Homer’s Odyssey and the Odyssey of Our Lives
Homer’s Odyssey is a magnificent mythological tale. This work was presumably created after his encounter with goddess Athena. Although Odysseus’ journey is filled with unrealistic adventures and mythical powers, some principles behind this story can relate to our everyday lives. Odysseus’ adventures in Odyssey relate to the heroism, intellect, and ruthlessness that are in our lives.
Odysseus’ determination of returning home will help him prevail. Odysseus’ determination rises above hunger and would starve himself if that was needed. However, his crew does not have as strong as a will as Odysseus does, and for giving in to their temptation for food, the gods punish them by diverting them from coming home. The Sun’s retribution is showed here, "Out of the ship my comrades fell and then like sea fowl were borne by the side of the black ship along the waves; God cut them off from coming home." (Homer 121). Odysseus’ crew had slain and eaten the cows of the exalted Sun even though they had been warned. Odysseus proves that his determination to return home is strong than hunger. To Odysseus, once he has reached his goal, even food shall taste much greater than before. His heroism shows that he is very determined and confident that he will overcome all obstacles and will reach Ithaca.
Odysseus is not afraid of death. His journey down to Hades and his conversation with Achilles shows that he thought of death as some light matter. When Odysseus spoke with Achilles, he said that Achilles should be happy with death because he is the ruler of the lost souls. Achilles remarked, "Mock not at death, glorious Odysseus. Better to be the hireling of a stranger, and serve a man of mean estate whose living is but small, than be the ruler over all these dead and gone"(Homer .111). Achilles’ fate was chosen when he decided to go after and kill Hector. He knew that he would die, and yet he did not fear it. Odysseus has to remember that heroism isn’t the only factor important in life, but intellect is a major one also.
Odysseus’ intellect also includes guile, a key factor in his journey. Odysseus not only uses his cleverness at the expense of enemies, but he also uses it as a way of amusing himself. Odysseus tells the cyclops Polyphemus that his name is Noman. Once the cyclops falls asleep, Odysseus stabs him in the eye. Polyphemus abruptly rises and cries for help yelling, "Friends, Noman is murdering me by craft..."(Homer 87). This is a good example of dramatic irony where the reader knows something that the other characters in the story do not. Odysseus used ruthlessness and intellect to defeat his enemy. Odysseus has been tested many times throughout his journey, and he grows tired of all these "useless" tests. He just wants to return home.
Odysseus is very determined to get home, but like every human, he has a limit to how far he can be pushed. When Odysseus arrives at the...