics is nostro is not the main focus in this one. The main character in this epic is the great and powerful king Gilgamesh. Gilgamesh is not affected by the theme of homecoming until the end of the book after his best friend Enkidu is killed by the Bull of Heaven and he goes looking for eternal life.

Unfortunately he is not successful in his quest and realizes he is mortal and realizes how important his family is and returns to Uruk to be with them. The next theme that is incorporated into the Odyssey is the theme xenis. This theme is also well incorporated into this epic. It seems wherever Odysseus goes he is welcomed with open arms. For example when he arrives in Scheria the home of the Phaeacians the princess Nausicaa and her handmaidens bath him and take him to the palace of king Alcinous where he is invited to a banquet.

This is very important in his successes after all without the help from all these people he would not be able to make it home. The relationship between guest and host is something needed in this epic. Xenis is represented in the Epic of Gilgamesh after Enkidu battles with Gilgamesh and they become friends and he accepts him. He then stays with him and is treated like a guest. It seems in this epic xenis does not play as an important role as it does in The Odyssey. Therefore this is where these two would differ. Much of the Odyssey is based upon this theme.

Another theme oikos is integrated into the Odyssey. The household in this epic seems to be an important structure in the relationship between Odysseus, Penelope, and their son Telemachus. After all it is their household that is threatened by the suitors and leads Telemachus to search for the truth about the whereabouts of his father. Also the peril of the suitors exhausting Odysseus’ resources and household drive him to kill the suitors. Which also plays into the story well. To me it seems as though these themes play more of a role in this epic. Okios is represented differently in the epic.

It is apparent that in this epic the household is held as less important due to the fact that Gilgamesh corrupts other households by sleeping with the virgins before they are married, an abuse of power. It is not held to as high a standard as it is in the Odyssey. Not say Odysseus does stray from his wife but Gilgamesh makes a point of it. It is not until the end when he realizes the importance of family and ht household. The last of the themes that appear in the Odyssey is the theme of recognition, or aganoriss. Recognition is essential to Odysseus when he appears before kings, gods, and goddess. Why?

When people or gods recognize who he is they treat him differently, all except Poseidon where recognition is Odysseus’ downfall. Also ad it not been for aganoriss King Nestor would not have supplied Telemachus with a chariot for his travel to Sparta where he could learn more of his father location and welfare. And finally Odysseus needs to be recognized as the ruler of Ithaca to gain back control of his kingdom from the suitors. Again without aganoriss this story would not be complete. In the Epic of Gilgamesh aganoriss is basically Gilgamesh’s life. The arrogant king needs recognition to exist it seems.

He wants everyone to recognize that he this very strong, very courageous, and very good looking (almost godlike). The recognition contributes to his narcissism, which is his whole character. Without it he is not Gilgamesh he is more like his counterpart Enkidu who does not need recognition. In conclusion both incorporate the four Greek themes in some form or another. They play different roles in each epic sometimes more important in one than the other. Without these themes the epics would not be complete. In doing this paper I gained a better understanding of why these epic included these themes.

Odysseus As The Epic Hero

An epic hero is the central hero of an epic, a long, narrative poem about the deeds of gods or heroes. He possesses qualities superior to those of most men, yet remains recognizably human. These heroes have a tragic flaw. This is what makes them a hero instead of a god. Gods are perfect. Odysseus is the hero in The Odyssey, an epic attributed to Homer. His tragic flaw is hubris, occasional occurrences of excessive, overbearing pride. Odysseus is considered a hero because he is a skilled warrior, and a leader of outstanding wisdom, resourcefulness, courage, and endurance.

Odysseus’ actions during three events that take place in The Odyssey show his better traits. The encounters with the Lotus-Eaters, the Cyclops, and Scylla and Charybdis all demonstrate his heroism. Odysseus’ brilliance is shown upon his ships arrival on the coastline of the Lotus-Eaters. Instead of letting his entire crew off of the ship to explore this mysterious area, Odysseus only allowed two picked men and a runner to learn who lived on the land. After some time, none of the three cared to report, nor to return to the boat.

This was because they ate the Lotus plant, which was a drug that the Lotus-Eaters offered to the men. It caused them to lose all desire to reach home again. Singlehandedly, Odysseus forced all three men back, tied them down under the rowing benches, and ordered the crew to row away. In this incident, his strength and care for his men is shown. Odysseus’ encounter with the Cyclops demonstrated his resourcefulness and courage. After Odysseus and his twelve best men first talked to the Cyclops, two men were devoured by this beast just because he was hungry.

This may have shaken up his remaining men, but Odysseus wouldn’t let his crew turn and run. Instead, he devised a plan to get what they had wanted, the Cyclops’ rams, which were fat with heavy fleeces. The plan included making the Cyclops drunk, blinding him by driving a pointed six foot pole through his lone eye, and hiding beneath the rams to avoid any confrontations with the Cyclopes. The encounter with the Cyclops was another test of Odysseus’ heroism. Once again, he came out on top and proved that he was a hero.

The encounter with Scylla and Charybdis was Odysseus’ biggest challenge to that point. Scylla was a sea monster of gray rock with six heads, and Charybdis was an enormous and dangerous whirlpool. Unfortunately, to reach the destination that they had to stop at, they were forced to sail directly between these two severe hazards. Odysseus was left with a huge decision. Should he sail closer to Scylla or Charybdis? He chose to come closer to Scylla, and this showed how he could make major decisions under great pressure with reasons for the decision.

If they had gone near Charybdis, all of them would most likely drown. Since they were going towards Scylla, it was almost sure that six men would be snagged by the monster, but this would be better than everyone dying. Odysseus chose not to tell his crew of this risk though. He did this for the welfare of everyone believe it or not. If he had told them, they all would have gone and hid under the deck, leaving the ship to be sucked in by the whirlpool. This would be worthless, so Odysseus did what he had to do as leader. Even though this was deceitful, he only lost six men compared to everyone.

This event show many of his heroic qualities, such as bravery, intelligence, and leadership. All of these events obviously show what made Odysseus an epic hero. Some of the characteristics that make up an epic hero are great fighting skills, intelligence, bravery, strength, and resourcefulness. Odysseus has shown all of these qualities, and was able to avoid the wrath of the Gods because he was a hero. He refused to back down to anyone. Odysseus kept on fighting for twenty straight years just to make it back home, and he succeeded in doing this. Coming out of everything he had been through alive, alone, makes him a hero.

A Reputation Contradicted

To many, a hero is someone who saves something or someone else. Although Odysseus seems to be the hero in Homers The Odyssey, his name problematizes the nature of his heroism, and ultimately, of his identity. In Greek, the proper noun Odysseus also functions as a verb meaning to be against or to oppose. Paradoxically, then, the protagonist of The Odyssey is also an antagonist; the hero is also the character responsible for causing the greatest harm.

When Odysseus leaves Ithaka to fight in the Battle of Troy, he does more intimate damage than he will ever realize until he returns to find his home in a state of chaos and subsequent destruction. When Odysseus leaves, he leaves behind a son that will never have a secure understanding of who he really is until he himself takes a journey to find his true identity. For the twenty years that Odysseus is away, Telemekhos has no assurance of who his father truly is or if he really is Odysseuss son. All that Telemekhos wants is a father that will grow old in his house, will act as a father acts, and be there as a father is:

Friend, let me put it in the plainest way. My mother says I am his son; I know not surely. I wish at least I had some happy man as father, growing old in his own house— but unknown death and silence are the fate of him that, since you ask, they call my father. (Book I, 258 -264). Odysseus has caused emotional damage to Telemekhos by not being there like a father should be. Odysseus also left his wife Penelope with Telemekhos as a baby when he went to fight. He left Penelope with the intention of returning but there was no guaranty.

After so many years a wife can only imagine the horrible fates her husband may have encountered. Penelopes emotional status is in a state of suffering and depression due to the fact that her lover has left and doesnt seem to be returning. Penelope, stays in her room and weaves and unweaves a shroud in hope that he may return before she has to choose a new husband. She sits in her room all day and she weeps and weeps for Odysseuss return: Sill with her child indeed she is, poor heart,/ still in your palace hall. Forlorn her nights/ and days go by, her life used up in weeping.

Although Odysseus is out playing hero for many, within his internal environment, he is causing sever damage. The pain and damage that he has caused however, is not limited to just his wife and his child. Odysseus also has harmed his mother and his father. The emotional damage that Odysseus has done to his mother, is so extensive that she dies not of an illness but of loneliness: … not that illness overtook me—no true illness wasting the body to undo the spirit; only my loneliness for you, Odysseus, for your kind heart and counsel, gentle Odysseus, ook my own life away. Book XI, 123 – 127).

Odysseus also damaged his father emotionally. After Odysseus left, he no longer held his disposition of a king and began to fall into a state of depression. When Odysseus goes to the underworld, his mother tell him: is country bound and comes to town no more. He owns no bedding, rugs, or fleecy mantles, but lies down, winter nights, among the slaves, rolled in old cloaks for cover, near the embers. Or when the heat comes at the end of summer, the fallen leaves, all around his vineyard plot, heaped into windrows, make his lowly bed.

He lies now even so, with aching heart, and longs for your return, while age comes on him. (Book XI, 210-219). The intimate damage that Odysseus has done is so extensive that he has caused depression, and even death. When Odysseus reaches Troy, he becomes hero to one segment of the population, but will always remain a destroyer to another segment of the population. To his fellow warriors, he is a hero for his strategy in defeating the trojans: And as to stratagems, no man would claim/ Odysseus gift for those. He had no rivals,/ your father, at the tricks of war. Book III, 129 – 131).

Although he is a hero to these people, to the people of Troy, he will remain a destroyer. Odysseus, killed many people and tore down a city that took so long to build. No person from that city could ever call him a hero. On Odysseus journey home, he stops in many different lands and causes destruction in one way or another to either the people of the land or to his crewmen. When he and his crewman go to the island of the Kyklops, Odysseus has an idea to go into the Kyklops cave and wait for him with a few of his crewmen. The first damage that is done, is that the Kyklops eats the crewmen.

Although Odysseus did not intend for this harm to be done, it happened regardless. Then, after Kyklops ate the crewmen, Odysseus and the crewmen that were left, stabbed the kyklops in the eye with a stick. This is the second episode of damage that was caused by Odysseus unintentionally. Another example of the damage that Odysseus has caused, is when he stops on Aiaia, island of Kirke. Odysseus plan was to only stay two nights, however their stay ended up to be one month. Odysseus could have left whenever he wanted, but Kirkes beauty and the abundance of wine kept them there longer than planned.

Finally after one month when the decision is made to go ahead with their travels, the youngest crewman falls off of the roof and dies because he has had to much to drink. This incident may not necessarily be directly Odysseus fault, but had Odysseus and his crewman, left when they had first decided to leave, this never would have happened. The physical damage that Odysseus has either indirectly or directly caused, is contradicting his heroic stature. In addition to causing physical destruction, he also unintentionally produces emotional devastation.

When Odysseus and his crew arrive on Aiolia Island home of Aiolos Hippotades, the damage that is done is not a physical damage, but an emotional devastation. Aiolos Hippotades, the wind king, gives Odysseus a bag of winds to help him on his way. He tell Odysseus not to open it so that all of the winds don’t get out at the same time. Odysseus does not tell his crew what is in the bag so they think that Odysseus is hiding things from them and not sharing with them. While Odysseus takes one of his rare naps, they open the bag and let all of the winds out.

Odysseus totally loses Aiolos trust and respect: Take yourself out of this island, creeping thing– no law, no wisdom, lays it on me now to help a man the blessed gods detest– out! your voyage here was cursed by heaven! (Book X, 82 -85). Although Odysseus is not the one that loses the wind, the fact is that he indirectly was a part of it: He drove me from the place, groan as I would, and comfortless we went again to sea, days of it, till the men flagged at the oars– o breeze no help in sight, by our own folly–(Book X, 86 – 89).

Not only did this destroy the trust between Aiolos and Odysseus, but it caused Odysseus and his crew to be stuck at sea longer than they would have had to be. Not all of the damage done is physical, it can be in many different forms. Within Odysseus travels, everywhere he stops damage is done, whether it be physical, emotional, directly, or indirectly. Odysseus character portrays the protagonist and the hero, but his paradoxical name contradicts his heroic reputation.

The Many Challenges of Homer’s Odyssey

In The Odyssey, Odysseus had to face many challenges during his travels; a few of these difficulties were a cannibalistic Cyclops, huge whirlpools, determined suitors, along with many hardships. Odysseus fought constantly to return to his homeland of Ithaca, but to accomplish this Odysseus had to be clever, resourceful, and have great leadership qualities. Odysseus proved throughout the story that he was very clever.

When he was faced with having to get out of Polyphemus’s cave, Odysseus first told the Cyclops, “My name is Nohbdy: mother, father, and friends, / everyone calls me Nohbdy”. pg. 452, 341-342) Odysseus told him this because he knew if the other Cyclopes would come and ask who was with him, they would think that “Nohbdy” was there. In another episode, Odysseus outsmarted the Sirens; he wanted to listen to their sweet song, but he knew he would try to jump overboard.

It was then he got the notion to tell his crew, “… ou are to tie me up, tight as a splint, / erect along the mast, lashed to the mast, / and if I shout and beg to be untied, / take more turns of rope to muffle me. ” (pg. 459, 536-539) This and telling the crew members to put ax in their ears ensured that Odysseus, alone, could listen to the Sirens’ song and not die. When Odysseus had to figure out how he could kill the Suitors who were staying in his house, he had Athena disguise him as an old beggar and then told Telemachus, his son, to hide all of the Suitors’ weapons and armor.

If they asked Telemachus what he was doing, he was to tell them he was storing the weapons so that none of the suitors would kill each other if they got into a fight. Many times throughout the story, Odysseus had to be resourceful enough to ccomplish a task by using surrounding things, whatever was at hand. When he was drifting back towards Charybdis, Odysseus grabbed onto a nearby fig tree and held on until a piece of driftwood shot out of the whirlpool; then he grabbed a hold of the driftwood and soared to safety.

In order to escape from the Cyclops’s cave, Odysseus wanted to blind the Cyclops. To do this, he carved a large stave which he planned to use against the Cyclops and poke his eye out. But in order to keep this stave a secret from Polyphemus, he had to hide it in a place where Polyphemus would not suspect. It is here he hid it, “… under / one of the dung piles in profusion there. ” (pg. 451, 303-304) To make this stave, Odysseus first had to find a tree which he could cut down, “… an olive tree, felled green and left to season… (pg. 451, 293)

Odysseus also had to find a way to prevent the suitor from knowing that he was back, so he prayed to Athena to disguise him as a beggar. Odysseus had to be a good leader in order to make tough decisions about what he and his crew should do. When passing through the strait between Scylla and Charybdis, Odysseus chose to lose six men to Scylla nstead of risking losing the entire ship to Charybdis. Upon the Island of the Lotus Eaters, Odysseus had to get the men who had eaten the Lotus off the island.

I drove them, all three wailing, to the ships, / tied them under their rowing benches,… ” (pg. 445, 97-98) On the island of the sun god, Helios, Odysseus warned his men not to kill the cattle which belonged to the god; but, unfortunately, his men disobeyed him and slaughtered the cattle, which they feasted upon. Zeus later punished his men with death. Trapped inside of Polyphemus’ cave, Odysseus knew he had to be a good leader if he was to get imself and his men out of the cave.

Originally he was going to kill Polyphemus when he ate two of Odysseus’s men; but when Odysseus was about to stab him, he realized that he should not kill him, because “I had touched the spot / when sudden fear stayed me: if I killed him / we perished there as well, for we could never / move his ponderous doorway slab aside. ” (pg. 450-451, 273-276) During his adventure Odysseus proved that he was smart, and able to deal with adversity skillfully. He proved an able leader despite all the troubles that he encountered on his adventure.

Two Godesses and A Woman

Throughout history, women have been looked at as the lesser gender, mortal or immortal. They are always stereotyped as not equally important as men. I strongly disagree with this idea, especially in the book The Odyssey. In The Odyssey, Homer suggests that the women characters in the book are more important than the characters of men despite their stereotype. He portrays this through the characters of Penelope, Kalypso, and Kirke. They are important because they are a large part of the story. The most important woman in this book is Penelope, mainly because of her guile and intelligence.

Her guile and intelligence make her important because they put her at a much-needed mental advantage over the suitors. An example of her guile and intelligence is the instance of the shroud she wove for Laertes. When Antinoos is talking to Telemakhos about how Telemakhoss mother, Penelope, tricked the suitors by weaving and unweaving the shroud to avoid marrying a suitor, he says, We have mens hearts; she touched them; we agreed. So every day she wove on the great loom- but every night by torchlight she unwove it; and so for three years she deceived the Akhains. (2:111-114).

As a result of doing this, Penelope delayed having to marry one of the suitors for almost four years. It gave Odysseus more time to get home. Another example of Penelopes guile and intelligence is when she tested Odysseus when she was first reunited with him. She tested him by telling Eurykleia to make up his bed and to put it outside the bedchamber. In this quote Penelope is telling Eurykleia to move Odysseus bed. Make up his bed for him, Eurykleia. Place it outside the bedchamber my lord made with his own hands. Pile the big bed with fleeces, rugs, and sheets of the purest linen. 3:202-205).

Upon hearing this, Odysseus claimed that his great bed couldnt be moved because it was connected to a living tree. He knew this, because he had built it many years before. Then Penelope knew it was he because only the real Odysseus could have known that. Penelope is more important than other men because she settles some problems temporarily and some problems permanently. Kalypso, the goddess-nymph is also a key woman in the Odyssey. She is important because of the fact that Odysseus slept with her for seven years.

When, Odysseus is telling King Anlkinoos about his wanderings, he says, Though I have been detained long by Kalypso, loveliest among goddesses, who held me in her smooth caves, to be her hearts delight, (9:32-34). This is significant because for seven years of being held captive by Kalypso, Odysseus is sleeping with her for the whole time. Meanwhile, back at Ithaca, Penelope successfully stayed faithful to her husband for ten years. Kalypso is basically one of the two women that Odysseus slept with during his wanderings.

Kalypso is more important than other men because Odysseus slept with her for seven years. If Penelope ever found out, it could possibly be a problem for Odysseus. She is also important because she was most of Odysseus journey home. Another vital woman in The Odyssey is the goddess-enchantress Kirke. She is important because of the amount of time Odysseus and his men spent at her castle and all the information she gave Odysseus regarding the journey he must make in order to get home to Ithaka. Kirke describes what they will encounter on the sea on their way to Ithaka.

This is important because there is many things they encountered at sea and they would not of known what to do if it wasnt for her. When Kirke is about to tell Odysseus what is in his path, she says, Listen with care to this, now, and a god will arm your mind. (12:46-47). This is important because if she hadnt given this advice, everyone, including Odysseus would have died. Kirke is also important because of the amount of time they spent there. In this quote Odysseus is telling the story of Kirke and the amount of time they spent there.

So day by day we lingered, feasting long on roasts and wine, until a year we grew fat My shipmates one day summoned me and said: Captain shake off this trance, and think of home if home indeed awaits us (10:515-522). The significance of this is the time factor. If Odysseus wanderings were ten years this was definitely a large amount of time. Kirke is more important than other men because Odysseus slept with her, which could possibly be a problem for him in the future. She is also important because if she did not tell Odysseus what he was going to encounter, he would have never made it home alive.

In the book The Odyssey, Homer proves that men characters are less significant than the women characters like Penelope, Kirke, and Kalypso, even though women are stereotyped to be inferior to men. In a way, this idea relates to women in the workplace. A lot of times women are paid less than a man for doing the same job. Given what Homer has taught us about the equality of women shouldnt we treat them the same. For starters, we could pay them just as much money as a man makes in the workplace.

Disagreement between Telemachus and Penelope in the Odyssey

The disagreement between Telemachus and Penelope arises from differing opinions on the entertainment of Phemius. Phemius is singing the tale of the Greek warriors of Troy and their homecomings when Penelope descends from her chambers to protest this choice of music. She scolds him, and orders him to stop because he has reminded her of Odysseus, whos long lost at sea. Telemachus rebukes his mother by protesting that the bard has the right to sing anything he wishes. He then sends his mother off to her chambers, declaring that he is the master of the house.

This clash between Penelope and Telemachus was caused by both. Penelopes fault was that she did not stop to consider Telemachus feelings on the subject. She is so engrossed in her own pain for her lost love that she is blind to the problems of her son. She does not see his insecurities on his past and especially his future, or his lack of confidence in himself. Most of all, she is ignorant to his inner struggle between love and hate for Odysseus. She does not realize his need to learn of his legacy, she only sees her grief and her pain.

She is very detached from the world, and focuses on her grief and pain. Because she is so preoccupied with her own problems, she has neglected her duties as a mother. She, in her distress, has pushed her son away from her. This disagreement over Phemius only shows the deep chasm that has come between them. As for Telemachus, he makes the same mistakes as his mother in that he refuses to see her side of the issue. He, too, is deeply engrossed in his problems that he does not see the deep extent of his mothers pain.

Him ordering her to leave is a sign that he believes her feelings to be almost inconsequential compared to his. His eagerness to learn of Odysseus great deeds seems to overshadow the sadness his mother feels. The tales of the Trojan War are the only way in which he can come to know his father, who he does not remember, since Penelope obviously avoids the topic entirely. He needs to know his legacy. Most importantly, he is searching for a way to justify his fathers absence, and to justify why he has left Ithaca in such a state of disorder.

However, his quest for his legacy was not the only reason he had for defending Phemius. It was also caused by his resentment towards his mother for having known his father and not telling him about him. He feels that his mother has prevented him from gaining an understanding of his heritage. This disagreement over Phemius was a window to the anger that Telemachus had towards his mother for not familiarizing him with the legacy of his father. Another reason Telemachus was so quick to rebuke Penelope was his deep desire to exert his power and his dominance, his rightful dominance over the household.

By ordering his mother to leave the hall, he is showing to the suitors that it is he, not his mother, who has more power. When he declares that he is master of the house, partially caused by the newfound courage distilled in him by Athena, he is introducing a new him. This was his opportunity to establish his position above the suitors and prepare for his announcement that he will go search for his father. This disagreement allowed Telemachus to step into the limelight, and express himself as a force to be reckoned with.

The Odyssey In Popular Culture

Many forms of popular culture today are inspired by themes, characters, and other references in various types of classical literature. John Denvers song Calypso parallels with a number of the themes in Homers the Odyssey. The Odysseys themes involving Odysseus journey back home and the aid of gods and goddesses directly influence Calypso. The first stanza in Calypso is influenced by Odysseus journey to back to his homeland. The first couple of lines compare a dream to sailing on the ocean where at times it is crystal clear and calm while other times like riding on the crest of a wild raging storm.

Denver uses the dream metaphor as a means to show that a dream can be like a nightmare or a fantasy. This metaphor is influenced by Odysseus good and bad times on the sea. There are many instances where Odysseus faces struggles on the ocean. Whether Odysseus has to fight a huge storm like the one that washes him up on Kalypsos island or he has to elude dangerous monsters such as Skylla and the whirlpool Kharybdis on the sea, the ocean can be a very dangerous place. Odysseus also encounters times where the sea is very forgiving to him.

The storm that washes him up to the land of Phaecia, a fairy-tale fantasyland, results in a safe and smooth passage home along with numerous treasures. The next couple of lines refer to working in the service of life and living trying to find the answers of the unknown. Odysseus spends many years on the sea at many different lands working in the service of the gods in search of answers to the health of his family and the possibility of a homecoming. Odysseus long travels make him believe he is indeed searching for the unknown. The gods throw him all across the globe, but he finds very few answers.

The last sets of lines in the first stanza deal with experiencing and growing. The obvious character in the Odyssey that grows up by experiencing is Telemakhus. He leaves his fathers hall as a boy and returns with many manly qualities. He inherits many of these mature qualities from his experiences on his voyage. Odysseus also grows up in a sense as a result of his long journey. He meets many different people, makes many mistakes, but also learns from these mistakes. The second main stanza in Calypso is influenced by the aid the gods and goddesses convey towards Odysseus in the Odyssey.

The first couple of lines use a metaphor comparing Kalypso to a dolphin that guides and shows the way. Kalypso brings Odysseus into her own domain and completely takes care of him. She saves him from dying out at sea. When Odysseus is summoned by Zeus to leave, Kalypso again aids and shows him the way to get off her island. Many other gods and goddesses help aid Odysseus with his struggles. Athena helps him throughout his entire voyage, while Hermes aids him with messages on Kalypsos island and at Kirkes domain. The next few lines talk about letting nature takes its course.

Denver states in Calypso about how humankind should treat nature by saying, Joyful and loving and letting it (nature) be. In the Odyssey there are references that explain that mortals must subject themselves to the will of the gods. When Kirke instructs Odysseus of his encounter with Skylla and Kharybdis, she explains that no matter what he does he will lose some men. Even though Odysseus disagrees and tries to fight Skylla, he is unsuccessful. No one can control his or her own destiny. Odysseus tries to fight the will of the gods, but never prevails. Nature has to take its own course.

Odysseus Is Not A Hero

A hero is “a man noted for his special achievements” according to the dictionary, but if you ask most people what a hero is, you will get the same general response. They will probably say “someone who does something for other people out of the goodness of his heart. ” Odysseus, who is the main character of the book “The Odyssey” written by Homer, would fit the dictionary’s definition of a hero; but if you go deeper, looking at what people feel a hero is, he doesn’t even come close. In the book, Odysseus does nothing out of the goodness of his heart.

Even if Odysseus fought in the Trojan War, he is not a hero because he is self-centered and ignorant to other people’s values and needs. There are multiple examples of Odysseus being self-centered, such as not taking people’s advice. Odysseus was given advice from Circe that said not to try to fight Scylla even when she takes six of your men, but Odysseus tried to fight her and he lost three more men than the six he already lost. He also neglected to take the advice from his crew member, Eurylochus. Eurylochus told Odysseus not to send men to see what was on Circe’s island and because he sent hem anyway, they ended up being turned into pigs.

Odysseus also neglects other people’s lives when he takes action; such as when he tried to fight Scylla after strictly being told not to. Because of this ignorant action, he lost three more men on top of the other six. He also sacrificed men when he waited at the Cyclops’ home for “gifts. ” Odysseus was very self-centered where real heroes are not. Odysseus also lacks the part of the hero profile which includes having a good heart. Odysseus definitely does not have this because he kills people without giving them a chance.

Odysseus killed every one of the suitors in cold blood when most of them didn’t commit a crime suitable for the death penalty. He also killed all of the maids who were raped by the suitors as if the had a choice in the matter. Odysseus also doesn’t care about his crew members. When Elpenor fell off the roof at Circe’s house, Odysseus didn’t even bother to bury him. He doesn’t support up for his crew members either. At the Cyclops’ house he didn’t try to defend his crew members who ended up being killed and eaten. Being cold-hearted definitely is not a characteristic of a hero.

Being disloyal is not characteristic of a hero, but Odysseus was. While he was on his journey, Odysseus had affairs with other women. When he stayed at Calypso’s Island, he had multiple encounters with her despite his marriage to Penelope. He also had multiple encounters with Circe when he stayed at her island for a year’s time. While Odysseus was being disloyal, his wife , Penelope, stayed completely loyal despite the suitors urging her hand in marriage. She still stayed loyal even when Odysseus was thought to be dead. Therefore, Odysseus had no reason to be disloyal to his loving wife.

Disloyalty surely doesn’t belong on a hero’s record. Although a war hero, Odysseus is not a hero in other respects. This is so because he is self-centered which is clear because he doesn’t value other people’s lives. He also is cold-hearted which is proved by his unlawful killing and his lack of support for his crew members. As well, he lacks the loyalty of a true hero as shown by his affairs with other women even though his wife remained faithful. A hero is someone who does something for other people out of the goodness of his heart, Odysseus clearly is not this.

Telemachus as a rash, untrained boy

Early in the Odyssey we see Telemakhos as a rash, untrained boy. He clearly is not Odysseus’ equal as a host, leader, or fighter. However, as the book goes on we see Telemakhos become more and more like his father, in every respect as he is taught and guided by some of the best examples he could have, Athena, Nestor, and Menelaos. By the end of the fight with the suitors we see him in a new light, he has matured from the youth we saw to the man he should be. Telemakhos tries to emulate his father to the best of his ability, striving to be a good host as he did with Mentor.

He succeeds more than we expect him to, for though he has had very bad examples to look up to for the last four years, he has heard about and dreamed of his father constantly. It is as if Odysseus did raise his son in some ways, through dreams and stories, perhaps doing an even better job that way than he could have in person. In dreams and stories, more often than not, the one who is fantasized about can do no wrong and is the perfect icon to look up to. In person you can see how flawed the person really is, lowering your opinion and ideals.

Telemakhos is forced to mature at an astounding rate, traveling far from home and risking his life to learn of his father. His trip teaches him more than he could ever have learned staying at home with the suitors. From Nestor and Menelaos he learns both courage and bravery, how to be both a man and a host. His understanding of how the world works evolves from abstract ideas to pure ideals under their guidance. He learns that he must fight against what the suitors represent, to take his place and not let them take it.

Nestor and Menelaos guide Telemakhos, with Athena’s help, toward manhood, a destination he is long overdue for. When Odysseus finally does reach home Telemakhos is the first person he reveals himself to. Their reunion is a very happy one, joy leading to tears. Odysseus immediately treats him like an inferior however, telling Telemakhos his plans and expecting him to carry them out. This is a role that, perhaps, Telemakhos still deserves, though not by much.

After the plans are laid Telemakhos is left with all the dirty work, gathering the suitors weapons and such, while his father gets an idea of the suitors strength. Telemakhos does very well in gathering the arms, keeping the suitors busy, and holding his temper at the mistreatment of his father in his own home. He acts very mature, having learned from the best sources in the land, and keeps a very cool head. He has most definitely changed from the young boy he was. Telemakhos does equal his father by the end of the book.

By almost stringing the bow that only Odysseus could string and only letting the knowledge that it would destroy his father’s plan stop him from stringing it all the way he shows that he can do whatever his father can. He may not be the same level of planner yet, but he obviously posses the strength and wit of Odysseus. It is also clear the Athena favors him as she does his father, helping Telemakhos in every way she can as she did for Odysseus. She is the one who originally gave him his courage and led him to learn from Nestor and Menelaos. She guides him along every step of his journey to manhood.

She assists both him and his fathers in the fight with the suitors, letting them triumph over almost unbeatable odds. Without her help, it is questionable if they could have won over so many. Telemakhos changes greatly during the course of the Odyssey. He matures, grows smarter and wiser, and becomes much more like his father. He learns much from his Nestor, Menelaos and Athena, but when Odysseus returns home he is finally able to take the place that he had wanted for so long. He is finally able to become Odysseus’ son, and truly his father’s equal.

Homer & The Odyssey

Homer, name traditionally assigned to the author of the Iliad and the Odyssey, the two major epics of Greek antiquity. Nothing is known of Homer as an individual, and in fact it is a matter of controversy whether a single person can be said to have written both the Iliad and the Odyssey. Linguistic and historical evidence, however, suggests that the poems were composed in the Greek settlements on the west coast of Asia Minor sometime in the 8th century BC.

Both epics are written in an elaborate style, using language that was too impersonal and formal for ordinary discourse. The metrical form is dactylic hexameter (see Versification). Stylistically no real distinction can be made between the two works. Since antiquity, however, many readers have believed that they were written by different people. The Iliad deals with passions, with insoluble dilemmas. It has no real villains; Achilles, Agamemnon, Priam, and the rest are caught up, as actors and victims, in a cruel and ultimately tragic universe.

In the Odyssey, on the other hand, the wicked are destroyed, right prevails, and the family is reunited. Here rational intellect-that of Odysseus in particular-acts as the guiding force throughout the story. Besides the Iliad and the Odyssey, the so-called Homeric Hymns, a series of relatively short poems celebrating the various gods and composed in a style similar to that of the epics, have also been attributed traditionally to Homer. The Odyssey describes the return of the Greek hero Odysseus from the Trojan War.

The opening scenes depict the disorder that has arisen in Odysseus’s household during his long absence: A band of suitors is living off of his wealth as they woo his wife, Penelope. The epic then tells of Odysseus’s ten years of traveling, during which he has to face such dangers as the man-eating giant Polyphemus and such subtler threats as the goddess Calypso, who offers him immortality if he will abandon his quest for home. The second half of the poem begins with Odysseus’s arrival at his home island of Ithaca.

Here, exercising infinite patience and self-control, Odysseus tests the loyalty of his servants; plots and carries out a bloody revenge on Penelope’s suitors; and is reunited with his son, his wife, and his aged father Penelope, in Greek mythology, daughter of Icarius, king of Sparta, and the wife of Odysseus, king of Ithaca. Penelope and Odysseus had a son, Telemachus. Although her husband was gone for more than 20 years during and after the Trojan War, Penelope never doubted that he would return, and according to most versions of the story she remained faithful to him.

She was courted by many suitors who devoured and wasted Odysseus’s property. Unwilling to choose a new husband, Penelope kept their advances in check by insisting that she must first complete a shroud that she was weaving for Laertes, her father-in-law. Each night she undid the work she completed on the shroud during the day, and by this means avoided having to choose a husband. Finally betrayed by a maid, Penelope was compelled to finish the work.

The suitors were preparing to force a decision when Odysseus returned in disguise, killed them, and revealed his identity to his wife. Telemachus, in Greek mythology, son of Odysseus, king of Ithaca, and his wife, Penelope. The constant companion of his mother during the long years of Odysseus’s wanderings after the fall of Troy, Telemachus watched with increasing unhappiness as the many ill-mannered suitors for the hand of his mother lived riotously on his father’s estate.

Unable to bear the taunts of these men any longer, the youth set out for Pylos to learn from the old king Nestor the fate of Odysseus. Although the old man could not help him, he sent Telemachus to Menelaus, king of Sparta, from whom the boy learned that his father had been held prisoner by the nymph Calypso. Still uncertain as to whether his father was alive or dead, Telemachus returned to Ithaca only to discover that during his absence Odysseus had returned home. The king had not revealed himself, however, having been disguised as a beggar.

After a joyous reunion, Telemachus helped Odysseus kill the suitors and make himself known to Penelope. According to a later legend, Telemachus married the sorceress Circe or her daughter Cassiphone. Polyphemus, in Greek mythology, a Cyclops, the son of Poseidon, god of the sea, and of the nymph Thosa. During his wanderings after the Trojan War, the Greek hero Odysseus and his men were cast ashore on Polyphemus’s island home, Sicily. The enormous giant penned the Greeks in his cave and began to devour them.

Odysseus then gave Polyphemus some strong wine and when the giant had fallen into a drunken stupor, bored out his one eye with a burning stake. The Greeks then escaped by clinging to the bellies of his sheep. Poseidon punished Odysseus for blinding Polyphemus by causing him many troubles in his subsequent wanderings by sea. In another legend, Polyphemus was depicted as a huge, one-eyed shepherd, unhappily in love with the sea nymph Galatea. Calypso (mythology), in Greek mythology, a sea nymph and daughter of the Titan Atlas.

Calypso lived alone on the mythical island of Ogygia in the Ionian Sea. When the Greek hero Odysseus was shipwrecked on Ogygia, she fell in love with him and kept him a virtual prisoner for seven years. Although she promised him immortality and eternal youth if he would stay with her, she could not make him overcome his desire to return home. At the bidding of the god Zeus, she finally released Odysseus and gave him materials to build a raft to leave the island. She died of grief after he left.

The Theme of Vengeance in Homer’s Odyssey

Homers epic poem The Odyssey a tale of Odysseus journey home. This is a story of a warrior named Odysseus and his 20 year expedition to his home Ithaca. A dominant theme in The Odyssey is vengeance; It is exemplified through Poseidon and his son, Polyphemus and through Odysseus and his son Telemachus battle with the suitors. To clarify, Poseidon takes revenge on Odysseus for blinding his son Polyphemus. Odysseus gets him self in to this mess by not listening to his men when they told him to take some supplies from Polyphemus cave and to leave but he wants to stay.

Also by telling Polyphemus his true identity while he is running away on there ship. Them Polyphemus know who blinds him and then he prays to his father Poseidon for vengeance on Odysseus. Furthermore Odysseus takes vengeance on the suitors. Odysseus take vengeance on the suitors for talking over his house and for trying to marry his wife. Odysseus takes vengeance on the suitors by dressing up like an old beggar. Then he goes into his house where his wife is holding a contest to see who will marry her which is to string Odysseus bow and to shot it through the whole in the axes.

Odysseus then goes to where the contest is and string the bow easily and shots Antinous. The suitors have no idea what is happening. Then Odysseus reveals his self to the suitors. They try to run but the doors are locked the Odysseus and his son kill the rest of the suitors. In summary a major theme in The Odyssey is vengeance. This theme is exemplified through Poseidon talking vengeance on Odysseus for blinding his son Polyphemus. Also through Odysseus and his son Telemachus battle with the suitors.

The Positive Influence of Gods in the Odyssey

The almighty, powerful, feared beings in Greek mythology are the gods! They have many powers and the ability to take the life of anyone in an instant. But many of them also have another side. What many people don’t know is that they are not all horrible creatures. Many times, gods help and even befriend the mortals. Many of the gods, like Ino who saved Odysseus, Hermes who aided Odysseus, and Athena who assisted Odysseus, are a positive interferences in Homer’s epic, The Odyssey. The white sea goddess, Ino, helps Odysseus on his journey to Phaiacia.

He s about to be smashed against the rough rocks of the island when Ino sees him and “She pitied Odysseus as he was buffeted about in this miserable way” (Homer 69). This shows that Ino pities the man and wants to give him a helping hand. Goddesses who want to help mortals, are a positive influence on them. Ino says, “‘Here take this veil and stretch it under your chest: it is a divine thing, and while you have it there is no fear that you will drown or come to any harm'” (Homer 69). This is a good example of how a goddess can help a mortal.

By giving Odysseus the veil he protects him, and for Odysseus, this is a positive interference. Though some goddesses, like Ino, help mortals reach places, others, such as Hermes, warn them against danger. Hermes gives Odysseus advice on how to avoid danger. As if reaching the land of Circe isn’t hard enough, now Odysseus must find a way to get his men back from her. The person to help, is Hermes. Odysseus reaches the house “‘But just as I was on the point of entering the sacred dell… who should meet me but Hermes with his golden rod'” (Homer 117).

Hermes interferes in Odysseus’ journey by stopping im before he enters the house of Circe. However, this is a positive interference because he has come to warn Odysseus of danger. Hermes says to Odysseus, “‘All right, I will help you and keep you safe. Here, take this charm… this will keep destruction from your head'” (Homer 118). In this case, Hermes protects Odysseus. The protection of Odysseus is a positive interference by Hermes. Odysseus could not have gone through his journey without the help of Hermes and another protector, Athena. Athena helps Odysseus all through his long journey.

She constantly shows up by his side to aid him. After Odysseus finds out that many of his wife’s suitors are living in his own house, he vows to punish them. Athena affirms his decision and says, “‘Of course I will stand by you; I will not forget you when we are about this business'” (Homer 156). And, sure enough, Athena does not forget him. This shows that by reassuring him and boosting his confidence, she interferes in Odysseus’ life in a positive way. While Odysseus is fighting his wife’s suitors, Athena appears again. “Athena came near to them in the likeness of Mentor. Odysseus was cheered by the sight” (Homer 247).

Athena enters the fight between Odysseus and his wife’s suitors. However, she fights on his side, making her interference positive. Athena assists Odysseus throughout his journey. It is clear that gods and goddesses interfere in the lives of the mortals positively in the epic, The Odyssey by Homer, because Ino saves Odysseus, Hermes aids Odysseus, and Athena assists Odysseus. The story of Odysseus is not only of a brave man who ventures all over the world, but also of the mighty Greek gods. Though these gods seem frightening, many of them, as you saw in the Odyssey, actually help mortals.

Odysseus Unmasks Essay

In Robert Fitzgerald’s translation of the Odyssey, many scenes exist that parallel, predict, and contrast each other in various ways. For example, the self-revelation scene in book IX from line 548 to line 592 where Odysseus announces his name to the Kyklopes, and also in book XXII from line 36 to line 84 when he reveals his identity to the suitors in his great hall. These two scenes closely relate to one another in both similar and contrasting ways.

Both scenes are based primarily on the self-revelation of Odysseus and tend to differ regarding the times at which Odysseus introduces himself, and the overall effect the revealing aspects have on Odysseus, be it positive or negative; however, they are also similar in that they both result in identical responses from his adversaries and portray the glory of battle. In order to completely analyze these two closely related scenes, one must consider both the differences between them as well as their similarities.

One of the primary differences between the scenes in which Odysseus reveals his identity to Kyklops and to the suitors is the time at which Odysseus chooses to do so. When dealing with Kyklops, he does not reveal himself until after he has already defeated the giant and is almost free from danger. This luckily turns out to be beneficial to him due to that fact that Kyklops had been warned about the harm that great Odysseus would be certain to bring him. If he had learned Odysseus’ name when he could catch him, Odysseus would have been one of the first men to die.

Conversely, Odysseus chose o reveal his true identity to the suitors before he fought them to the death. This also worked to his favor in that upon realizing who he was “sickly green fear pulled at [the suitors’] entrails, and their eyes flickered looking for some hatch or hideaway from death” (22. 44-6). This fear incurred doubt into the suitors’ minds and would definitely have weakened their collective ability to fight with all of their strength. In other words, they automatically knew that death was coming for them upon realizing the presence of King Odysseus, and this likely aided in his odds against them.

Even still, Odysseus was not the only ones to react to his dramatic self-revelation in each of these instances; his shipmates and comrades in arms displayed strong emotions as well. The contrasting effects of Odysseus’ self-revealing actions in both scenes again clearly illustrate the differences in these two seemingly similar scenes. Upon learning Odysseus’ true identity, Kyklops prays to Poseidon, “should destiny intend that he shall see his roof again among his family in his father land, far be that day, and dark the years between” (9. 0-3).

Had Odysseus not revealed himself, Kyklops would never have guessed who he really was (he was looking for “some giant, armed in giant force” (9. 560-1)) and consequently the gods may not have punished him and his men. He possibly would have made it back to Ithaka many years earlier than he did saving himself and his family from much of the emotional torture they endured during his absence. On the other hand, unmasking himself to the suitors in book XXII gave Odysseus an advantage over his adversaries.

After he confidently identified himself to the suitors, Odysseus then challenged all of the suitors to “fight [the suitors’] way out, or run for it” (22. 69-70), he also informs them that “there will be killing till the score is paid” (22. 68). With this, they “felt their knees fail, and their hearts”(22. 72), and entered into battle with Odysseus in fear, which swayed the odds in his favor. This was the right time for Odysseus to reveal himself in that it struck fear into their hearts bringing a lack of confidence on the suitors’ parts.

Revealing himself and starting the fight at this time also forced them to fight him without any weapons or a way out. Had he waited for another time or place, the suitors may have been able to flee or reach for their spears and shields immediately. Although these two scenes which concentrate on Odysseus’ self-revealing moments tend to differ in a couple of ways, they also tend to contain certain similarities between them. The reactions of Odysseus’ adversaries upon learning his identity in both of these scenes are almost exactly alike.

When Odysseus reveals his name to Kyklops, Kyklops first recognizes the danger associated with Odysseus as taught to him in a prophecy given to by Telemos. He then offers to be nice to Odysseus when he says, “come back, Odysseus, and I’ll treat you well, praying the god of earthquake to befriend you – his son I am” (9. 564-6). The same reaction is seen in the suitors as they first recognized Odysseus when “sickly green fear pulled at their entrails, and their eyes flickered looking for some hatch or hideaway from death” (22. -7), respecting how dangerous Odysseus as an adversary.

Then Eurymakhos in a kindly manner pleads, “as for ourselves, we’ll make restitution of wine and meat consumed, and add, each one, a tithe of twenty oxen with gifts of bronze and gold to warm your heart”(22. 58-61). Odysseus then rejects the offerings in both of the scenes with furious death threats. To the Kyklops he exclaims, “if I could take your life I would and take your time away, and hurl you down to hell””(9. 71-2), and he answers the suitors’ generous offer with, “there will be illing till the score is paid” (22. 69).

Here he not only turns the kind offers down, but also takes the offense and violently threatens to take both the suitors’ and Kyklops’ lives. The subsequent reactions of Odysseus’ adversaries to his death threats in each of the scenes are also very similar. The Kyklops prays to Poseidon to hinder Odysseus’ return to his homeland and hurls a boulder at his ship, while the suitors begin to charge Odysseus and take him on in the way that they would attack a Roman army.

The element containing the adversaries’ reactions to the self-relevance of Odysseus points out similarities between the two scenes, and is accompanied by another element which also points out existing similarities and is also a reoccurring theme of the story. In both of the discussed scenes, Odysseus introduces himself to his adversaries in a very boisterous and forceful manner. He does it with absolute confidence and power as though there is no way his enemies will ever defeat him.

When Odysseus revealed his identity to Kyklops, he “let [his] anger flare and yelled” (9. 547), and in dealing with the suitors he did so, “glaring under his brows” (22. 36). These lines are extremely similar in that when one lets his or her “anger flare and [yell]” (9. 547), that person’s eyes are certainly “glaring” (22. 36). The intense emotion that Odysseus displays as he reveals himself in both these scenes is exactly the same, and it portrays the theme regarding the glory of battle.

In these times battle was regarded as a very glorious event, and the winner was crowned as a champion and known to far away lands for his accomplishments. Odysseus recognized this glory, and in yearning to gain it he wanted all of his adversaries to know exactly who he was. He boasts his name to the giant Kyklops and mocks him as he sails off victoriously with his flocks, leaving him blind. Odysseus also confidently claims that he is going to kill every suitor in the hall at the same time that he introduces himself as King.

When Odysseus fights in both of these scenes he does not hesitate to emotionally identify himself as a champion so that the loser will know who has beaten him, thereby gaining his glory on the battlefield. This theme of the glory of battle can be seen throughout this story, but is clearly shown in the way in which Odysseus reveals himself in these two particular scenes. The two scenes described above in which Odysseus reveals his identity to both Kyklops in book IX and the suitors in book XXII parallel each other in the element of self-revelation we see throughout the story of Odysseus.

Under careful analysis these two scenes seem to differ in the times that Odysseus chooses to reveal himself regarding the respective fights, and in the effects this self-revelation has on Odysseus. On the other hand, these same scenes contain strong similarities in the ways in which Odysseus’ adversaries respond to his identity, and in the portrayal of the theme concerning the glory of battle. Homer very clearly uses these self-revelation scenes to develop strength and confidence in the Odysseus character, while still presenting some interesting differences in such a seemingly similar pair of scenes.

Telemachus Odyssey Essay

The Odyssey, though named for the great warrior and story focus Odysseus, cannot be soley regarded as a single man’s journey. The growth in intellect, maturity, and strength the Odysseus undergoes is reflected distinctly in his son, Telemachus. In the first books, other characters continue to treat him much as a child, and in many respects, Telemachus still acts like one. The first few books illustrate the relationship between Telemachus and his father, a father he has barely known. When Odysseus left his wife and child, Telemachus was still an infant.

For his want of a father, Athena acts as a mentor to him; particularly when she gives him the courage to journey from his home in search of his father. Had he not the courage here, he could not have stood against the suitors’ wills in the final books. Telemachus’s emotional growth is key to the paralleling storylines. When Menelaus mentions his father, the young Telemachus breaks down in tears, betraying his immaturity. However, the pride he feels leaving Sparta hints at the courage he shows in later books, aiding Odysseus against the suitors.

Odysseus faces a similar situation. He, like Telemachus, worries about his family Penelope in particular and kingdom, possibly triggered by Proteus’ mention of Agamemnon, who was killed by his own wife. The titular hero of this epic romance laments his seeming fate and the deaths of his crew, but continues with the courage and hope of reaching home. It seems that Odysseus learns little, unlike Telemachus, but not by any fault of his own, I think. He may simply be the epitome of Greek standards, clever and noble as he often is, and actually has little room to grow.

For Telemachus, the goals he sets reflect the maturity he gains: to reach a level of adulthood and to stand by his father’s side, to protect his family and kingdom, and most importantly, to be respected as a man. At the story’s onset, Telemachus can bee seen as an inactive young prince. When the challenges rise, however, Telemachus himself rises to meet them. He challenges the suitors with his divinely-inspired courage, and, though not completely effective, he surprised them a great deal with his authority as he did with his own mother in later books.

Telemachus undoubtedly gains a new awareness, not only about his father, but also about the kingdom, his mother, and the role he needed to play. By the end of his long emotional journey, Telemachus realizes what it takes to be a man; a feat which could not have been possible without his escapades to Pylos and Sparta. The key moment, the point at which Telemachus exceeds even his own expectations if not dreams, comes when Penelope offers the challenge of Odysseus’ bow. Each of the suitors tries and fails, but Telemachus makes the same bid for his birthright; he could have strung the bow, but for his father’s signal not to.

Had Telemachus succeeded, he would have been fully grown, but at the mercy of the vengeful suitors. Odysseus’ revelation catches them off-guard enough to make his assault. Telemachus, we can safely assume, will someday assume his father’s place as hero and king of Ithaca, because he undergoes parallel ordeals and is a match in strength and courage. The Odyssey creates a parallel for readers, between Odysseus and Telemachus, father and son. Telemachus learns the role of his father, the king of Ithaca, in order to follow in his footsteps.

The two are compared in the poem from every aspect, Telemachus at home often acting as a distant foil for Odysseus. However, in analyzing The Odyssey, one may also presume that Homer had not intended for the Telemachus to be as great a hero as his father had. This may be due to the fact that he never fought in the Trojan War (his setting, unlike his father’s, is a time of peace); but more notably, although he has matured, Telemachus never has the opportunity to learn through hardship, like his father.

The Odyssey, epic composed by Homer

The Odyssey is an epic composed by Homer, an early Greek storyteller. This epic was the basis for Greek and Roman education. Epics are long poems marked by adventure. The main character in an epic is an epic hero. The epic hero is a figure of great stature and may be a character from history or legend. Epic heroes most remarkable traits are usually the ones most valued by the society from which the epic came. The main character in this epic is Odysseus. Odysseus is on a quest to find his home after a war. Odysseus is an epic hero. An epic hero exhibits great leadership qualities.

One of these qualities is having aplomb in critical times. This is exemplified when Odysseus is trapped in the cave of the Cyclops, a giant one-eyed monster. The Cyclops puts a stone unmovable by Odysseus and his men in front of the entrance to the cave. While most men would have lost their composure, Odysseus remains calm and rational. He thinks of a brilliant way to escape the cave of the Cyclops in a time of tension. Odysseus, referring to an olive tree, says: I hewed it again to make a stake with a pointed end. He carves an olive tree into a stake as a weapon against the Cyclops.

This also demonstrates Odysseus resourcefulness, which is another leadership quality. Odysseus comes up with a way to escape the cave with very little available. He hides under the bellies of sheep from the Cyclops as they leave to escape the cave. Odysseus resourcefulness helps him escape from the giant Cyclops. Another leadership quality that Odysseus holds is cleverness. He uses his cleverness often on his voyage. In one particular instance, he uses his ingenuity to trick the Cyclops. He tricks the Cyclops by telling the Cyclops that his name is Nohbdy.

After Odysseus pops the eye of the Cyclops, the other Cyclopes arrive. The Cyclops says to the Cyclopes: Nohbdys tricked me, Nohbdys ruined me. The Cyclopes reply: Ah well, if nobody has played you foul there in your lonely bed, we are no use in pain given by the great Zeus. Odysseus cleverness helped him evade the fate that would have befallen him if the other Cyclopes caught him. One more leadership quality possessed by Odysseus is wisdom. Odysseus wisdom is displayed when Odysseus conquers the town of Ismarus. Odysseus says: I told them Back, and quickly! Out to sea again!

My men were mutinous fools, on stores of wine -while fugitives went inland running to call arms to the main forces of the Cicones. Odysseus is wise enough to realize that the enemy would slaughter him and his men if they stayed. His wisdom is also evident when he landed on the where the Lotus-Eaters live. The Lotus-Eaters are people whose only concern is to eat an addicting plant called the lotus. If one happens to eat the lotus, one becomes obsessed with browsing on the lotus. Odysseus does not send the entire crew out to this land; he sends small party of men to explore the land.

When they do not return, Odysseus realizes something detrimental to their journey is on the land. In this example, Odysseus wisdom saves the men from wasting their lives eating the lotus plant. Odysseus displays the leadership quality of bravery by trying to save his men in several instances. One of these instances includes a battle with Scylla. Scylla is a giant six-headed sea monster that Odysseus encounters on his voyage. When Scylla attacks Odysseus men, he tries to stop Scylla without worrying about his own safety.

Odysseus attacks Scylla with spears even though the spears are useless against Scylla. In such instances, he crosses over the line of bravery and into the threshold of stupidity. Odysseus sometimes forgets that he is mortal. Odysseus is not easily scared. Odysseus exhibits the leadership qualities of aplomb, resourcefulness, cleverness, wisdom, and bravery during this voyage. These leadership qualities help to make an epic hero and exemplify his great stature. Odysseus leadership qualities affirm that Odysseus is an epic hero.

Odyssey Themes Essay

When Homer wove the characters of The Odyssey into a story, he undoubtedly left room for interpretation of their actions. The characters, most of whom are dynamic, colorful, and three dimensional, are used by Homer to give a fun but truthful commentary on the Ancient Greeks and their way of life. The actions of one figure, the man-eating monster named Skylla, are particularly interesting when viewed in the context of the rest of the story. Though her contribution to the plot is minor, Skylla’s actions are important in that they are characteristic of several themes found throughout the poem.

These themes include the role of the female in Odysseus’s struggle, the hunger (figuratively and literally) of the characters in The Odyssey, and the commentary Homer makes on the individuals who live lawlessly. In The Odyssey, Homer introduces many female characters; some play significant roles, some are in the background. Regardless of their importance, distinctions can be made as to their roles in the story: that is, some put forth effort to help Odysseus and the other men–Arete, Athena, Nausikaa, and Eurykleia are examples–and others (whom he encounters on is voyages home) lead to the delay or destruction of them.

Skylla plays the role of the latter, as do Kalypso, Kirke, and the Seirenes. Although none of these women actually harm Odysseus, each poses a deadly threat to him on his voyage. Odysseus’s experience with Skylla is by far the most deadly and disturbing. Whereas the other women succeed only in enticing and delaying the crew, the encounter with Skylla has lethal consequences. Even though he decides to take the sea route that passes near her lair, it seeming to be the least dangerous of the three options, he wants nothing to do with the monster.

Yet, instead of passing unscathed, six of his men are taken (XII, 294-7) as the boat sails through the channel. Homer uses an epic simile to help the reader visualize the macabre scene. He compares Skylla to a fisherman who “will hook a fish and rip it from the surface / to dangle wriggling through the air” (XII, 303-4). The crewmen are the fish, of course, and seem helpless as Skylla whisks them from the ship. Describing the attack, Odysseus says, “and deathly pity ran me through / at that sight–far the worst I ever suffered, / questing the passes of the strange sea” (308-10).

It seems that he realizes that the losses were his responsibility and that he too could easily have been a victim of Skylla’s wrath. Earlier in the story (Book V) we see that Calypso poses a similar, though not as deadly, threat to Odysseus’s homecoming. Instead of literally grabbing for him as Skylla does, Kalypso tries to retain Odysseus by enticing him with the prospect of immortality and a life with a beautiful goddess. We are also told she has cast “spells” (198) on him to keep him docile and under her power.

Kalypso says to Zeus, “I fed him, oved him, sang that he should not die / nor grow old, ever, in all the days to come” (142-4). Despite her efforts and hospitality, Odysseus still longs for home as he sits each day by the rocky shore “with eyes wet scanning the bare horizon of the sea” (165-6). He is quite happy when the day comes that he is set free by Zeus’s will. Without Zeus’s intervention, Odysseus would have been kept indefinitely. Book X, which contains the introduction of Kirke, provides another example of near fatal attraction.

This time it is not a monstrous woman or an overly hospitable nymph that brings them near their ownfall, but an immortal who entrances her visitors so that they forget their motives. Whether or not Kirke intended to eat Odysseus’s men, as Skylla does, after she turned them to swine we do not know, though it is certainly a possibility. What is known is their flaw–they are men who fall prey to the desires of women. This fact is admitted twice by Odysseus in lines 440 and 503 and is the reason they end up “feasting long / on roasts and wine, until a year grew fat” (504-5).

Only after Odysseus is reminded of his homeland does he go to Kirke and plead for their release, to which she agrees. A point to make is that in both cases, with Kalypso and Kirke, Odysseus plays the role of the mortal lover who has little resistance; and in all three cases, the females cause only pain or delay. As already mentioned, six of Odysseus’s men were taken by Skylla as their ship passed through the channel. The incident seems particularly gruesome as Odysseus recalls it for King Alkinoos: Then Skylla made her strike, whisking six of my best men from the ship.

I happened to glance aft at ship and oarsmen and caught sight of their arms and legs, dangling high overhead. …. She ate them as they shrieked there, in her den, in the dire grapple, reaching still for me- (XII, 294-307) In another description, Kirke says that she is a horrible monster who hunts “for dolphins, dogfish, or what bigger game” and that “Amphitrite feeds in thousands” (XII, 103-4). What a murderous appetite! Without a doubt Skylla would have whisked six more men away had she the opportunity.

Though the action with Skylla is seemingly short, it is significant in that it reflects a quality found in male characters throughout the poem–a gluttonous appetite. Whether it is for aterial items or food, this is an attribute that many of the men in The Odyssey possess. Three examples of men who have great hunger for wealth and material items are King Alkinoos, King Menelaos, and Odysseus. All three have impressive palaces filled with beautiful decor. Odysseus describes the palace at Phaiakia in Book VII, lines 85-140 as being breathtaking.

The palace has “high rooms” which are “airy and luminous”, and “the posts and lintel / were silver upon silver; [with] golden handles curved on the doors”. Telemachus describes Menelaos’ home in a similar fashion in Book IV. He says “how luminous it is / with bronze, gold, amber, silver, and ivory! / This is the way the court of Zeus must be” (74-7). Odysseus’s desire for material wealth is reflected in his enormous estate, which is large enough to support a large number (100+) of suitors helping themselves for years.

It is also seen in the treasure he brings home from the Phaiakians. They sent him home “with gifts untold / of bronze and gold, and fine cloth to his shoulder. / Never from Troy had he borne off such booty” (XIII, 155-7). I suppose it is only fitting that a great warrior and ruler as Odysseus should esire to return home with such a treasure, after all; he and his men paid for it in blood. Not surprisingly, great feasts and sacrifices accompany the wealth these men have.

Although women aren’t seen eating meat in the poem, the men have exorbitant feasts of swine, steer, and wine in nearly every scene. The most obvious and outright example of man’s over indulgence of this kind is found in the suitors, who are slowly devouring Odysseus’s wealth. A typical feast of the suitors in Odysseus’s hall is described in Book XX: [the men] made a ritual slaughter, knifing sheep, fat goats and pigs, knifing the grass-fed steer. … Melanthios poured wine, and all their hands went out upon the feast. 255-61)

In saying that it was a ritual slaughter, the fact that the act has happened many times before is reinforced to the reader. Homer also reinforces this idea by introducing and destroying the suitors while in the act of feasting. A final example of hunger in the poem reflects on the darker side of men. It is seen when Odysseus’s fleet comes upon Ismaros. Here, his men prove themselves not to be a group of poor souls lost at sea, but rather a tyrannical army of pirates in a bloodthirsty rage.

The theme of The Odyssey

The theme of The Odyssey is one of homecoming and reunion with loved ones. Though the proem of the epic states that Odysseus own purpose is simply the fight to save his own life and return his shipmates home safely, the gods of Olympus are the unknown captains of this journey. It is an epic story of the making of men, mainly Odysseus and Telemakhos. Homer methodically details the struggles set forth by the gods. The contests of Odysseus wisdom, honor, piety and prudence. These tests of will prove Odysseus master mariner and soldier, truly virtuous and capable.

He becomes not only the last hope of those still true and loyal, but he is the only one who can discern the proper course of action in the re-ordering of his house and his household. In the opening of the epic, the gods, at home upon great Olympus, sit in conversation reflecting upon the pride of men. One example being Agisthos, who is run amuck with greed and pride. Zeus remark that Greed and folly will double suffering in the lot of man… is indeed the standard by which men are judged to be the Shepherd or the wolf.

It is greed and folly, which are the marks of impious men, men who engage in improper feasting. Worse still are those who give into temptation after long suffering, for it denies them the knowledge of the good; namely virtue. Of improper feasting there are numerous examples, from the gluttonous behavior of the suitors and the cannibalism of the Kyklops, to Odysseus own shipmates who kill and feast on the cattle of Lord Helios, the Sun. As illustrated by the text, improper feasting is a sin against the order of Zeus and thus the order of men.

Telemakhos recognizes the wrong done against him and his household. The youth of Telemakhos prevents him from doing more than sitting by in mute fury, but it is the visitation of Athena that unlocks his silent disgust. He reveals to the goddess that the feast of the suitors is plunder, and their acts rapine. He tells Menthos (Athena in disguise) that the suitors lives are easy and scot-free. At the assembly, Telemakhos remarks are quick and to the point. My home and all I have are being ruined… like a pack they came… ese men [that] spend their days around our house killing our beeves and sheep and fatted goats, carousing, soaking up our good dark wine, not caring what they do.

They squandered everything. In response to this, Antinoos gives a brash reply, claiming that it is Telemakhos that judges them wrongly. He mislays the blame upon Penelope, who has contrived all these years to deceive the suitors and avoid a match. Antinoos betrays his own impious nature when he says that Penelopes deception at the loom was a plan some god put into her mind.

He does not recognize the weight of his own admission. If a god was the author of that scheme, would it not be the obligation of any sensible man to leave off his courtship? Eurymakos too scorns the god when he insults the auger. This is a sign of overweening pride and impiety. It is hubris. Polyphemos, son of the great earth-shaker, Poseidon, embodies supreme horror. He is hubris personified and his actions are indisputably grotesque, blasphemous, and extreme. He is described as a caveman, primitive and barbarous, unaccustomed to the polite ways of the world of men.

According to Zeus laws of hospitality, it is an egregious error to turn strangers from your feast, and worse still is it to murder a guest, but to eat a guest or six is a trespass without parallel. Thus, cannibalism is one of the greatest acts of atrocious impiety; not only is it contrary to Zeus holy laws, but it is against the natural order. For truly if the house of Atreus was ever cursed by the gods for Tantalus insidious act of deceit, so much greater the offense of the Kyklopes. Son of Poseidon flaunts a smite-me sign.

Further, he scoffs at the gods in bliss, particularly Zeus, Lord of Olympus: We Kyklopes care not a whistle for your thundering Zeus or all the gods in bliss; we have more force by far. It is significant that this ruthless, brutish creature defies the gods of Olympus, though his own Aquarian father, Poseidon, admits in The Iliad that not for all the strength of the gods could Zeus be overthrown. The anagogical meaning of this is of course is that the Will of Zeus will ultimately prevail. Other images of improper feasting are Polyphemos drunkenness, which enables Nohbdy, Odysseus, to blind him, and the profusion of dung in the cave.

Dung is a sign of disorder and neglect. Recall the image of Argos, Odysseus ever loyal puppy, now attenuated with age and neglect. Before the gates of the formerly great house of Odysseus lies once treasured Argos upon a hill of manure, half-destroyed with flies, and treated as rubbish. The resplendent home of Menelaos presents a counter image to Polyphemos rank cave. Even Telemakhos remarks that his hall must be more beautiful than the gods. King Menelaos is the embodiment of the just and gracious host (the complete antithesis of the Kyklopes), for he scolds Eteoneus for his lack of hospitality.

Another example of a good host is that of Nausikaa, daughter of Prince Alkinoos. She too gives a reprieve to her maids for fleeing the stranger, Odysseus, and says, this man is a castaway… we must take care of him. Strangers and beggars come from Zeus. It is the case of every well ruled society that Zeus laws are abided by, but in the absence their king the people become unruly like children and are guided by an underdeveloped sense of justice to their own imminent destruction, as are the suitors of Penelope and the shipmates of Odysseus.

Greed and folly, the all-consuming qualities of disordered souls, entangle men in sorrow, leaving them forever unsatiated on a sea of inordinate desire. Such is the case of the avaricious sailors and the plight of unfortunate Odysseus who is stuck with them. It must be noted that the covetousness of Odysseus shipmates buffets the poor exiled king further from home; a journey nearly at its end prolonged seven years more by the King Aiolos bag of winds and the sailors excessive greed. In another instance, Odysseus heeds the bitter cries of Eurylokhos to land upon Thrinakia, the island of the Sun.

In the same manner, King Saul heeds the threats of the people and sacrifices without Samuel. Like Moses before his accession Sinais summit, Odysseus warns his crew, Fierce the god is who cherishes these heifers and these sheep: Helios; and no man avoids his eye. And like the stiff-necked children of Israel who did prefer to bend their knees to the golden calf fashioned by Aaron than reverence their covenant with God, the sailors too disobey their captain in his absence and slaughter Helios sacred flock. The fame of Odysseus is that of perseverance and hard-wrought, high priced victory.

The man of woe struggles for the sake of his shipmates, for his crew he strives homeward, but for all this, his travail is fruitless as he describes the death of his precious friends: No more seafaring homeward for these, no sweet day of return; the god had turned his face from them. Their just reward for their pernicious persistence is death. Two themes consistant with The Odyssey are comic delay and engulfment. Many examples of comic delay exist within Odysseus long, suffering journey homeward. Time proves all things. It is this time, this delay, that makes it possible for Telemakhos to overcome the shyness and uncertainty of his age.

Penelope delays a marriage with the suitors with her weaving; and Athena delays the waking of Dawn in order that Odysseus has his fill of plesure and sleep. Odysseus nine years of exile are fraught with many trials and struggles that only deepened his hunger for home and wife. The majority of his adversity can be characterized as an avoidance of engulfment. As in all Homeric literature, the purchase of engulfment is anonymity or an obscure death in exile. To be swallowed by the sea or the Kyklopes or to be caught in the gullet of one of great Skyllas nightmarish heads, these are the horrors that poor Odysseus faces.

Another image of engulfment is the island and the goddess, Kalypso. Though is probably the only pleasant variation of this image, Kalypsos name means engulfment. Kalypso herself describes Odysseus time on her island as consumption: O forlorn man, be still. Here you need grieve no more; you need not feel your life consumed here. The most significant image of engulfment in The Odyssey is that of the realm of Persephone and her Lord, Hades. Odysseus himself ironically enough often inspires his crew with courage and fortitude by saying, Come friends, though hard beset, well not go down into the House of Death before our time.

The Lord of Ithaka thought himself to mean that they would not go down into the House of Death until they themselves were dead, but Odysseus time comes quite sometime before his own death. Hades is the only consummate image of the engulfment, for Odysseus emerges a man reborn, and called twice mortal by Kirke. The Odysseus of old and his deep heart at sea are forever forgotten and exiled by Odysseus the King. His commission to visit the land of the dead comes from the subtle goddess Kirke. She is the first to address the great captain with his true (and well earned) epithet, son of Laertes and the gods of old, master mariner and soldier.

She commands Odysseus to seek out the blind prophet, Teiresias, so that he might discover his new purpose. Thus begins his transformation, but in order to fulfill his destiny as the true king of Ithaka he must go down into that gentle night, realm of bitter Persephone. Teiresias warns Odysseus of the things yet to be endured, as he alludes to Skylla and Kharybdis. In his infinite wisdom, the dead seer, tells the man of woe that he must deny himself, in order to survive the wrath of Poseidon. Great captain, a fair wind and the honey lights of home are all you seek. But anguish lies ahead.

In this way, Teiresias prepares Odysseus for new trials and the sufferings of his household. He tells him that he will survive alone, bereft of his companions, to find his home filled with insolent men, courting his wife, slaughtering his cattle, and drinking his good, dark wine. Furthermore, Teiresias charges the master mariner to go overland on foot with an oar, to seek men who know nothing of the sea and to plant said oar into the ground and make a fair sacrifice to Polyphemus father and avenger, Poseidon. This is important for several reasons. First and foremost, to appease the wrath of Poseidon and to increase the reverence of the god.

Secondly, Odysseus must formally give up his sea-ways in order to achieve peaceful death. Other noteworthy shades relative to Odysseus are his mother, Antikleia, who asks of her son have you not gone at all to Ithaka? ; his dead shipmate, Elpenor, who, having fallen off the roof of the palace of Kirke, asks Odysseus for proper burial upon his return to the world of light; Agamemnon, angered at his murder and forever bitter at his wife, Klytaimnestra; and miserable Akhilleus. Through the testimony of Agamemnon and Antikleia, Odysseus learns of his cattish wife, Penelopes own unendurable trials and loyalty and undying love.

In regards to Penelope there is much to write. Penelope, Odysseus ever-faithful queen, must tirelessly endure the roguish suitors until the time her husband returns home. Unlike Klytaimnestra, Penelope awaits her lord in grief, rather than revenge. Though her suffering is long and arduous and the torment of the suitors intolerable, wily Penelope, rather than acquiesce and take another husband (as does Agamemnons traitorous wife), devises against the brutes. She tells them that she must weave a death shroud for Lord Laertes before she marries, and the suitors being men and not entirely possessed by ignominy, give in.

They had to give in to so pious a purpose. So Penelope weaves and unweaves as the years pass, weaving and unweaving the death of old Laertes. Weaving is an image that is generally associated with dubious intentions. Such are the cases of Kalypso, who seemingly weaves a net to ensnare Odysseus for all time, and Kirke, whos weaving is a matter of guile ([l]ow she sang in her beguiling voice, while on her loom she wove ambrosial fabric sheer and bright, by the craft known to the goddesses of heaven ). Also, Odysseus asks Athena to weave him a way to repay the suitors disloyalty. Penelope is the embodiment of forbearance.

She is also the perfect companion for Odysseus. Just as Odysseus must, Penelope survives the long years by her wisdom and wits. Her final stroke of genius is the test of the bow (though later she tests Odysseus to discover if he is her true lord). Telemakhos own journey is equally significant to the trials of his mother and father. Athena personally takes up the oar of responsibility for Royal Odysseus only son in his absence. His mother beset by grief and crazed suitors, his father lost at sea, Telemakhos has no one to teach him the value of virtue, particularly: prudence, piety, and patience. This is the value of the feminine role model.

The grey-eyed goddess intent for Telemakhos journey was that he earn respect for his filial devotion to his father and to observe the condition of house better ordered than his. The last topics of import are those of the faithful and unfaithful servants, and the re-ordering of Odysseus house and household. The swineherder, Eumaios, is the best example present in the work of the true and faithful servant. Eumaios provides us with a basis with which to judge all other servants and subjects, as he is not only dutifully awaiting the return of his master, but also continuing in his charge of the swine of his master.

Eumaios selflessly and humbly serves his master both in his absence and after his return, bearing the taunts and slieghts of the suitors and weak-hearted servants. It is Eumaios who offers the hospitality of the House of Laertes to Odysseus, as is required by the law of Zeus, before the identity of the beggar had been revealed to him. Melanthios, the goatherder, on the other hand, provides perhaps the most striking image of the ill-intentioned, small-minded servant. At his first encounter with the beggar that is his lord, for instance, Melanthios is violent and beligerent.

He even goes so far as to later kick this down-trodden king, a clear and vicious offence against Zeus and his law of hospitality. It is Melanthios who is drunk upon the stolen wine of his master, while Eumaios offers it graciously to his master in disguise. Melanthios inordinate pride in his wealth causes him to strive above his station, just as Eumaios humility allows him to seek and fulfill his telos as the good and faithful servant, forever dear to the hearts of both Zeus and his grateful master, Odysseus.

Eumaios pride is in his master and his masters family, while Melanthios pride is hubris and based in his own possesions. Ironically though Melanthios has the gift of blind intuition (a gift without understanding or insight, in this case), when he says, [h]ere comes one scurvy type leading another! God pairs them off together every time. Melanthios, of course, is followed by a herd of goats. In the end, all is set aright, for it is Eumaios who lives on to serve his master while Melanthios and all his attempts to win the favor of the suitors are laid to waste, slain in the righteous wrath of his master.

The re-ordering of Odysseus house and household can be likened to the Christian notion of Gods Judgement. Fallen, fallen is Babylon the great! It is become a dwelling place of demons, A haunt of every foul spirit, A haunt of every foul and hateful bird; for all nations have drunk the wine of her impure passion, and the kings of earth have commited fornication with her, and the merchants of the earth have grown rich with the wealth of her wantoness. One could re-write this passage to say (this could be playing with fire, literally! ): Fallen, fallen are the sons of great Ithaka!

The House of Odysseus is become a dwelling place for impious men, A haunt of every foul spirit, A haunt of every foul and hateful wolf; for the suitors have drunk the wine of their own impure passion, and the kings of earth have squandered the virtue of maids, and the merchants of the earth have grown fat on the stores of others. Odysseus rewards each individual for their service. This includes the suitors, whose reward is obscure and violent death. He spares the life of the poet and minstrel because of their divine gifts of posy and song.

On the other hand, he kills the diviner for his lying augery and evil intentions. After he punishes all that deserve punishing, he cleanses the great hall with fire and brimstone. Thus, Odysseus returns hearth and home to its proper order and is united with his true family. Odysseus himself achieves the fullness of his idenity (Royal Odysseus, master mariner and soldier, master of landways and seaways, great captain, Laertiades) with all the grandeur due to a man so long suffering and honorable.

And in this way he sets out overland to the place where no one knows his name, nor the vast expanse of the sea; a place where seaways and oars are utterly unknown and it is here he will plant his oar and make fair hecatombs to Poseidon of the waters, when asked, What winnowing fan is that upon your shoulder? Once accomplished Odysseus will go on into rich old age, and surrounded by his country folks, a seaborne death soft as mist will take him down into the House of Death, Persephones gentle realm of eternal night.