preview

The Folly Of Human Nature In Homer's Odyssey

Good Essays
The Ancient Greeks sought to define how humans should view their lives and how to create an existence dedicated to the basis of the “ideal” nature. This existence would be lived so as to create an “honorable” death upon their life’s end. Within their plays, both dramas and comedies, they sought to show the most extreme characteristics of human nature, those of the wise and worthy of Greek kleos along with the weak and greedy of mind, and how they were each entitled to a death but of varying significance. The Odyssey, their greatest surviving drama, stands as the epitome of defining both the flawed and ideal human and how each individual should approach death and its rewards and cautions through their journeys. Death is shown to be the consequence…show more content…
His crew makes many mistakes as they traverse across the sea in their return to Ithaca. As they lay stranded and trapped upon the island of Helios, Eurylochos said. “All deaths are hateful to miserable mortals, but the most pitiable death of all is to starve” (144). Despite the warning from Odysseus that they will all be doomed should they kill any of the sacred cows upon the island, they fear the death without remembrance and honor much more so then they fear the potential wrath of the gods that Odysseus has spoken of. This recklessness stands as their final temptation the crew faced as it resulted in each of its members’ death but it was far from their only opportunity in which they…show more content…
Upon the isle of Circe, the crew had been tasked under Eurylochos to discover the circumstances of the witch at the center of the island. But only Eurylochos returned to tell the tale of their capture, how Circe, “asked them to come in; they all followed her, in their innocence … but she put deadly drugs in the mess, to make them wholly forget their native land” (117). The rest of the crew gave into the temptation of the beautiful Circe, drawn into her house despite warned caution in their scouting. It also stands as a bit of irony that the man who would lead the crew into their eventual demise was the only one to stand strong and suspect that not everything was as they appeared with Circe. Among the lotus eaters, the crew was tasked with learning more about the island’s native people. But upon finding them the men, “tasted that honey-sweet fruit, they thought no more of coming back to us with news, but chose rather to stay … and chew their lotus, and [say] good-bye to home” (102). The lack of caution among Odysseus’s sailors leads to their loss of individualism as they attain a death of a sorts, unable to live as men and incapable of attaining kleos. These reckless and unwise actions taken by each of the sailors was done in their greed for an immortality through remembrance but ultimately provided nothing but their