Strength In The Odyssey

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Homer, a poet from ancient Greece, wrote The Odyssey in which the values of the Greeks are revealed. As the hero, Odysseus, embarks on a journey home from Troy after ten years of war, one sees the traits that he is praised and rebuked for. Odysseus’ incredible strength and courage as well as his confidence both positively and negatively affect the outcomes of his decisions. Odysseus exemplifies exceptional strength and confidence. More often than not, these two characteristics are what keep him alive; however, he relies on them more than he needs to, which gets him in trouble. Odysseus is able to use these traits to his advantage from time to time; however, they could be considered his fatal flaw or downfall. Odysseus’ strength saves his…show more content…
Homer writes that “he lunged for a reef, he seized it with both hand and clung / for dear life, groaning until the giant wave surged past / and so he escaped its force” (5.472-474). Strength and willpower saved his life that day because he was able to hold on. If not, Odysseus would have surely drowned and his journey would have been over. The strength that he demonstrates here aids one in perceiving him as an epic hero. Later, Odysseus lands on yet another island belonging to a goddess: Circes’ island. As half of his men scoop out the land, Odysseus and the other half of his crew await their return. When one man returns, frantic and out of breath, he tells Odysseus of the horrors he witnessed. According to Eurylochus, he “sensed a trap.…show more content…
He carries himself with a great sense of confidence that radiates from him and aids him in making allies and friends out of strangers. Though, from time to time Odysseus seems to boast. When taunted by local Phaeacian men to compete in a discus toss, Odysseus first remains humble and declines. As they continue to press, Odysseus puffs up and tells them of his greatness. Upon beating the local men, Odysseus says, “Of the rest I’d say that outclass them all-- men still alive” (8.252-8.253). His confidence in his ability and strength enabled him to be victorious. In the end, the Phaeacian men were also impressed with his abilities and decided to sail him home. Odysseus significantly shortened his endeavor by making these friends, which he did through confidence. Similarly, as Odysseus was speaking to the Cyclops he says, “So he laid his trap/ but he never caught me, no, wise to the world/ I shot back in my crafty way” (9.316-318). Although he is being exceedingly prideful, Odysseus used his wit and cunning narrowly escape a deadly situation. When accomplishing a feat like this, one should be proud. Through this, he was able to be more confident and brave with the purpose that he could defeat the Cyclops. Odysseus’ pride and confidence assist him in journey as he makes new allies and boosts his
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