Homer And Immortality Essay

778 words - 3 pages

Homer and Immortality

Immortality is one the subject of much mythology and folklore. From the stories of the gods themselves, to Achilles and the Styx, to vampires and present day Christian beliefs in an afterlife, the concept of immortality has been with humanity since the beginning of humanity. The wise and ever edifying Homer leaves myths of the elusive ever-lasting life out of his works; did Homer's Achilles not wear armor? The Odyssey is a story of mortality. Limitation and suffering are what define humanity, yet they are also what give life merit. What motive does a god have to attempt to give his life value? Incessant and unmerciful, it is the very ticking of the clock that prompts a man to attempt greatness. It is a ticking that the gods have no ears for. From Thoreau's Walden to the basic beliefs of Confucianism, it is accepted that we should look to our history for insight to the present. How then, can we ignore the powerful reoccurring theme of the worth of mortality?
The embodiment of the textbook epic hero, Odysseus discovers the true meaning of life in his journey. After all he has accomplished and suffered for, Odysseus is still human, arrogant and egotistical, at the start of his great voyage. When he and his men are trapped by the powerful Polyphemos, Odysseus uses his wit to emerge victorious over the cycloptic beast. If the Odysseus from a couple years in the future were in faced with this situation, he would have hastily returned to his ship and departed. But, our still young conqueror taunts the beast and foolishly reveals his identity. Blinded and furious, Polyphemos solicits his father Poseidon to bring ruin to his foe's fated homecoming; something the mighty sea god does over and over. Many hardships later, Odysseus arrives at Kalypso's island alone and stranded. Lustfully, the nymph makes the pain-giver her prisoner. Odysseus has nothing left but the company of a goddess and time to think. Through his ponderings at the home of Kalypso, Odysseus discovers the most profound of realities. He is given the option to marry Kalypso, an offer that guarantees an...

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