The stories of epic heroes remain important to many cultures, the Greeks in particular. These tales of heroic men not only entertain, but they teach people about morals and values that most epic heroes exemplify, such as intelligence and bravery. To be an epic hero, characters are usually highly born, favored by the gods, perform great deeds, and have flaws. These tales are told in heightened style and occur in grand settings. Odysseus, the King of Ithaca, meets these traits and is considered a prime example of an epic hero. His story is told in Homer’s The Odyssey and The Iliad. However, Odysseus’s journey sets him apart from other epic heroes. Most heroes follow the hero’s journey, in which a hero begins in the ordinary world, is called to destiny, crosses the threshold, defeats obstacles, receives help, defeats the undefeatable, and then returns home. Odysseus does not strictly follow this typical structure because his return home is one of the biggest challenges of all.
In Homer's epic poem, the Odyssey, the main theme is the reunification of the family, as Odysseus struggles to return home and rejoin his wife and son. Throughout the Odyssey, we are shown examples of families: good ones that prosper and bad ones that do not. As Telemakhos struggles to become a man and Odysseus struggles homeward, the concept of healthy family life is stressed. At the end, when all conflicts are resolved and Odysseus is reunited with wife and son, the lesson that a united family can overcome any obstacles is shown and is one that today's families should heed.
Of all the heroic traits such as honor and glory, given to the reader through Homer’s epic poems loyalty seems to be the strongest, as with Patroclus in the Iliad, so it is with Penelope, Telemachus, and Eumaeus in the Odyssey. Through the use of these characters loyalty is demonstrated to Odysseus, the hero if the poem. Their undying loyalty and devotion to the warring hero gives perfect examples of how humans should act to those they claim to be faithful too.
Identity is a theme that runs strongly throughout The Odyssey. While much of Homer's work is devoted to Odysseus' journey, an examination of his son Telemakhos provides an excellent example of character development. From the anxious and unconfident young man to which Book I opens to the courageous exactor of his father's estate, Telemakhos undergoes notable emotional maturation. The spiritual journey illustrated by Telemakhos, through his own personal odyssey, provides strong evidence that the epic is, indeed, about identity.
...e son of Laertes, whose address is in Ithaca!” (110). Consequently, Polyphemus asks Poseidon that “may [Odysseus] never reach his home! But if it is his due portion to see his friends and come again to his tall house and his native land, may be come there late and in misery, in another man’s ship, may be lose all his companions, and may be find another tribulation at home!” (111). Odysseus also tries to build up his reputation throughout the book, such as when he passes the
Usually, soldiers from Trojan War will not make it back home. However, in The Odyssey by Homer, Odysseus leaves Troy for his journey to Ithaca, his homeland; ends up on the island of The Cyclops where his journey begins. Once reaches Hades, Tiresias the blind prophet tells Odysseus his prophecy of returning back home. Odysseus fatal flaws such as being boastful, not processing his mind through, and being tempted leads to his downfall causing him to take longer returning to Ithaca, Odysseus’s homeland.
Due to this curse set on Odysseus by Poseidon, Odysseus faces many obstacles and challenges that impede him from ever reaching home, which is what he deeply longs for. Throughout this fantastic journey, Odysseus constantly refers to his deep desire to return home to his wife Penelope an...
Even though Athena and Poseidon helped the Greeks during the Trojan War, Athena turns against the Greeks and convinces Poseidon to do the same. The Greeks are hit by storms on the way home and many ships are destroyed and the fleet is scattered. The war and his troubles at sea keep Odysseus away from Ithaka, for twenty years. While he was gone, his son, Telemachus, has grown into a man, and his wife, Penelope, is overwhelmed by wooers who think Odysseus is dead. While Poseidon is away from Olympus, Penelope convinces the other gods to help Odysseus return home. In disguise in Ithaka, she convinces Telemachus to look for his father. Telemachus goes to Pylos and finds out that Odysseus is being held prisoner by Calypso. Zeus orders that Odysseus be allowed to go home so he leaves on a raft. When he is almost home, Poseidon sees him and sends a storm that sinks his raft. Ino helps Odysseus by giving him her veil which protects him from any harm in the water. After two days of swimming, Odysseus reaches the Phaeacians and their kind king, Alcinoüs. The king’s daughter, Nausicaä, finds Odysseus and takes him to the king. Odysseus tells how he and his crew first saw the Lotus-Eaters, then they docked in front of a cave to search for food. There is wine, food, and pens full of sheep in the cave, but the cave’s owner, the giant Cyclops Polyphemus, comes back and seals the cave with a giant boulder.
Summary: Odysseus begins telling his story to the king and queen beginning from when he left Troy and begins with his home island of Ithaca. He tells of how he made Calypso believe that he loved her and then begins filling in details from the Trojan War to being captured by Calypso. He recounts the tails of the land of the Kikonians, the lotus eaters, and then of how the cyclops just wanted to eat all of them and Odysseus had to use trickery in order to escape the island, but is foolish enough to let the cyclops know his real name. Since the cyclops is a son of Poseidon, he has his father curse Odysseus. When Odysseus finally lands, he makes a sacrifice to Zeus who rejects it.
Odysseus faced a lot of sufferings and temptations in the way of his journey. As a husband to Penelope, he has showed perseverance to be again in her arms once and for all. “I swear first by Zeus, the best and greatest of the gods, and then by the great Odysseus’ hearth which I have come to, that everything will happen as I foretell. This very month Odysseus will be here between the waning of the old moon and the waxing of the new” (Rieu, 294). Odysseus may have never been the greatest hero, but he certainly respects people who respects him back. He respects Penelope’s decision and understands her especially with the decision about the archery contest, of where Penelope will be married to one of the suitors to end the chaos that was happening in the household. This of course saddens Odysseus knowing his beloved wife is hurting because of the pressure from everybody they knew. To sum up Odysseus journey to be with his family the Phaeacians returned Odysseus to Ithaca, disguised as a beggar by