Essay On The Character Of Odysseus In Homer's Odyssey

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Odysseus is simultaneously one of the smartest and dumbest Greek heros. Taking place after the infamous Trojan war, Homer’s The Odyssey, chronicles the journey of Odysseus back to his home, Ithaka. However his ingenious mind seems worn out from the war as along the way he constantly makes mistakes that set him farther and farther away from home. Even with the gray-eyed goddess Athena helping as much as she can, simple judgement errors pop up everywhere. Ultimately, Odysseus is undoubtedly clever in the moment, his inability to plan ahead or see the hypothetical consequences of his actions often creates the need for his quick-thinking. Even before meeting the Kyklops, Odysseus doesn’t use the critical thinking we know he has. While rowing to the Kyklops mainland, they saw that “A prodigious man slept in this cave alone, and took his flocks to graze afield- remote from all companions, knowing none but savage…show more content…
Other times there is just a disconnect between the obvious and the outcomes of the actions. This air-headish behavior is one of the main causes it takes him twenty years to get home. At every turn there is a problem, and yes he usually escapes them, but most of the times he is the reason he is in them. Either tiredness or something else is keeping Odysseus from using that part of his brain for everything. We know it couldn’t be a spur of the moment dumbness because he figured out the Kyklops killing was a bad idea in a “sudden fear”. Athena praises Odysseus for his smarts but seems to ignore his obvious faults. In the time he is being swept all over the Mediterranean sea, more and more problems that stem from poor planning happen. At some point Athena should catch on to this. Or, she already has and for some reason ignores his transgressions. Overall though, once Odysseus arrives home, he will have to deal with the angry suitors in such a way that it doesn’t backfire on him and lead to more strife.
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