Examples Of Paradoxes In Homer's Odyssey

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Homer’s The Odyssey is a story about a man named Odysseus and his journey and misfortune that occurs while trying to return home. Due to its origins in oral improvisation, The Odyssey is characterized by many paradoxes. However, these paradoxes can and do function within the context of the story. One paradox in The Odyssey is how Odysseus is constantly praised as an incredibly capable hero, yet he seems to always need a god to help him out of trouble. Despite the seemingly contradictory nature of this statement, both can be true considering that the times when he needs a god’s help are when another god created the problem in the first place. On the other hand, Odysseus is capable of saving himself when higher powers are not involved in creating the problem. Odysseus is constantly praised by others in the story, yet rarely seems to live up to these expectations. Odysseus is praised by Zeus, the single most powerful god, calling him “Great Odysseus, who excels all men in wisdom” (1.78-9). Odysseus is also praised by mortals, such as Menelaus, a king. While recounting the war, he says, “No one, no Achaean labored hard as Odysseus labored or achieved so much” (4.119-20). Similarly he also gushes about Odysseus’ plan with the Trojan horse, saying, “What a heart that fearless Odysseus had inside him! What a piece of work the hero dared and carried off in the wooden horse” (4.303-5). All of this praise implies that Odysseus is a strong and intelligent man, capable of coming up

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