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Testing Odysseus Essay

876 words - 4 pages

Although out the epic poem The Odyssey the greek gods constantly challenged and tested a war hero named Odysseus; who is trying to get home to his wife and child. The gods are angry at Odysseus for taking all the credit for winning the Trojan war, now they want him to suffer. Odysseus is determined to get home no matter the challenge or obstacle. The Gods also test his will to go home, his faith, and his strengths.

Odysseus’s will to go home is diminished by distracting beautiful women. During his journey he comes across many beautiful women. Odysseus spends years with a nymph named Calypso only leaving the comfort of the island because Hermes tells that Calypso must let Odysseus go home. “Son of Laerte; versatile Odysseus after these years with me you still desire your old home?” (lines 101-104) Odysseus said yes, even with her beauty Odysseus’s mind was still set on getting home to his family. Even though his mind was set to go home his some of his men’s weren’t; some ate lotus flowers and lost all desire to go home. Once Odysseus got home he was not discouraged by Penelopes doubt that an old beggar is Odysseus. He let Penelope test him. “Peace; let your mother test me at her leisure before long she will see and know me best.”(lines 1331-1332) Odysseus is not just going to give up at the end of his journey. Odysseus is confident that he will pass any test Penelope throws his way. No matter the challenge or distraction Odysseus’s will to go home is strong and eventually he does get home.

Odysseus’s faith, and loyalty to his religion is tested. Odysseus has to play by the gods rules if he ever wants to return to Ithaca. Odysseus doesn’t always play by their rules, he often mocks Poseidon even though he knows the punishments that he will face. Poseidon’s son Polyphemus does not show hospitality to his guests Odysseus and his crew so they punish Polyphemus. The stab a stick in the cyclops’s eye and escape. Ignoring the fact that he is Poseidon's son he yells at the Cyclops “O cyclops! Would you feast on my companions? Punny am I, in a caveman’s hands? How do you like the beating we gave you, you damned canibal? Eater of guest under your roof! Zeus and the gods have paid you!” (lines 476-480) Later Polyphemus hurls a bolder at them and calls abond his father Poseidon to punish Odysseus. Odysseus is cocky and thinks he...

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