Primarily, near the beginning of the book, in the stories that Odysseus recounts to Alkinoos, Odysseus tells of his past self, who identified himself as a hero who would always prevail. In the retelling of past events, Odysseus talks of sailing home from the Trojan War and landing on the Island of the Kyklopes. When his crew is bustling to leave a cave on the island, after sacking it, Odysseus tells Alkinoos “..., I refused. I wished / to see the caveman, what he had to offer - / no pretty sight, it turned out, for my friends” (9. 248-250). Odysseus, seeing himself as a hero character, led to him to be arrogant, making the decision to stay in the cave, putting his crew in harm’s way. And in turn, driving the story forward.
n The Odyssey, Odysseus deceiving people closest to him, including Eumaeus and Telemachus, shows how deception can easily fool others; even the ones that know you best. Due to the help from the Phaeacians, Odysseus, the king of Ithaca, has just returned home. With assistance from the goddess Athena, Odysseus turns into a beggar and goes to the swineherd Eumaeus to avoid the suitors at his palace. Eumaeus asks about his identity, and Odysseus tricks him by telling him that he is a man from Crete, who suffered many troubles in coming to Ithaca. Eventually, Telemachus, the son of Odysseus, comes back from Sparta and learns about the suitors’ plans to kill him. To avoid this, Telemachus also goes to Eumaeus’ house, where he sees Odysseus, but decides not to question him. During dinner, Telemachus eventually musters up the
By revealing his true identity to the Cyclops, Odysseus unknowingly curses himself and his crew for the rest of their journey. The Cyclops is a son of Poseidon and the god performs countless acts which continuously setback Odysseus and his men on their journey home. This is a perfect example of when Odysseus is overcome with fame and can only think for himself. Had he not been so self-centered, he wouldn’t have cost the lives of countless amount of his men later in the
Depending on the circumstances and on the relationship he has with the person he is talking to, Odysseus can guide them into doing what he intends through his clever wording and lies. He often uses his lies for his individual welfare, such as keeping his identity secret or receiving help. Other times, Odysseus lies for the well-being of others, by giving them hope and happiness. Odysseus’s utilization of lie not only reveals his resourcefulness in his cunning, but also his thoughtfulness for others. Odysseus’s lies, which might be seen as only a way to conceal his identity, actual discloses aspects of his and other character personalities we would otherwise not
Deception is a recurring theme throughout the novel. The Greeks used numerous tricks and lies when telling their famous myths. Stories such as Europa, Odysseus and Polyphemus, and the legendary Trojan war exemplify the trickery among the gods and goddesses, heroes, monsters, and mortals.
This shows bad character because he is acting arrogant. This puts his crew in danger because Odysseus angers the Cyclopes whose father has control over the ocean Odysseus and his crew are on. The “hero” shows bad character once again when he tells his crew about the “Sirens/ weaving a haunting song over the sea” (12.1245-1246), but leaves out the adventure they are going to encounter with the Scylla and Charybdis. The Greek hero proves he has bad qualities again when he becomes untrustworthy. His crew trusts him, but they do not know that he does not tell the whole truth. Overall, Odysseus is often portrayed as a “model hero”, but in reality he has many faults such as being untrustworthy, arrogant and
Before leaving The Land of the Dead, Teiresias told Odysseus that they will face destruction and only he will survive to return home. After the prophecy, Odysseus and his men encountered Charybdis and Scylla. To avoid destruction, Odysseus demanded his men to sail the ship quickly through Scylla and hug onto the cliff. Odysseus did not want his men to lose hope and turn against him if they knew that only Odysseus would return home. To avoid his men going against him, “Odysseus does not tell his men of Circe’s last prophecy-that he will be the only survivor of their long journey,” (Homer 716-719). Odysseus’s dishonesty admitted that lying can get you to progress to where you want to be. To get his men motivated, Odysseus did not tell his crew that only he will survive the journey. Instead, Odysseus lied by getting their hopes up of returning home, when in the end he knows that they will not make it back. In order to achieve his objective, he did this to avoid losing everything but to obtain the significant help of his men. So rather than sailing toward Charybdis to lose all his men and the ship, he chose to sail toward Scylla to have a greater chance of coming
At various times throughout the story, mainly through the trials, Odysseus made many decisions and forced his crew to go through many potentially lethal situations without preparing his own crew, or situations that were just a waste of time. This then leads to not only all of his crew being killed but the creation of many bad relationships. The first example of Odysseus mistreating his crew is when he and his crew went through the trails, “No more. Come, / let me tell you about the voyage fraught with hardship / Zeus inflicted on me, homeward bound from Troy...” 9.42-44. During these trials, many burdens were put on Odysseus’ crew, which led to all of his crew eventually all being killed before returning to Ithaca. The 2nd instance where Odysseus made a wrong choice that affected his crew is when he didn’t even really trust his crew. So he stayed up for days straight and
The main character Odysseus in the Odyssey written by Homer is generally thought to be a great hero; however, he shows more traits of a quite flawed character on closer inspection. Around the beginning of Odysseus’ journey home after the war, Odysseus decides to take a detour to the home of a cyclops deciding to not listen to his men’s suggestions to leave while they still could; consequently, it does not end well: “Ah, how sound that was, Yet I refused. I wished to see the caveman, what he had to offer no pretty sight it turned out, for my friend” (9.130-132). This thought by Odysseus shows that he realized his decision to go to the mysterious island wasn’t the most rational one and that his men’s pleas to leave were the better option, but he decides to be stubborn and place his curiosity before his men’s safety resulting in a non-heroic
Throughout the story of The Odyssey, Odysseus uses a lot of deceit and dishonesty to get himself out of trouble which leads to the deaths of his men. One such decision was to boast to Polyphemus, which is explained in the quote,“After he had regained his ship, Odysseus could not help shouting
As a leader, Odysseus has to be resilient and firm but he is falling into too many traps. Nonetheless, he is a tenacious man who is focused to arrive in Ithaca. When King Aeolus captured the winds and gave it to him so it could blow them straight on their course for home, he stays up for nine days, determined that nothing will get in his way of arriving back home. Although they sight Ithaca in the distance, Odysseus' men open the bag while he sleeps because they speculate that King Aeolus gave him gold and riches. Once the bag opens, the gust of wind throws them off course and pushes them back to Aeolia. Their jealousy got in the way of what was truly right. When finally landing in Ithaca, he learns that loyalty is something that shouldn't be broken, especially when some of the suitors are from Ithaca, Odysseus' own homeland. This means that the suitors are disloyal to their King because they are courting his wife, stealing all his food, and slaughtering his animals for their feasts. Most importantly, they are plotting to kill Telemachus and Odysseus if he is ever to return to the island. He learns that the only way he can show that he is a firm leader is to reveal to all of Ithaca who he truly is. He does this by transforming back to his true form and slaughtering those who defied
If he would have not lied to his men about the obstacles they would be facing, things probably would have ended very differently. Circe told him what types of obstacles he will encounter and what two paths he could take. Of course, Odysseus wanted to take difficult challenges, how to defeat Scylla and or the Charybdis, which can cause death. Due to what can happen, he decided not to tell men about difficult challenges that they have to do to return home. He does not want his men to panic because panicking can lead to a worse situation. The men survived The Sirens, but once they are close to the Scylla, Odysseus told them nothing. “I told them nothing, as they could do nothing. They would have dropped their oars again, in panic, to roll for cover under the decking.” (Homer, Book 12 Lines 161-164). Six of his were killed. Finally, they reached the island called Thrinacia. He told his men not to eat the cattle, but he did not mention what can happen if they do. Due to eating the cattle, all men on the ship died except for
Heroism, tends to be difficult to define and remarkably ambiguous in literary works. In the Odyssey, however, Homer clearly defines a hero as a humble, determined, and loyal individual; thus, according to Homer, it is not enough to claim to be a hero, but it is also important to exhibit those qualities that Homer values as heroism. Odysseus, despite claiming heroism, upholds these traits inconsistently, as seen in his taunting of Polyphemus. In contrast, Telemachus, Odysseus’ overlooked son, dramatically grows up over the course of the epic and ultimately reveals his truly heroic qualities by the end of the poem. Thus, because Odysseus claims to be a hero, but fails to remain humble, determined, and loyal throughout the epic, he is not a hero.
In The Odyssey, Odysseus’ journey is created by a cycle of self-created obstacles that are solved by quick witted thinking and ultimately reflect no real desire to learn from his errors or create any character development. Throughout the story, Odysseus expresses a strong desire to return home to Ithaca, however he is constantly thwarted by his own curious and boastful nature. For example, when
First off there is the fact that he is faithful. Though many years have passed since he left home he has never stopped trying to get back, proving the statement to be true. Second, he is loyal. Though his crew members were captured many times he always went to rescue them. For instance when he saved them from the Lotus Eaters or when he went to get them from Circe. He could have left and kept going straight for home but he instead went back to save them, this leading into another quality of Odysseus. Bravery. Throughout his venture he has stayed courageous, getting past the Cyclopes, Circe, and sirens. Now, he does have a multitude of great qualities but, despite all of the good that he has done, Odysseus still has flaws. Firstly, when he had finally gotten past the Cyclopes and they were far off from the shore he shouted out to the Cyclopes “’Would you feast on my companions? Puny, am I, in a Caveman’s hands? How do you like the beating we gave you…’”, letting his anger get the better of him. This is a fatal flaw that could have killed him and the rest of his crew. Another flaw is that he let himself fall into the luxury of Circe’s home when he could have left once he had the rest of his men back. Instead he stayed for many months until finally remembering he needed