The Importance Of A Sound Mind And Body In Homer's Odyssey

1281 words - 5 pages

The Importance of a Sound Mind and Body in Homer's Odyssey

    If one were to only have a very fit and strong body, lacking mental ability,

to the Greeks it would not suffice. If a man were merely smart and intelligent,

without much physical capability, the Greeks would feel that he is not complete.

They believed an individual must have have both, a well developed mind and a fit

body, not only one or the other, to be ideal. This is the Greek concept of a

sound mind and body. In Homer's Odyssey, Odysseus and Telemachos, had to have

and/or achieve a sound mind and body, to be the successful and outstanding

characters of the epic. The ones who lacked these quality suffered and paid for

it in the end.


      In Books one and two, Telemachos acts immaturely and lacks mental

prowess. For this reason he makes his life difficult. Yet, Later on he matures

and gains a sound mind. Telemachos certainly has a sound body. Menelaos says of

how " amazes me quite, how this young man(Telemachos) looks exactly like

Odysseus, strong and mighty"{page 47}. Yet, he is criticized by others, for the

reason that he does not have a sound mind. In an attempt to stand his ground, in

front of the council he breaks down into tears. Antinoos says "Telemachos you

are a boaster, and you don't know how to keep your temper!"{page 24}. Telemachos

made an attempt to express his valid point of view, and does so, but fails to

convince the council. He breaks down in tears, showing how immature he really is.

He does not have a sound mind. The council basked in this weakness and was even

more critical of him at that point. Later on, he is told of how "(Telemachos),

you speak like a man of sense, you are older than your years, your father is

just the same, you get it from him."{page 48} As his adventure progresses he

grows to be a more complete man, to eventually fighting along side his father

against the "hangers-on"{page 17} that are "tormenting Penelope"{page 16}, to

rid them from his home once and for all.


      Odysseus was triumphant in The Odyssey for the reason that he was a man

who was astute and very clever, at the same time strong and robust. Odysseus,

the man who is never at a loss, was so because he had a sound mind and body.

Odysseus was so ingenious that "he pretended to be a beggar, and entered the

city of Troy and [The Trojans] where all taken in"{page 49}. He was so powerful

that "he leaned hard on (the pole) from above and turned it round and round

(into the eye of the mighty giant Cyclops, blinding him)." He was so quick with

his words, that he could "Appeal to Nausicaa, (so) she brought him to her

father's house"{page 73}, when he was washed up onto shore naked and bruised,

and after swimming for two days. Time and time again, through the many obstacles

he encounters, he...

Find Another Essay On The Importance of a Sound Mind and Body in Homer's Odyssey

The Funeral Games of Patroklos in Homer's Iliad and Odyssey

2341 words - 9 pages The Funeral Games of Patroklos in Homer's Iliad and Odyssey        Coming towards the end of a war which has consumed an entire decade and laid waste the lives of many, the Greek warriors in Troy choose to take the time and energy to hold funeral games.  This sequence of events leaves the reader feeling confused because it's not something one would expect and seems highly out of place.  Throughout the epic Homer tries to describe what

The Role of Penelope in Homer's Odyssey

1201 words - 5 pages   Odysseus's wife, Penelope plays a very important role in Homer's Odyssey.  She provides the motivation for Odysseus's return to Ithaca.  She is also the center of the plot involving the suitors and the fate of Telemakos and Ithaca itself.  The objective of this essay is to analyze the important role of Penelope in Odyssey.              Penelope is the reason for Odysseus's return to Ithaca.  He is driven throughout his entire journey to

Coming of Age in Homer's the Odyssey

1027 words - 4 pages Identity is a theme that runs strongly throughout The Odyssey. While much of Homer's work is devoted to Odysseus' journey, an examination of his son Telemakhos provides an excellent example of character development. From the anxious and unconfident young man to which Book I opens to the courageous exactor of his father's estate, Telemakhos undergoes notable emotional maturation. The spiritual journey illustrated by Telemakhos, through his own

The Portrayal of Women in Homer's Odyssey

1887 words - 8 pages community of family --  and all that entails.  That ideal -- that which Odysseus strives to reestablish through his 20 year Odyssey elevates Penelope to the status of hero in this poem. Her world and all that it represents stands as a commentary on, resolution of, and alternative to,  the effect of the war and violence brought by the males into their world. This approach is core to any argument that represents women as different but equal. Were

Leadership in Homer's, The Odyssey

754 words - 4 pages good leader. In the article "Seven Personal Characteristics of a Good Leader", the author, Barbara White informs the reader on the seven qualities of a good leader and explains each characteristic in detail. In Homer's, The Odyssey, the main character Odysseus displays many leadership traits, one of these traits being courage when he encounters the alluring Sirens in the book of "The Sirens". The second characteristic of a leader that Odysseus

Deception in Homer's The Odyssey

1384 words - 6 pages Cor. 11: 14). Deception is used for many different psychological reasons and it is used in Homer’s The Odyssey by many characters in the poem, including mortals, gods and goddesses. Odysseus is a man of many faces: war hero, adventure seeker, devout Hellenist when he chooses to be, and even bloody murderer. The face he is most known for in The Odyssey, though, is a cunning and deceitful face. As he is planning to escape the cave of the one

The Gods in Homer's The Iliad and The Odyssey

1408 words - 6 pages The Gods in Homer's The Iliad and The Odyssey The stories told in the Iliad and Odyssey are based on stories handed down over several generations, for they preserve (as we have seen) memories of an already quiet far distant past. The two pomes show clear connection in their language and style, in the manner in which their incidents presented, and in the combination of agreement with level, which distinguish their creation. The work was

Achilles in Homer's The Odyssey: A Character Analysis

1205 words - 5 pages when Zeus, the god of gods, sends the King of Troy, Priam, to his tent. The final and permanent evolution of Achilles' character occurs when the King of Troy has come to beg for the body of his son. Priam states;It's all for him I've come to the ships now,to win him back from you - I bring a priceless ransom.Revere the gods, Achilles! Pity me in my own right,Remember your own father! I deserve more pity…I have endured what no one on earth

The Birth of the Gods in Homer's Odyssey

1584 words - 6 pages , Harold ,  Homer's Odyssey: Edited and with an Introduction, NY, Chelsea House 1988 Heubeck, Alfred, J.B. Hainsworth, et al. A commentary on Homer's Odyssey. 3 Vols. Oxford PA4167 .H4813 1988 Jones, Peter V. Homer's Odyssey : a companion to the translation  of Richmond Lattimore.      Carbondale, IL : Southern Illinois University Press, c1988. PA4167 .J66 1988 Peradotto, John , Man in the Middle Voice: Name and Narration in the Odyssey

The Importance of Sound in Advertising

3604 words - 14 pages ). Now with visual representation no longer being the sole view of ads, marketers need new advertising techniques to keep up with the revolution of media. So this is how the importance of sound came about in marketing. From radio advertisements to singing commercials, to even billboards filled with sound, audio has become the new hot shot in advertising. Steve Guttenberg recently wrote a news article for CNET news describing how A&E has taken

Lust in Homer's The Odyssey and Aristophanes’ Lysistrata

1380 words - 6 pages . Two works I have studied, in which lust is a theme, are an epic, Homer's The Odyssey, and a play, Aristophanes’ Lysistrata. In both The Odyssey and Lysistrata, lust is a theme that plays a major role in the course of the story, making the stories similar, but very different. The Odyssey is an epic that tells story of Odysseus as he returns to his home and his wife after fighting in the Trojan War. He is faced with many perils, trials, and

Similar Essays

The Importance Of Identity In Homer's Odyssey

1435 words - 6 pages The Importance of Identity in Homer's Odyssey Within the epic poem "The Odyssey", Homer presents the story of Odysseus's quest to find his home and his identity. According to Homer's account, with its origin in oral tradition, the two quests are interchangeable, as a mortal defines himself with his home, his geographic origin, his ancestors, his offspring, etc. But in addition to this Homer illustrates the other aspect of human identity

The Odyssey: The Greek Ethical Mind Explores The Implications Of Greek Attitudes, Customs, And Culture In Homer's The Odyssey

1072 words - 4 pages his wife.The Odyssey depicts a very different era from that which we live in today with strange customs and social expectations. The readers, who are not familiar with that age where morals and values run rampant, are lured to the book in a similar way explorers are drawn to the unknown. Thus, it is this mysteriousness of the Bronze Age of legends that grasps the reader?s mind and keeps it in an iron grip.

Importance Of Penelope In Homer's Odyssey

1223 words - 5 pages   Odysseus's wife, Penelope plays a crucial role in Homer's ‘The Odyssey’, with not only providing the motivation for Odysseus's return to Ithaca, but she is also the center of the plot involving the suitors and the fate of Telemakos and Ithaca itself.  Therefore the objective of this essay is to analyze the importance of Penelope’s role in ‘The Odyssey’.  As aforementioned Penelope is the main reason for Odysseus's return to Ithaca, as

Importance Of Character In Homer's Odyssey

1135 words - 5 pages Importance of Character in Homer's Odyssey   Odyssey, by Homer, is about Odysseus, the king of Ithaca.  Odysseus fights in the Trojan War and wins.  He travels towards Ithaca but does not reach it because he is not in favor of Poseidon, god of the sea, who prevents his return.  For many years, Odysseus wanders the seas and has many adventures.  Meanwhile, suitors attempt to marry Penelope, Odysseus' wife, but she