Secondary Characters In Odysseus In Homer's Odyssey

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Ruled by emotions, our overpowering heart makes us human. For Odysseus, he was ruled by the emotion of arrogance on his journey home after his Trojan War victory. Arrogance is a matter of the mind; the mind deceives humans into thinking that they are greater than the bigger picture of life. By believing himself above the gods, Odysseus spends ten years to reach his wife Penelope and son Telemachus, all while encountering characters of challenge and temptation. In Odysseus’ story, the secondary characters symbolize the traits of human experience, such as greed, lust, love, and hope that will serve to teach Odysseus of his humanity.

Greed is one of the seven deadly sins of humanity, influenced by the thought of the right to riches. Greed corrupts, as illustrated in Odysseus’ crew and the suitors. With the wind god’s, Aeolus, blessing, Odysseus had caught sight of Ithaca in 9 short days after encountering Polyphemus the Cyclops. Greed, however, overcame Odysseus’ crew and they disregard their love and want to get home for suspicions that Odysseus must be hiding riches from them in the mysterious bag Aeolus gave him. “How should this man get honored while we, who have
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To learn his lesson of humility, Odysseus must first overcome greed by persevering home and prevailing when his crew did not. Then, Odysseus is shown the desideratum of love and lust and its part in human nature through Calypso and Penelope. Lastly, the motivation of hope, especially in situations where there is none, is proven to impel humanity forward exhibited by the lotus eaters and Telemachus. All three of these traits, portrayed through the secondary characters, enlighten the lesson of humanity and the importance of being humble with mortality upon Odysseus on his journey. In epic stories like these, the traits that make us human, both good and bad, make a story worth reading and a life worth

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