Odyssey Essay

1808 words - 8 pages

From the initiation of the The Odyssey, Odysseus stands out as a character who personifies the traits of any stereotypical Homeric hero. A symbol of confidence, nobility, strength and courage among his people, Odysseus stands apart from other Homeric leaders in his exceptional ability to manipulate and deceive, making such cunning maneuvers and keen intellect his defining asset and ultimately his key to victory. While it is true that many of these traits serve as constants throughout the duration of Homer’s epic, significant alterations in Odysseus’ behavior are the keys to understanding and validating Odysseus as a man who has clearly changed over the course of his journey. Despite the qualities and constants he shares with other Homeric leaders, Odysseus stands apart from other characters as one who develops and changes upon his return to Ithaca. This change is most prominently demonstrated by Odysseus’ improvement in leadership upon his return to Ithaca, which is further reflected in his ability to subordinate his personal glory to achieve his goals, and ultimately trade his short-sighted and impulsive decision making for a more long-sighted and rational outlook.
Early on his journey, Odysseus makes hasty decisions to reveal his rather shortsighted, and to a certain extent, almost childish and self-indulgent nature to the reader. While it cannot be denied that he possesses strength and courage of immeasurable nature, these characteristics are juxtaposed by a more hubristic nature that undermines our seemingly ideal hero. This lack of precaution is first demonstrated when Odysseus can’t help but taunt Polyphemus, son of Poseidon, by revealing his identity despite already defeating the Cyclops. Upon blinding the Cyclops and returning to safety Odysseus states, “Cyclops, if any mortal man ever asks you who it was that inflicted upon your eye this shameful blinding, tell him that you were blinded by Odysseus, sacker of cities. Laertes is his father, and he makes his home on Ithaka” (9.500-505). By unnecessarily revealing his identity and shrouding his previous disguise despite already achieving his goal, Odysseus demonstrates a shortsighted view on the situation and consequently puts himself and his men in danger, thus demonstrating bad leadership. Odysseus recognizes the renown and glory he will achieve in overcoming a giant of Polyphemus’ stature; however, he fails to acknowledge the consequences of his actions, namely Poseidon’s wrath through hurricanes and various obstacles that set Odysseus’ journey further off track. These actions can be contrasted with Odysseus’ actions upon his return from Ithaca, where he instead keeps his identity a secret despite being physically and emotionally abused for turning up to the palace in his disguise as a beggar. At one point the suitor Antinous becomes so enraged that he hurls a stool at Odysseus. At this point, perhaps the older version of Odysseus would reveal his identity and strike down his opponent...

Find Another Essay On Odyssey

Odyssey Essay

1163 words - 5 pages Values of The Odyssey You've been gone from your family and friends for 20 years. Do you have the drive to continue? To have the chance to see your wife and son after so long, can you go on? In one of the most famous epics of all, Odysseus continues his journey home, to be reunited with his wife and son again. The Odyssey delineates the tasks to be overcome by Odysseus and his men. Throughout this adventure, there are many risks to be taken and

Odyssey Essay

993 words - 4 pages Mortals blame the gods when their miseries occur, but they are to blame to very little extent. For it is the mortals who, with their own negligence, make things far worse than they should be. In Homer's book "The Odyssey" there are many examples of how the mortals make things worse for themselves. Odysseus is the hero of the poem; he is the most versatile and well-rounded character in Greek Literature. He and his men have flaws though, but they

ODYSSEY

837 words - 4 pages First draft Imagine a person who is so epic that even the gods will do anything to help him. That person is Odysseus, a character from the book Odyssey written by Homer an epic poem. Odysseus was the king of Ithaca, He and his army had gone to war with troy, the war was known as the Trojan War, and it lasted 10 years. After winning the war, Odysseus and his fleet left Troy to go back to Ithaca, in his journey Odysseus experiences many monster

Odyssey

1096 words - 4 pages need to be perfect though. In The Odyssey by Homer, Odysseus can be considered a hero for many different reasons, as well as considered not a hero for another array of reasons. Odysseus is a hero because he becomes a better person along his journey. However, he has many flaws, but they get corrected throughout his journey. Although Odysseus is not perfect, his faults help him grow and become a better person To begin, Odysseus had a problem

"The Odyssey"

2323 words - 9 pages Poseidon to assuage his anger. These four points in the story were some of the most important, and it made Odysseus look even more like a hero in the crew's eyes if he knew what was going to happen before it happened.Part 2:"The Odyssey" is considered an epic for many reasons. The first is that an epic must contain a figure of heroic stature. Odysseus is hero in the story because on many occasions, he saved his men from the danger that they put

the odyssey

920 words - 4 pages In Homer’s Greek epic poem, The Odyssey, the characters Calypso, Athena, and Penelope have an effect on Odysseus and his journey home. Throughout the poem, Odysseus plays a major role but the female characters demonstrate their intelligence, authoritative power, and strength within society. The strong women in The Odyssey are exclusive in their character, goals, and connection towards men. Throughout The Odyssey, women are portrayed as

The Odyssey

860 words - 3 pages THE ODYSSEY There are many essential emotions that form the building blocks of one's life. These emotions help to shape the person one becomes and these feelings are emotional necessities to ultimately keep one happy. Nothing makes these feelings more evident than The Odyssey by Homer. The Odyssey is the story of Odysseus who from the many misfortunes he endures becomes a much wiser man, learning not to boast and to respect the Gods. This wisdom

The Odyssey

1257 words - 5 pages The Odyssey’ places emphasis on cunning and guilefulness rather than strength as in the former epic; elucidated in Odysseus’ dealings with Poseidon’s son, the Cyclops Polyphemus. Compelled Composed approximately in 700 B.C., Homer’s epic narrative, ‘The Odyssey’ depicts the homeward voyage of the legendary Greek hero Odysseus. The Epos, commonly known as “The Wanderings of Odysseus” are the protagonists’ recounting of his perilous

The Odyssey

728 words - 3 pages Many forms of popular culture today are inspired by themes, characters, and other references in various types of classical literature. John Denver's song 'Calypso'; is about the relationship between men and women, and he bases this comparison on the relationship between Kalypso and Odysseus in Homer's the Odyssey. In 'Calypso'; Denver portrays women in general as being superior to men by using the beautiful and enchanting goddess, Kalypso

Odyssey Hospitality

724 words - 3 pages Odyssey Hospitality Hospitality 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

The Odyssey

568 words - 2 pages The Odyssey Ryan Crandall Period 5 December 21, 2001 Strength, courage, cunning, and cleverness, these are just some of the many traits that Odysseus must use in the epic, The Odyssey. The Epic, The Odyssey was composed by Homer, a blind poet in 600 BC. Odysseus is the most cleaver, and courageous Greek.Odysseus is very cleaver many times in this epic. For example he finds a way to escape from the Cyclops on his island. The time when he told his

Similar Essays

Odyssey Essay 573 Words

573 words - 2 pages The heroic tale the Odyssey, birds are presented throughout the adventure, perhaps as a image. Understanding the meaning of birds in the story could be crucial to the comprehension of Homer's whole purpose for writing the world-known masterpiece. Gods are immortal, and they rule over the mortal men that live on Earth. In The Odyssey, birds, resulting in mortal understanding, represent the gods behaviours.In many instances, birds represent gods

Odyssey Essay 780 Words

780 words - 3 pages Greek Society Much about the way of life of the ancient Greeks and the role of the individual, wealth, family, social class, and government can be found in Homer?s The Odyssey, translation by Richmond Lattimore. The epic portrays an orderly society with clear values for the individual, family, and social classes to work together. The society valued individual traits of strength, courage, and compassion, family fidelity, and an orderly government

Odyssey Essay

656 words - 3 pages In Homer’s The Odyssey, many happenings interfere with Odysseus’ journey to return home to his wife, Penelope, and son, Telemachus. Self-determination is a strong characteristic that Odysseus portrays in The Odyssey. The three traits that Odysseus portrays as evidence of his self-determination are: endurance, perseverance, and courage. Odysseus, like most humans, has his doubts of confidence, but seems to overcome them. Out of this great

Odyssey Essay 519 Words

519 words - 2 pages Alexandra Danca3rd hour10/11/12Hero OdysseusIn the poem The Odyssey, the main character Odysseus faces many challenges such as facing monsters and sailing the seas. He uses his intelligence and loyalty to get out of these situations. While some people believe that Odysseus' actions throughout the poem demonstrate that he is a flawed leader, actually, Odysseus is an effective leader because he is intelligent and loyal; therefore, the epic poem