Importance Of Good Life In The Odyssey

759 Words4 Pages

From Odysseus’ time with Calypso in Ogygia up until the moment he takes back his home and wife from the suitors in Ithaca, the struggles he faces help answer what makes for a good life. Homer uses Odysseus’ journey throughout “The Odyssey” to identify four aspects of a good life: mortality, honor, hospitality, and experiences. Homer reveals that mortality is necessary for a good life when Odysseus denies the opportunity for immortality that Calypso offers, he shows the significance of honor in his description of Odysseus’ bravery in the Trojan war and the consequent respect that Odysseus’ crew has for him, Homer reinforces the importance of hospitality in each city Odysseus travels to, and he conveys that experiences, good or bad, define a good life. The Greeks held their gods in high esteem and therefore when Homer or other characters in the epic refer to Odysseus as being “godlike,” this is one of the highest compliments he could receive. However, when Odysseus is in Ogygia with Calypso, he chooses mortality over immortality, which would truly rank him among the gods. When Calypso is trying to convince Odysseus to stay with her, she reminds him that, “But if you had any idea of all the pain you’re destined to suffer before getting home, you’d stay here with me, deathless,” (5.206-207). Odysseus knows she is right - he will undoubtedly suffer on his way back to Ithaca, especially with Zeus out to get him. Still, he chooses a finite life filled with hardship over an endless

Show More
Open Document