Theme Of Carelessness In The Odyssey

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“See, I'd always told myself that because I meant no harm, anything that happened wasn't my fault. At that moment, though, I knew I was wrong. If I hadn't given the female my gun, the bird wouldn't have been shot. I was responsible even though I didn't pull the trigger.” ― J.R. Ward, Lover Eternal Everywhere Odysseus goes, his friends suffer for his decisions; a trail of carnage is left behind in practically every location visited, not the blood of enemies, but of friends killed by carelessness. Worse yet, Odysseus gets his crew killed without claiming responsibility for the fact that their deaths are his doing. In The Odyssey, by Homer, the failure of Odysseus to protect his crew stems from his irresponsible choices, made without consideration…show more content…
Odysseus’s crewmate, Elpenor, dies tragically, and when visiting the Underworld, Elpenor implores that Odysseus “do not abandon me unwept, unburied, to tempt the gods’ wrath, while you sail home”(XI.81-XI.82), which is what Odysseus exactly intended to do, a violation of ancient Greek ritual. According to Greek culture, the dead are to be given a proper burial, and if they are not, they will never be able to reach the Underworld; the ultimate disrespect to the Greeks is leaving the dead dishonored by leaving them unburied. Odysseus is a Greek warrior who nearly violated his own customs; to elaborate, this gesture by Odysseus confirms his complete disregard for people's wellbeing. Elpenor’s soul could wander eternally without ever reaching the afterlife, but Odysseus nearly leaves him unburied; he is inconsiderate of what happens to even the closest of friends, revealing the true extent of Odysseus’s disregard. The actions of Odysseus are both inconsiderate and disrespectful to the honored tradition of his ancestors, proving yet again, that Odysseus is no…show more content…
Odysseus’s use of the words “no peace” and “wear away” imply a tone of annoyance at a perfectly reasonable request; Odysseus’s men want to go home, but Odysseus is displaying reluctance to leave Kirke’s island. The entire crew wastes an entire year on the island, living out an easy life, but are away from their families; Odysseus is in charge of the men, so they can not leave without his orders. If Odysseus is truly a hero, he would put the needs of other people ahead of his own, but he doesn’t. Odysseus is not necessarily selfish, but is not responsible enough to consider the right decision for the men, as leader. Another aspect that may not be noticed at first, but lies within the psychological mindset of the crew; they haven’t seen their families in an incredible amount of time, and therefore must be in an noticeably frantic to return home. Odysseus is in charge of these men, yet does not do what is best for the troops under his command; there is no tactical reason they can not leave, only that Odysseus does not understand their feelings. The men under his command are clearly in
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