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The Odyssey: Greed Essay

748 words - 3 pages

The Greek author Homer wrote an epic poem called The Odyssey, about a man named Odysseus. The poem is centered around one man’s journey to come home after a long and violent ten year war. Odysseus and his crew are trying to get to their homeland, Ithaca. They are tired and hungry and will do anything to get home. Little does Odysseus know that greed will make this journey back home take an additional ten years.
Odysseus and his crew first demonstrate greed when they land on the Island of the Cicones. They noticed that the city was defense less and ask if they should attack. Odysseus agrees that it is tempting, however thinks it might spoil their luck. They argue that the gods “have thrown this fat little city into our laps… They (gods) would be angry if we were to refuse their gift… It would be bad luck not to attack” (Evslin, 5). Odysseus already had treasure from Troy, but they decided to attack. After they raided the city of all its treasure they got drunk on the beach. While they ...view middle of the document...

This bag full of all the winds allows them to have no problems sailing back to Ithaca. They sailed for nine days and nine nights and Ithaca was already in sight, “He told us not to open the sack. Ah but our foolishness spoiled his plan” (Falstein, 43). They thought the bag full of all the winds was containing gold and was not going share it evenly amongst the rest of his men. As he was sleeping, his crew opens the bag and it blew them all the way back to Aeolus. Odysseus asks Aeolus for help once again but he refuses to help because he whom the gods detest no man can help. The struggles of getting back were getting inferior and after having spent a couple more years, they sail to the Island of Thrinacia.
Odysseus and his crew last show evidence of greed landing in the Island of Thrinacia. Tireseus and Circe warned Odysseus not to land on this island, but his men were exhausted and need rest. Odysseus reminds his men “Whosoever of our crew harms these cattle in any way will bring swift doom. Upon himself and will never see home again” (Evslin, 97). They rested a night on the island however, the gods were working against Odysseus and bring a storm upon them. They have spent thirty days on the island they are near death dying of starvation. Eurylochus persuade his men that they should slaughter one cattle, as it is better to die due to your actions because of your inactions. They slaughter six of the cattle and they could not even be patient enough to let the meat cook properly. Meanwhile the sun god is furious and prays to Zeus for vengeance. Odysseus and his crew need to leave immediately to avoid being murdered. To avenge the sun god Zeus sent a terrible storm butchering all of his men and leaving Odysseus alone.


In the end, Odysseus did make it back home to see his wife Penelope and his son Telemachus. Odysseus’s crew show signs of greed throughout the story, and this caused the death of his crew. In addition, it led to many further troubles in the story with the sea god, Poseidon. Odysseus blinded his son the Cyclops, Polyphemus. Although other gods tried to help him with his journey for example Athena and Hermes, they encouraged Odysseus to go back home for his family. Greed took over Odysseus crew as a result it took him an additional ten years to get return home to his family.

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