The epic story “The Odyssey” Is basically a love story. It’s about the loyalty and love between a husband and wife, two lovers, and the cunning and trickery needed to reunite them, after a long absence. It’s a story about a man and women who are separated for 10 years and remain loyal to each other because their love is so strong. It’s also about the loyalty between a father and his son and also between their friends. Throughout the story we see many examples of this loyalty. Odysseus is the husband of Queen Penelope and the father of Prince Telemachus.
This loyal love is evident in the first book when the muse says, “Much as you long to see your wife, the one you pine for all your days”. Others, like Eurykleia’s loyalty to Odysseus’s household are seen in her love for Telemachos, whom she treats like her own son. When Odysseus is on his long journey the submission to temptation or recklessness neither angers the gods nor distracts Odysseus and the members of his crew from their journey home. The crew always remains loyal to their leader.
Throughout the story, trickery, disguises, and deceptions are used to reunite the family and we see many examples of this. A prelude of this trickery is described in the beginning of the story in book 1, when Homer says, “Sing to me of the man, Muse, the man of twists and turns driven time and again off course, once he had plundered the hallowed heights of Troy”. There are many occurrences of Odysseus loyalty.
Circe and Calypso are the most obvious examples of women whose love becomes an obstacle to Odysseus’s return. When Odysseus travels to the island of Ogygia, Odysseus admits that his wife cannot compare with Calypso. Calypso is a beautiful nymph who falls in love with Odysseus when he lands on her island. The beautiful nymph Calypso, possessed by her love for Odysseus, has imprisoned him on her island. In book 5 Odysseus says “the gods brought me to the island Ogygia, where Calypso lives, with ordered hair, a dread goddess, and she received me and loved me excessively and cared for me, and she promised to make me an immortal and all my days to be ageless, but never so could she win over the heart within me.” He also recalls, that “the sweet lifetime was draining out of him, as he wept for a way home, since the nymph was no longer pleasing to him”. By nights he would lie beside her, because he felt it was necessary, in the caverns, against his will. In the days he would sit upon the rocks, by the seaside, flouting his heart broken”. Despite this, his love and Loyalty to Penelope remains strong. Calypso holds him prisoner there for seven years until Hermes, the messenger god, persuades her to let him go. Sometimes his glory seeking methods get in the way of his desire to go home. He thinks of home throughout the time he spends with the Phaeacians and also while on Circe’s island. He refuses to sleep with Circe who loves him. He even goes to Hades so Circe will let him go home, to his true love.