Odysseus Reflection Paper

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The Odyssey, an epic narrative by Homer, Illustrates the countless hardships and lessons one must undergo and learn throughout the journey of life. This journey was shown by following the story of a Greek man named Odysseus. The goal of life, according to Homer, was to reach self-actualization and become infallible in each of the seven virtues (hospitality, obedience, loyalty, courage, respect, empathy, and humility). Odysseus, once the king of Ithaca, was a great and brilliant man who was in fact superior over many people in regards to life’s virtues. He did, however, succumb to being arrogant. Because of his arrogance, Odysseus even though a great man was not exempt from the harsh winds and troubles of life that come from the failure of reaching…show more content…
Odysseus was an extraordinary man. He was blessed with the favor of the Greek gods, and had a brilliant mind which was shown time and time again throughout the narrative. Early Greek culture placed heavy emphasis on war, and the wealth and power that would come from winning a battle. From these battles arose epic war heroes who surpassed all obstacles in order to defeat their enemies. Odysseus joined with the ranks of the war heroes during the Trojan War, when his brilliance led him to the idea of gifting the Trojans with a gigantic wooden horse with men hidden inside in order to divert the Trojan soldiers from realizing they were being attacked. It was Odysseus himself that led his men to victory and saved them from perishing. Odysseus was also shown to be an extraordinary man by being a mortal who was allowed to travel to and from Hades, where he saw and spoke to his deceased mother, friends, and other war heroes. It was in Hades where he learned that every man will die no matter how great and that stupidity alone can lead to any person’s demise. When Odysseus returned from the gates of hell he spoke to his men about what he had seen. As he spoke his men were “held by the spell of his words [and] they remained silent and still” (148) because Odysseus was given insight into death that was a mystery to every mortal man. Consequently, his godly favor and brilliance were both causes for his…show more content…
Each test would result with fewer and fewer men who were lost due to their own stupidity. Odysseus took advantage of his brilliant mind and still continued to attempt to save his doomed men. Odysseus and his men became entrapped in a cave with a Cyclopes (who represented lawlessness) during their journey. Once they had captured ferocious beast, Odysseus quickly realized that only the Cyclopes could release them from the cave, hence he could not be slain. Instead, he devised a plan to intoxicate the Cyclopes. As they were drinking, the Cyclopes asked for his name, to which Odysseus replied “I am Nobody. That is what I am called by my mother, my father, and all of my friends” (119). After falling asleep Odysseus blinded the Cyclopes, who was then not able to call for help because “Nobody” was there. The idea of Odysseus to refer to himself as “Nobody” was ironic for the reason that it embodied the lesson that Homer was trying to teach. Odysseus did not, however, recognize that fact yet and foolishly boasted to the Cyclopes about his true identity and how great of a man he was after he and his men were to temporary safety. This foolishness unintentionally put his men and himself in more danger. It also proved that Odysseus had not yet learned humility and must continue to face the hardships of the open seas before
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