In The Odyssey, temptation is a theme repeatedly explored by Homer. The issue of temptation is constantly providing the protagonist, Odysseus, with conflicts. From the very beginning of the epic tale, with Paris’s lust for Helen, temptation causes mayhem in the lives of the characters. It repeatedly prevents Odysseus from achieving his main goal of returning home to Ithaca.
Have you ever felt tempted to cheat on your homework or on a test? Have you been prideful of what your status or accomplishments? In Homer’s epic poem The Odyssey, the brave hero Odysseus encountered these obstacles of temptations and pride that people today still face. Therefore, temptation and pride were Odysseus’ greatest enemy throughout his journey back to Ithaca, as they distracted him on his voyage, prevented him from getting home, and displeased the gods.
Just as Achilles is confronted in the Iliad with the problem of balancing his honor with his pride, Odysseus repeatedly faces situations in which self-restraint and humility must check bravado and glory-seeking. In his early adventures, he fails these tests, as when he taunts Polyphemus, inflaming Poseidon. As the epic progresses, Odysseus becomes increasingly capable of judging when it is wise to reveal himself and when it is appropriate to rejoice in his
Homer uses the Gods and Goddesses impact on Odysseus to show how redemption can be earned which is illustrated through Foster's quest theory. Circe, Zeus, Poseidon, Athena, and Helios are gods that symbolize mythological ideas, whereas in the Odyssey they symbolize lessons Odysseus needs to learn. Odysseus is a man that is judged by the gods all the time, he is on a journey to get home to his family from war. Odysseus does not always make the best decisions and it gets himself in big trouble. Circe, the goddess of sorcery, “informs him that in order to reach home he must journey to the land of the dead, Hades, and consult the blind prophet Tiresias” (Homer 699). Circe tells Odysseus the future and lets him make the decisions. When he goes to the land of the dead he must make the right choices that will help him reach his stated reason for his quest, which is to go home. Circe symbolizes the idea of Odysseus having to learn to be a better leader and make smarter decisions. He needs to show the gods he is worthy of redemption since he has angered them. Later, Odysseus must go through challenges and trials in each place Circe foretells him to go in order to learn self knowledge, gain his
First, because Odysseus’ “master strokes” allow his crew to escape from Polyphemus and he “command[s] a dozen vessels,” Odysseus claims responsibility for his crew’s successful escape, and thus, Odysseus claims to be the hero in this section (216). Next, Odysseus’ hubris and disloyalty in this scene highlight the flaws in Homer’s depiction of Odysseus as a hero. First, despite his crew “begging” Odysseus to stop taunting Polyphemus' he does not revealing his disloyalty to his crew and pride. However, in spite of his actions, Homer describes Odysseus as “headstrong”—a positive and complimentary word for selfish actions.
In The Odyssey, the character Odysseus can be considered a hero because he demonstrates many characteristics that are attributable to most heroes. After the battle at Troy, Odysseus strives to sail back to his homeland (Ithaca); however, he encounters some issues along the way and Poseidon attempts to make it impossible for Odysseus to return home. At the beginning of this journey, Odysseus wants to make it back to Ithaca with all of his crew alive. This selfless goal displays Odysseus acting for the greater good because he knows that these men have families that depend on them and would like for them to come home. Along the journey home, Odysseus and his crew come across a cyclops and become trapped in the cyclops’ cave.
Odysseus tells his crew to draw away from the island and his crew is pleading to him to not show signs of hubris to the Cyclops: “ ‘Godsake, Captain! Why bait the beast again? Let him alone!’ ‘That tidal wave he made on the first throw all but beached us! ‘All but stove us in!’
After his men and him escapes unnecessarily losing two men in the process, Odysseus taunts Polyphemus which leads to him saying “ Hear me Poseidon, sustainer of the earth, god of sable locks. If I am yours indeed and you claim me as your son, grant that Odysseus, sacker of cities and son of Laertes, may never reach his home in Ithaca”(Homer 124) . This quote shows that one of Odysseus’s many flaws is that he allows his pride to take control of his actions and doesn’t clearly consider the consequences. Another instance of Odysseus’s foolish pride is when he crossing the threshold Circe advises Odysseus to
In the epic story the Odyssey by Homer, Odysseus is returning from the Trojan war, and on his way home he finds many obstacles ahead of him. Odysseus is the ruler of Ithaca and he is trying to return home to his land. Many creatures try and stop him from achieving his goal of returning home, but he and his crew have to push through and get home. Odysseus portrays bravery and courage leading his crew through these tough challenges. Odysseus heroically leads his crew and himself through dangerous obstacles, but also foolishly endangers them during the journey home.
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
One of the common themes in The Odyssey is that we must fight through difficulty.(H) Many things, such as Polyphemus, Scylla, and Charybdis, hinder Odysseus on his journey, but, no matter what happens, he always keeps going.(CD Another frequent theme is that we must pursue what we desire.(CM) Odysseus is seen many times going headlong into danger solely to return.(CD) His passion and desire to see his family give him the strength to keep going.(CM) The theme of the subplot with Polyphemus is that greed can lead to misfortune.(CM) Odysseus and his men wait in Polyphemus’ cave for Polyphemus to give them a gift, all the while eating his food.(CD) Odysseus and his men were met with misfortune because of their greed, as they ended up becoming trapped in the cave by Polyphemus.(CM)
Odysseus in The Odyssey was a brave and cunning leader. In the story, Odyssey defended and saved his men countless times, like in the story of him and the cyclops. Odysseus in the story offered Polyphemus, the cyclops, strong wine, causing him to fall asleep. Odysseus and his men then took a stake they prepared and drove it into the eye of Polyphemus. Odysseus and his men then proceeded to tie themselves to the bottoms of the sheep to exit the next morning while the sheep are let out.
In the story of the Cyclops Homer’s theme is intelligence rules over brute strength. Odysseus uses brilliant wisdom to overpower the might of the Cyclops. Homer shows that with Odysseus’ careful tactics he was able to beat even the mightiest of people. Homer also teaches that if one cannot keep their cool wisdom and strength are nothing.
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