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Odyssey's Heroic Journey Essay

893 words - 4 pages

One faces enormous challenges throughout life. In the famous saying, “Life isn’t about how many times an individual falls, but rather how he picks himself up,” its obvious obstacles make up his character. This applies to Odyssey who follows a hero’s journey. Several times he fails and goes through rough patches. But, in the end he is able to return to his home above all. Odysseus works through challenges to become a hero earning this status by his perseverance, humility, and cleverness.
First off, Odysseus’s determination leads to a strong sense of survival which allows him to complete a treacherous journey. Do not repeat! There are several complications which put Odysseus’s life on the line. In the ancient world, the god’s controlled everything and getting on their wrong side could result in major problems. At one point, Odysseus angers Poseidon’s son, making a grudge against the two. Poseidon promises his son he will do try his hardest to either kill Odysseus, or return him to Ithaka as an unknown man. It takes all of Odysseus’s will-power to respect the gods and prevent an untimely death. The pinnacle of Odysseus’s problem is his trip to Hades. Here, he literally faces death and must face several memories of people who he has affected in some way, shape, or form. Odysseus even has to struggle for things that should be granted to him free of harm. When he returns home, he expects to reclaim his wife, but first needs to fight off all her suitors. Secondly, Odysseus has problems controlling his men, and their insubordinate actions lead to serious ramifications. The best example of this is when they eat the divine cattle of Helios. He turns to the gods to fix his crews downfalls. Lastly, Odysseus survives by persisting through tough decisions. In order to guarantee at least the majority of his crew’s safety, he chooses Skylla over Kharybdis. This is over the chance of all members getting out alive. The other tough call he makes is consciously be unfaithful to his wife and sleeps with another woman. He does this with reason. By sleeping with Kirke, he keeps his crew and himself safe and sheltered.
Secondly, by regaining his modesty, Odysseus succeeds in reaching a further point in heroism. Don’t repeat! The first time he accepts the fact the gods have control is during the revelation. The revelation occurs in Hades, when Odysseus begins to change his way of thinking. He says, “Teiresias, my life runs on then as the gods have...

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