The Odyssey, An Epic Narrative By Homer Essay

The Odyssey, An Epic Narrative By Homer Essay

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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 perfection in all branches of life. The Odyssey takes the reader on the voyage of Odysseus as he discovers himself through tests of life and character. Eventually his arrogant attitude is morphed into an attitude of humility. With Odysseus’s learned humility, comes the realization that no one man is better than the rest.
One’s character and identity are acquired through personal experience and knowledge. 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 ...


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...as a reason for life that must be fulfilled.
Odysseus would not have been able to complete his journey home without the hospitality of those whom he encountered along the way. Ancient Greek society valued being hospitable to everyone, including complete strangers. When Odysseus would approach a new city, he would be immediately taken in and given food and water before being asked for his name and identity. The Greeks were happy to give what they had to others. It was a basic rule to the Greeks to “live a lawless life, but to quietly enjoy whatever the gods may give [them]” (242). This was the lesson that Homer is trying to get the reader to recognize in telling the story of Odysseus in The Odyssey. All people must be humble and hospitable. They must be accepting of the things that are given to them in life while not treating others as inferior for not having as much.

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