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Free Essays on Homer's Odyssey: Odysseus as a Lonely Traveler

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Odysseus as a Lonely Traveler in Odyssey

In Homer's Odyssey, Odysseus represents a traveler in life who is destined to make this journey alone, despite those who aid him, oppose him, or in some way interfered with his destiny. Gods and immortals alike aid him when it suits them, or fromsome feeling they have for him. Some gods and immortals also made Odysseuis's journey as difficult as possible. Some also switched loyalties and arn't very reliable. The Odyssey shows that even though some believe people can make it through life "goin at it alone," eventually people need the help of others. People need to help each other through life, for no one can ahieve anything alone.

Athena helps Odysseuis because she chose him as a favorite, and as her champion. She is determined that her "hero" goes home in victory. Despite Zeus' warning, Athena defies her father and gives subtle helps to Odyssuis when he needs it. "This is the work of the Plunderer, Athene, who makes me what she will, for she has power, now like a begger, now again a youth in fair attire (157)." Here Odysseus refers to how Athene made him look like a begger in order to protect his identity, for she wanted him to succeed.

Athene's fellow god Hermes helped Odysseus to defeat Circes. Hermes told Odysseuis about the plant that would prevent him from being spelled into submission. "Where are you going, hapless man, along the hills alone, ignorant of the land?" (96). At the request of the other gods, Hermes gives Odysseus the help he needs. Ordinaraly, Hermes would do no such thing, but because more powerful gods had told him to do so, he had to.

Another that helped Odysseus greatly was Alcinous. He kindly took care of Odysseus even though he had no idea who it was. He even held a festival for Odysseus. Then after hearing Odysseus' tale, Alcinous offered a ship to take him home. Unlike the gods, Alcinous did not do it for his own sake, but because he felt compassion towards Odysseuis. Alcinous represents the kind stranger that sees a man's need and knowing that he can provide the need, does so gladly.

There must be a balance of forces that affect Odyssus. Just as there are some that help him, there are those who oppose him, chief among them being Posidon.
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