The Odyssey by Homer revolves around the character, Odysseus, and his ten-year struggle to return home after the Trojan War. As the epic’s idol, he displays the combination of a clever, handsome, and courageous man popular among the mortals as well as the gods. Essentially, he embodies the ideals of the ancient Greek culture, being adorned with many favored characteristics of the era. However, an intriguing aspect of Odysseus lies in his personality. As the protagonist, he does not manifest the entirety of a stereotypical hero because Odysseus has a fatal flaw—his arrogance.
In The Odyssey, many tribulations of conquest and vital society transformations take place. Homer included Odysseus’ son, Telemachus, in the epic poem to represent the disintegration of innocence through the will of courage. Also, throughout Telemachus’ hardships, the insights he obtained aided him to becoming more aware of his surroundings and guided him toward true wisdom. During Telemachus’ childhood, his absent father led him to accepting his fate of the suitors overrunning his home (pg. 190).
When Telemachus informs Menelaos that there are suitors residing in Odysseus’ home, Menelaos responds “I pray he comes as once he was... If only that Odysseus met the suitors,/ they’d have their consummation, a cold bed!“ (Homer 4.371-372). Furthermore, when Athena advises Telemachus on how he should handle the suitors, she suggests,
Before Athena appearing as a Mentor, Homer shows Telémakhos as a shy boy who is having difficulties to live up to his father’s legendary reputation. He is shown as detached, lost and confused. Rather than taking an action, Telémakhos kept on complaining about the suitors’ manipulation of Xenia. In order to reach manhood, Athena calls him to action through making him undergo a journey. This journey, through Homer’s words, is not only meant to pave the way for him to mature by the time Odysseus is back, but also to save him from the suitor’s plot to kill him.
All through The Odyssey, the characters develop in a certain way that interchanges the outcome of the book. Odysseus is able to develop knowledge and wisdom to deal with his men during the battle and the suitors who were frustrating his wife. In addition, he came back home as a hero after the Trojan War. Telemachus developed into a mature man who could deal with any problem in his father’s absence. However, based on the story, it is evident that, Telemachus demonstrates a great change basing upon the times the characters were away from Ithaca.
From Odysseus’ time with Calypso in Ogygia up until the moment he takes back his home and wife from the suitors in Ithaca, the struggles he faces help answer what makes for a good life. Homer uses Odysseus’ journey throughout “The Odyssey” to identify four aspects of a good life: mortality, honor, hospitality, and experiences. Homer reveals that mortality is necessary for a good life when Odysseus denies the opportunity for immortality that Calypso offers, he shows the significance of honor in his description of Odysseus’ bravery in the Trojan war and the consequent respect that Odysseus’ crew has for him, Homer reinforces the importance of hospitality in each city Odysseus travels to, and he conveys that experiences, good or bad, define a good life. The Greeks held their gods in high esteem and therefore when Homer or other characters in the epic refer to Odysseus as being “godlike,” this is one of the highest compliments he could receive.
Heroism, tends to be difficult to define and remarkably ambiguous in literary works. In the Odyssey, however, Homer clearly defines a hero as a humble, determined, and loyal individual; thus, according to Homer, it is not enough to claim to be a hero, but it is also important to exhibit those qualities that Homer values as heroism. Odysseus, despite claiming heroism, upholds these traits inconsistently, as seen in his taunting of Polyphemus. In contrast, Telemachus, Odysseus’ overlooked son, dramatically grows up over the course of the epic and ultimately reveals his truly heroic qualities by the end of the poem. Thus, because Odysseus claims to be a hero, but fails to remain humble, determined, and loyal throughout the epic, he is not a hero.
By setting the two characters up as literary foils, Homer is able to build upon the classic familial trope of “like father, like son”, but still establish Telemachus as a strong force that can stand alone from Odysseus. The lack of constraint that Odysseus shows, especially in the murder of the suitors, paints Telemachus, who doesn’t let emotions cloud his judgement, in a more favorable light in terms of who will be a better king. Odysseus and Telemachus are parallels of each other in that they share similar plot points and both change for the better, yet are on two distinct paths. Through his incredible power and hardships turned accomplishments, Odysseus’ path leads to being an epic hero, whereas Telemachus’ understanding of people and gallant mind make him fit to be a great
It is often wondered how words are formed or created. Many of our words are derived from different older cultures, like the civilization of Ancient Greece. An example of this is the word museum which comes from the word muse. The Muses were greek goddesses of the fine arts who were prayed to by philosophers, musicians, and artists who seeked inspiration. The Greek poet and author of the famous stories The Iliad and The Odyssey was one of them. In the epic, The Odyssey, Homer displays Ancient Greek values and virtues through his character/hero, Odysseus. Odysseus is a true hero in the eyes of the Ancient Greek Civilization because he was intelligent, loyal, and extremely religious.
Telemachus Growing into a Strong Mature Man Samuel Ullman, an American businessman and poet, once said, “Maturity is the ability to think, speak, and act your feelings within the bounds of dignity.” Samuel’s words hold true in Homer 's The Odyssey. In this extraordinary poem, Telemachus, the Son of Penelope, queen of Ithaca, and Odysseus, king of Ithaca. While Odysseus is at war fighting, Telemachus losing fait about his father coming home. He soon starts to question that he could be dead or alive.
The Odyssey begins as Odysseus leaves an island he was trapped on for 10 years to go back to his hometown, Ithaca. However, we do not know if he will make it back, as it is highly probable that he will die. The Odyssey is a Greek Epic involving some of their ancient Gods. On the way to Ithaca Odysseus faces many challenges while his wife deals with challenges of her own at their house. Suitors have taken over Odysseus’s home, and are all trying to marry Odysseus’s wife, Penelope. However, some characters in the epic display many great qualities. In The Odyssey by Homer, loyalty, courage, and trickery are displayed throughout the book in a positive manner, showing that they are the Greek’s cultural values.
TS1 (Thesis): In The Odyssey, Homer depicts Odysseus’ real foe as the theme of temptation with displays of hubris and lustrous goddesses, which portrays the importance of being vigilant to not submit to temptation. ST1: Homer depicts that Odysseus is determined to get home, but Odysseus succumbs to temptation when he leads his crew into the cyclops lair, eats the cyclops’ food, and demands for a gift, resulting in a protracted journey home. 1: Homer displays Odysseus as recklessly brave when he requests, “we’re at your knees, in hopes of… a guest-gift”(9.300) from the cyclops. 2: It is apparent that Odysseus has given into the temptation to be arrogant when he declares for the cyclops to give them, “a guest-gift,” after Odysseus and his men have broken into the cyclops lair, showing even further Odysseus’ isn’t vigilant to
After weeks of struggle, Athena sends Telemachus, Odysseus’ son, to his father. Once Odysseus reveals his identity to his son, Telemachus questions how a low-life looking beggar could be his noble father. The unrecognizable father tells his son, “It is no hard thing for the gods of heaven to glorify a man or bring him low” (Homer 633). One can see Odysseus’ impersonation of a beggar and the proverb symbolizes a growth in character. To be brought low in the hierarchy, Odysseus experiences struggles in the commonwealth.
First, Athena makes a plan for Odysseus to meet Princess Nausicaa on Phaiacia. The two Greeks do meet, and even though Odysseus is a complete stranger, which the Phaiacians are not fond of, that Nausicaa is aware of, the princess welcomes Odysseus and makes a plan for him to stay in her father Alcinoos’ palace. When Odysseus arrives in the palace of Alcinoos, he is given a throne in which Alcinoos’ son Laodamas was previously sitting in, and is given a feast. “There they were, face to face: the King in his majesty, and the castaway with only his knowledge of man and his ready wit. Alcinoos held his hand out to Odysseus and led him from the hearth to a high seat where his own son was sitting, near himself, for he loved the courteous Laodamas best of all his sons.