Morality In The Odyssey

Good Essays
What is the definition of a good person? The view of a good person changes as time goes on. However, the Odyssey is still the foundation of human morality. The Odyssey, created by Homer, is an ancient telling of a man named Odysseus and his journey home from the Trojan War. The morals found in the Odyssey show readers the benefit of being able to view situations from multiple points of view. Also, the text shows the beneficial outcome of resisting from temptations that distract people from completing their goal. As well, how learning from mistakes can prevent their repetition. The Odyssey, a text of antiquity, serves its purpose as a moral guidebook for contemporary behavior. A distinguished moral in the Odyssey was learning how to view…show more content…
However, Zeus saw the two sides of the gods’ feelings towards Odysseus. “‘Great Odysseus/ who excels all men in wisdom... it’s the Earth-Shaker, Poseidon, unappeased,/ forever fuming against him..’” (1.78-83). Zeus created an equilibrium so that Poseidon could take out his anger on Odysseus through punishment, and Athena receives the duty of making sure Odysseus gets home to Ithaca. Another situation where the moral was shown in the story is the difference between Odysseus and Telemachus’s view towards the suitors. Although they both knew that the suitors had to leave, they had different methods of doing so. “‘And you, if you have any shame in your own hearts,/ you must leave my palace!’”, Telemachus said to the suitors in attempt to remove them from the palace (2.155-56). Telemachus complained about the suitors and threatened them, while Odysseus took another route of action. Odysseus and Telemachus created a complex plan in order to kill each individual suitor who attempted to wed Penelope, Odysseus’s wife (16.298-330). Telemachus saw talking and…show more content…
Odysseus progressively got better at understanding this moral. Throughout Odysseus’ travels, his crew was extremely greedy. When Odysseus’s crew arrived at Ismarus, where the Cicones lived, they killed the men, sacked and robbed the city (9.46-49). Eventually, the Cicones fought back to Odysseus and his crew, making him lose many of his fleets. Odysseus’s crew continued to give into their greediness by sacking and robbing more places and continues to lose fleets. Homer’s message here is if one does not learn from their mistakes, they are going to repeat themselves. Odysseus got better at recognizing his mistakes when he realized that he should not sleep during vital moments of the story. Odysseus slept when his crew opened the bag of wind that made them go back to Aeolus, and many times more. However, the last time he slept was when the Phaeacians took him to Ithaca. “‘Man of misery, whose land have I lit on now?’” (13.226). Odysseus realized the pattern of his situation after he woke up and additionally, the last opportunity he received to sleep, he could not. This proves how he recognizes his mistakes because the pattern that he found was going to an island, asking for help, then ending up at another land. Another pattern with Odysseus is that whenever he sleeps, he takes a few steps back on his journey back to Ithaca. Odysseus learned from his own mistakes, but
Get Access