Analysis Of Homer 's ' The Odyssey '

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Odysseus, known as an iconic Greek king and warrior of Ithaca, has all of the traits that a mighty king would have. His tale and reputation are one that would continue to live on long after his passing. This fame and reputation is known as kleos. Kleos, in Greek, means renown or honor, it symbolizes what you hear about someone through another person. Kleos is a common theme in Homer 's epic, the Odyssey, the main example being that of Odysseus and his son Telemachus, who is concerned that his father may have died a pathetic and pitiable death at sea rather than a reputable and gracious one in battle. Kleos has proven to be very important to Odysseus time and time again. From the way he is introduced, to his actions, to the way he is viewed by other people. It is commonly thought that the reason Odysseus feels he must return to Ithaca is because of his wife, Penelope. However, I believe that he has to return because deep down he does not what to give up his kingship and all that belongs to him. I believe that he knows that he has to come home otherwise the kleos he has collected, essentially does not exist. It’s almost as if a tree falls and no one hears it, did it really fall? Odysseus knows that if he does not return home people will think that he did die a pitiful death just like Telemachus fears. One way that Odysseus has kleos is because of the way he is introduced. In Greek culture when someone is introduced there is generally a phrase following their name that gives a little more information about who they are. It can be “son of Laertes”, or “sacker of cities”, or “master of land and sea ways”, all of which were used to describe Odysseus. Generally this phrases are not repeated for many people so when someone refers to Odys... ... middle of paper ... ... gone people would assume that he was dead and had been dead for a long time. You have to be around for people to still talk about you. And that is all kleos is, fame by word of mouth. I believe that he knows that he has to come home otherwise the kleos he has collected, essentially does not exist. He wants his tale to live on. But that cannot happen until people know of all of the amazing feats he had accomplished during his 20 year absence. He defeated the cyclops. He had escaped a terrible death time and time again. He was the only man to hear the sirens call and still be alive. He knows that these are amazing stories that no one would believe unless they saw him as living proof. Odysseus wanted to come home so that he could collect his kleos. Point blank. His beloved wife was just a perk. All in all, Odysseus went home for his reputation, his kleos, not his wife.

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