The decisions Odysseus made during the long trip to Ithaca made positive differences in the story’s result. Odysseus tricked the Cyclops by giving him false information about his identity which opened up the opportunity to escape. Another wise decision made by Odysseus was the fact that he took the path past Scylla recommended by Circe to get home which killed six of his men compared to them all. During the Siren’s song, Odysseus had the men plug their ears and tie him to a post so he would be able to hear the song but keep everyone safe. It may sound wrong for Odysseus not to inform the others of the dangers the crew would face, but if he did the crew would have messed up the plans to get home and chickened out during the
He fights to the best of his abilities against many monsters such as Polyphemus, Circe, and the sea monster Scylla. There has been many claims that Odysseus isn’t hero because he lets his crew die. Just because his crew didn’t survive, it certainly does not mean he isn’t a hero. He tries his very best and even test his limits in order to get him and his crew back home. An example of this is in Homer’s ‘The Odyssey” where Odysseus tries to persuade his crew to bypass Thrinacia, the island of the sun god Helios, but they were too stubborn and insisted on landing.
Throughout the Odyssey, Odysseus is known through many names from the characters he encounters. For instance, he is known as “raider of cities” (561) implying that Odysseus’ reputation will be known toward other islands that he has blinded a Cyclops. This means that other people will know and they will beware of Odysseus. Odysseus’ idea of heroism is him spreading his name so people would be terrified of him. Odysseus also says he his is “Laertes’ son” (561) which is saying that he is the King of Ithaca and related to the god, Zeus.
The Flaws of Homeric Xenia The Odyssey, written by Homer and translated by Robert Fagles, presented ancient Greece as a world filled with monsters, gods, and temptresses, all along side the mortal man. As a mortal man, Odysseus’ venture featured tremendous plight stemming from both immortals and mortals; however, Odysseus was able to overcome his extenuating circumstances aided by both Athena, and the concept of Xenia. As consequence, Xenia had an unequivocally positive impact on Odysseus as he ultimately would not have succeeded in his journey back home without the hospitality of strangers. Nonetheless, this essay will argue that while Xenia solidifies relationships between mortal men, it ultimately can be used as a tool of segregation between man and the mythical, as well as dehumanizing those of different cultures and religions. Xenia is the Homeric Greek concept of hospitality.
Odysseus is perceived as the most cunning of men due to the many tales about him in the Trojan wars. This image of cunning continues to show at times during his early challenges; in these challenges Odysseus gradually proceeds to display his shortcomings. Once a trial becomes personal towards him, he neglects his cunning and becomes a spineless revenge seeker. It is clear that while dealing with the Cyclops Odysseus holds his cunning nature intact as well as beginning to shed light on his tragic flaw. While his men were being caged by the Cyclops, Odysseus re-introduces his cunning nature with the strategic plan he devised in order to free his men.
His crew tried to get Odysseus to move forward, but he had to show his dominance. The second weakness of the great Odysseus was that he had a bad anger management problem. His temper truly showed when he almost cut off the head of Eurylochos when he said he would not go back to Circe’s house. Odysseus would have lost a good comrade if his crew did not stop him to make Odysseus realize his temper had sent in and took over him. The last weakness of Odysseus was a characteristic of lust in which he showed against Circe his lover.
This is problematic, since Odysseus does not always realizes when the risks outweigh the benefits. Lastly, Odysseus tries to gain glory by spreading his name across each land he visits, so that his heroic tales are passed along throughout each population. This too, unfortunately for Odysseus, comes with a price as well. After blinding the Cyclops, Odysseus cannot help himself but to shout, “Cyclops – if any man on the face of the earth should ask you who blinded you, shamed you so – say Odysseus, raider of cities, he gouged out your eye, Laertes’ son who makes his home in Ithaca!” (9.558-562). After calling out to the Cyclops and revealing his complete identity, Odysseus’ ships were driven off course in the complete opposite direction, further delaying their journey home.
Polyphemus’ purpose in The Odyssey is to show the two sides of Odysseus – the clever hero and the rash idiot – by providing obstacles for Odysseus to overcome. The way that a person responds to a challenge says much about the person themselves. Polyphemus asks: “But tell me, / Where did you leave your ship? Far / Down by the coast, or close? I’d like to know” (Odyssey.9.274-276), not out of the goodness of his heart, but because he wants to destroy their ship.
Pride is one of Odysseus' greatest weaknesses. It is what costs him so much loss of time on his way home. A good example of this is when he taunts the cyclops after blinding and outwitting him and is then cursed by Poseidon to keep the cyclops satisfied. His other big weakness is his curiosity. While we may not consider this a weakness, for Odysseus it is.
He couldn’t avoid any of the obstacles because they were going to be in his way. Many argue that it’s not Odysseus fault that he had temptations and that he was seduced. That is not true. He brought most things on himself because he was cunning, a good liar, and he had quick thinking. When he stabbed Polyphemus, he brought Poseidon’s hatred on himself because he could have just left without stabbing the Cyclops in the eye.