Most Valuable Experience for Odysseus

744 Words3 Pages
Helios and the cattle Every second and every moment is eventually going to prove valuable for the future. In The Odyssey written by Homer, Odysseus, the weathered hero, gains valuable lessons learned in experiences since his departure from Troy. These priceless lessons will help him accomplish his ultimate goal in defeating the parasitic suitors that plague his home. One experience Odysseus endures is the encounter of Helios’ cattle. The prophet Tiresias foretold, “harm them [the cattle] in any way, and I can see it now: your ship destroyed, your men destroyed as well” (11. 127). Odysseus’ men disobey his authority, and seal their fates. Although Odysseus is suffering from grief, he learns three vital lessons that will help him in removing the suitors. Helios’ cattle is the most valuable experience Odysseus faces because of his lessons learned in revealing things at the right time, self-restraint, and that temptation leads to demise. Primarily, Odysseus will soon learn that revealing things at the right time will become crucially important. At Helios’ island, Odysseus speaks of Tiresias’ prophecy for the first time to his men before they set foot on the island. Even so, “Eurylochus waded in at once- with mutiny on his mind:” (12.301). The problem is that, even though Odysseus reveals the news just prior to Helios’ island, Odysseus’ men do not take heed in his warning. Back in Ithaca, Odysseus must decide when to reveal his true identity to Penelope, his wife. Any flaw in timing may negatively impact his efforts in defeating the suitors. Even when the nurse Eurycleia identifies Odysseus, in an act to continue to conceal his identity, Odysseus shot his right hand out, “clutching the nurse’s throat, with his left he hugged... ... middle of paper ... ...enia becomes apparent when she says to Odysseus, “Get out, you tramp-be glad of the food you got- or we’ll sling a torch at you,” (19.74). Making matters worse reports everything she hears to Eurymachus, one of the lead suitors. Odysseus stays above the temptation despite his grief. If Odysseus told Penelope everything, he would have been slaughtered by the suitors right in front of his wife. Ultimately, Odysseus has gone through many experiences since his departure from Troy. The most influential experience that serves most valuable against the suitors is his time spent Helios’ Island. Three important lessons he learns are to reveal things at the right time, to practice self restraint, and to remain above temptation. Ultimately these lessons learned from his experience at Helios will assist him tremendously on his mission to reclaim the throne as King of Ithaca.
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