Characteristics Of Odysseus

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Exam 1
4.) Discuss the specific arête of Odysseus. How is Odysseus a portrait of ideal human figure for the Greeks? How does his interaction with the divine realm (i.e. gods and goddesses) play a role in this portrait?
In the Odyssey, Odysseus has many arête characteristics throughout the epic. He is considered a hero and has become the definition of arête in many ways. He exudes valor with the way that he faces danger during his ten year voyage; where he encounters many dangerous situations. He speaks to his men when they encounter another dangerous situation and says to them “Come on, men, this isn’t the first time we’ve run into trouble. This can’t be worse than when the cyclops with his brute strength had us penned in his cave. We got out
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He wants them to remember when they were able to conquer the cyclops who is so strong he is almost considered a god and is the son of Poseidon. Odysseus portrays what a true leader should look like when he says these words along with many other heroic words he has spoken throughout the epic. Odysseus exemplifies virtue throughout the story by trying to do the next right thing and seeking spiritual guidance from Athena. He is extremely loyal to his wife, Penelope and his son. When he is away, the one thing that keeps him going is knowing that he will be back with his family if he survives. Odysseus plays the role of an ideal human figure for the Greeks because he has a lot of spiritual qualities about himself that make him a good individual to get guidance from. When he leaves Ithaca on his ten year voyage he has a good spiritual relationship. On his voyage Athena is a great supporter of his and encourages him along the way. Throughout his journey his spirituality becomes much stronger with the difficulties that he has to face with each monster or person he encounters. Once he gets through one obstacle, it gives him more faith that he can conquer the next problem he has to face. Through his spiritual journey his develops more wisdom and smarts…show more content…
For example, the bad side and his biggest detriment on his ten year voyage that turned into a twenty year voyage is Poseidon punishing him along the way, making it even harder to complete the voyage and return home. Poseidon, god of the sea creates heavy storms countless times along Odysseus’s journey. He also had a sea monster, Scylla kill some of Odysseus’s men. At one point during his voyage Poseidon punishes him even more severely by stranding Odysseus and his men onto a deserted island to where they couldn’t return home. Zeus expresses Poseidon’s hatred for Odysseus when he says “How could I forget godlike Odysseus? No other mortal has a mind like his, or offers sacrifice like him to the deathless gods in heaven. But Poseidon is stiff and cold with anger because Odysseus blinded his son, the Cyclops, Polyphemus, the strongest of all the Cyclopes, nearly a god. The nymph Thoosa bore him, Daughter of Phorcys, lord of the barren brine, after making with Poseidon in a scalloped sea –cave. The earth shaker has been after Odysseus ever since.” (180) throughout the story there have been clues to people being jealous of all the great qualities that Odysseus has. These are not the only evil gods/goddesses that Odysseus had to face on his voyage. It was every day that he was fighting a new enemy that he had to conquer. The gods that were considered good helped Odysseus, the most important one being Athena.

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