The Complex Odyssey Of Odysseus Essay

1126 words - 5 pages

According to both Greek and Homeric values humans should have reason, but very often they express passion, which leads to contradictory emotions and obstacles in life. Odysseus, a man with a complex life, struggles with many internal, personal contradictions that have a collective impact on his decisions throughout his existence. The most important contradictions Odysseus faces are loyalty and betrayal; humility and hubris; and wisdom and folly,
Throughout the Odyssey Odysseus faces an internal battle between loyalty and betrayal in the presence of numerous temptations. Odysseus’s first situation was with Kalypso. Although Odysseus does cheat on Penelope with Kalypso, he still remains loyal, and his love for her hardly wanes. Kalypso says to Odysseus while trying to persuade him to stay, “Can I be less desirable than she is? / … Can mortals compare with goddesses in grace and form?” (Homer 87). When Kalypso says this to him she is basically advising Odysseus to continue cheating on his wife, which contradicts Odysseus’s values. Odysseus, despite his “experimentations”, remains in love with Penelope, he says, “Yet, it is true, each day / I long for home” (Homer 87). When he says this he is saying that although he makes mistakes, what he truly longs for is his wife and family. This shows that Odysseus is a loyal man, who respects his wife and more importantly respects himself. After he leaves Kalypso Odysseus expresses his determination for his home by not giving in, and he has Athena and Ino on his side; therefore, the gods are watching over him and are predicting a good fate for Odysseus. Besides Kalypso, Odysseus experiences other temptations and goes through other complex obstacles. He deals with Kirke, the sirens, and even trivial obstacles like the lotus plants; however, these minor occurrences cause burdens in Odysseus’s life, and they make him confront difficult situations. Odysseus is deceived by Kirke’s beauty and falls for her mysterious ways, but his devotion continues for Penelope. Kirke, deceiving Odysseus with her quick mind, says, “your cruel wandering is all you think of, / never of joy, after so many blows” (Homer 179). Kirke’s desire for the men and her persistence captured Odysseus’s logic, and he ends up living with her for quite awhile, but thankfully his reason comes back. Odysseus’s odyssey was so complex that even small occurrences like the sirens and the lotus plants make him reconsider his priorities and what is truly important to him and his future.
Odysseus has a sense of hubris that leads to adversity and causes him harm, he also has humility; however, the lack of balance between these emotions takes Odysseus through many tough obstacles. When Odysseus tricks Polyphemos, he does it logically, and he uses his mind and reason; however, his hubris comes out when he feels the need to expose his true identity thus leading to his difficulty to return to Ithaka and future problems. Odysseus’s men beg him to stop...

Find Another Essay On The Complex Odyssey of Odysseus

Odysseus of the Odyssey and Moses of Exodus

1019 words - 4 pages Odysseus of the Odyssey and Moses of ExodusThe Book of Exodus is considered to be an epic poem as bydefinition. An epic poem as defined by Funk and Wagnalls is a poemcelebrating in stately, formal verse the achievements of heroes, gods, anddemigods (426). The Book of Exodus as well as the entire Bible was writtenin the form of an epic poem. Major characteristics of epic poems are thatthere is always a heroic figure. Moses is indeed comparable to

Odysseus as Pawn of the Gods in Homer's Odyssey

1661 words - 7 pages Odysseus as Pawn of the Gods in The Odyssey    Throughout literature characters have relied upon entities greater then themselves to furnish them with aid as they meet the many challenges they must face. The Odyssey is a tale of Odysseus’ epic journey and the many obstacles that bar his return home. But Odysseus is not alone in this struggle and receives aid from many gods, especially the clear-eyed goddess Athena. There are times when

The Trials of Odysseus Depicted in Homer's Odyssey

674 words - 3 pages Picture a water-logged, bearded man floundering about in the ocean, yet never failing nor drowning. This is Odysseus, King of Ithaka, trying to survive. In The Odyssey by Homer, characters in the story were impacted by significant events, and emerged either more joyful, or more depressed than before. Telemakhos journeyed on a long voyage to find his father, enduring much pain in the process that eventually lead to reunion with his father. His

Odysseus Character Analysis In The Odyssey

771 words - 3 pages Odysseus: Not Just Another Hero In Homer's epic poem, The Odyssey, Odysseus possesses the qualities of compassion and patience, ability of human weakness and love for his family, which qualify him as an epic hero.Odysseus constantly expresses love for his family throughout The Odyssey. As Odysseus finally arrives home and sees his son for the first time in twenty years, Homer writes, "Held back too long, the tears ran down his cheeks as he

This paper covers the topic of Odysseus being a false heroin: "The Odyssey".

805 words - 3 pages Odysseus: A False Hero.Throughout the story of the Odyssey, the character Odysseus is certainly depicted as an epic hero. However, people's opinions on what a hero actually is differ. To some, Odysseus is not considered a hero on any level. To even be considered a hero, one must fulfill three main characteristics. One of the three characteristics is bravery. One must certainly be brave to ever accomplish anything. Another characteristic is

How did Odysseus display the characteristics of a hero in the The Odyssey?

771 words - 3 pages hero always stays alive because that person has to complete a task or duty in the end. There are many differences and similarities between heroes of the past and present. Heroes exist everywhere, in the past, present, and future.Heroes existed in the past, and one of the best heroes of all time was Odysseus from Homer's The Odyssey. "A man, one who was never at a loss," from Homer's The Odyssey. Odysseus was a man who was witty and sly and always

Comparing and Contrasting the Journeys of Odysseus’ and Telemachus’ in The Odyssey

887 words - 4 pages change into a man. They were the main conflict in the story for him and they also played a small role in affecting the changes of his father. Without the suitors, abuse of xenia could not have been displayed, Telemachus would not have had much reason to mature and there would not have been as much interest in the book for readers. Over their travels in the epic The Odyssey, both Odysseus’ and his son Telemachus’ adventures were parallel but at the same time different. These travels led them both to grow and change drastically, and both learned some very important life lessons over the course of this epic.

The Heroic Qualities of Odysseus (The Odyssey) and Everett (O Brother, Where Art Thou)

824 words - 3 pages Odysseus and Ullysseus Everett McGill are similar characters because of their perseverance, cleverness, and their leadership abilities. In The Odyssey, Odysseus portrays an important trait to the story, perseverance. His perseverance really stands out as something that he has and always will have. On his long journey home, he never gives up and just stays where he is, no matter how tempting. He always manages to push through and keep getting

A reflection of Odysseus and Modern Day Heroes "The Odyssey" by Homer

1717 words - 7 pages Written about two thousand and seven hundred years earlier, the Odyssey is still influencing modern storytelling today. Odysseus, the legendary Greek king of Ithaca and protagonist of Homer's epic poem the Odyssey was recognized as a great hero of his time. He was known for his defining qualities of superior strength and athleticism, sharp intellect, sensual ness, and a thirst for glory. These character traits are still being used to attribute

This is about how Penelope procrastinates about remarrying throughout the Odyssey with hopes of Odysseus' return.

572 words - 2 pages "Procrastinating Penelope" In the beginning of the Odyssey, Penelope and Telemakhos are waiting for the homecoming of Odysseus. Odysseus has been gone for many years at Troy and his family is awaiting his return home, concept of nustros. At this time it seems rather unusual for them to still have any kind of hope on his return because it has been so long. In particular, Penelope is awaiting Odysseus' return although there is not much hope

herody Odysseus as Epic Hero of Homer's Odyssey

1034 words - 4 pages Odysseus as Epic Hero of Homer's Odyssey        Homer's epic poem The Odyssey is about Odysseus' ten-year journey home from the Trojan War and what Odysseus has to do when he returns.  The journey itself is quite a story.  Odysseus and his men come in contact with many obstacles that they must overcome and there are more hurdles to jump when Odysseus reaches his destination.  Odysseus is an epic hero who, besides showing superhuman

Similar Essays

The Trials Of Odysseus Of Homer's Odyssey

1654 words - 7 pages The Trials of Odysseus  Homer's epic poem The Odyssey was written after his Iliad which told the tales of the Trojan War. This Odyssey told of the wanderings of a prominent warrior and ruler, Odysseus. Odysseus fought in the Trojan War and, after the Greeks claimed their victory at Troy, began his prolonged journey home. During his travels Odysseus faced many obstacles which he had to overcome. Through his wanderings, Odysseus had to

Odysseus Of Homer's Odyssey Essay

712 words - 3 pages “ Sing in me, Muse, and through me tell the story of that man skilled in all ways of contending, the wanderer, harried for years on end, after he plundered the stronghold on the proud height of Troy.” (Homer page 751 lines: 0-4) That was an opening prayer from The Odyssey. The Odyssey is about a 20 year-long travel of a man named Odysseus. He traveled to Troy facing the dangers on many mythical creatures and many fictional

Traits Of The Hero Odysseus In The Odyssey By Homer

1151 words - 5 pages is an Epic poem written by Homer, a greek poet who lived in the eighteen hundred to the seventeen hundred BC. The Odyssey is the story of a hero named Odysseus, who is in a struggle to return home to his Kingdom Ithaca and his family (his wife Penelope and his son Telemachus). While on his way home, he feels it is necessary to see his future by Tiresias, a fortune telling prophet of Thebes. Sadly through the prophet’s telling, Odysseus is warned

The Amazing Leadership Of Odysseus In Homer's The Odyssey

825 words - 3 pages The epic poem The Odyssey by the ancient Greek writer Homer takes us deep into the life of a man called Odysseus. As the reader gets to know Odysseus many sides of his character are exposed through the challenges he faces. Though he and his crew face danger and obstacles every step of the way Odysseus’s character hardly changes. The entire book Odysseus longs to see his wife but he is a good man and a courageous leader. When the times get