T. H True Love In Homer's Odyssey

1124 Words5 Pages
In today’s popular culture, love is often portrayed as this raw, carnal attraction between two individuals. Love has been depicted in a variety of ways from civilizations past. The Greeks viewed love similarly to today’s culture, focusing on passion and sexual attraction to the physicality of another human. In The Odyssey, Calypso made love to Odysseus many times. On the flipside, the Romans viewed love as irrelevant and in some times detrimental to the progression of the empire; for example Dido in The Aeneid was so blindly in love with Aeneas that she became psychologically deranged and committed suicide. Are these portrayals of love correct? True love, as described in the Epic of Gilgamesh and The Odyssey, is a genuine commitment to another human in lieu of sexual allure. In the beginning of the Epic of Gilgamesh, Gilgamesh runs amok through the Sumerian city of Uruk.…show more content…
In The Odyssey, Odysseus has an extensive affair with Calypso, a nymph, on his return voyage after the fall of Troy. Prior to his arrival to her island, Odysseus lost his crew to a shipwreck leaving him distraught and tired. Calypso accepts Odysseus and treats him well, seeing that he is a handsome. She provides several amenities including ambrosia, nectar, and daily sex. From a Greek perspective, such a deal would bring one to paradise: an immortal life filled with sensual pleasures. Despite such an offer, Odysseus declines. Instead, he “groans, with eyes wet scanning the bare horizon of the sea,” longing for his wife and true love, Penelope (Fitzgerald 85). To Odysseus, sex with a beautiful goddess is not satisfying. Odysseus does not derive his greatness from his quest but because of his “unwavering devotion...in particular to the love of his own wife” (Adler 246). His true desire is to be reunited with Penelope. For this very reason, Odysseus does not reciprocate the attraction that Calypso
Open Document