Role Of Temptation In The Odyssey

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The role of temptation plays a huge role in the story of Odysseus. The Odyssey is a Greek epic, and while the examples of temptation may be difficult to spot at first, there are many to show. The first example takes place on Calypso’s island, when she doesn’t want Odysseus to go. Next, there is the bag of winds that his crew are tempted to open. Finally, there is the example of the mystical Sirens. As one can already see from this introduction, temptation plays a huge part in the story of Odysseus.

Calypso has kept Odysseus prisoner on her island, keeping him from returning home. Odysseus has been trapped on Calypso’s island for seven whole years! When Hermes come to Calypso’s island with a message from Zeus -- to let Odysseus go-- she agrees, albeit reluctantly. However, she gives him a choice. In Book Five she asks him “If I
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The Keeper of the Winds, Aeolus, gives Odysseus and his crew a bag of storm winds to advance his journey home. His ship begins to draw close to his homeland, Ithaca. They could even see the shoreline from the ship! However, his crew are tempted by the bag of winds. They believe it could contain riches, such as gold, gems, or silver. Opening the bag, the ship is blown all the way back to Aeolus’ island. The sailors giving into temptation slows the journey back home by months. This is yet another example of how temptation affects the…show more content…
Some people believe they literally symbolize temptation. The Sirens lure sailors to their doom on the rocky shore by tempting them with their singing, making them steer their ship towards rocks. Odysseus resists this temptation by tying himself to the mast and putting wax in his crew's’ ears. Odysseus seems to be one of the only people in this epic who is clever enough to resist temptation, as these various examples have shown. Others, such as his crew, are not so
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