The Odyssey And The Eventual Return Of Odysseus Essay

The Odyssey And The Eventual Return Of Odysseus Essay

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Agape, commonly known as parental love, is a driving force behind all conflict and relationships found throughout the tangled plot of the Odyssey. Agape is just one of the six Greek subdivisions of love, however its impact on Homer’s epic is far-reaching and solidifies bonds that perpetuate the plot. The feudal society governing relations in ancient Greece require unique bonds between the vast quantity of kings and lords. This boundless form of parental love progresses the flow of the plot by forming alliances, innating trust/distrust, and molding the reputation of key characters. These three factors play a pivotal role in developing the plot of The Odyssey and the eventual return of Odysseus to his homeland. Agape is the emotional force influencing the characters to take action and contribute their individual role to the greater plot.
The interconnected confederation of city-states in ancient Greece during the time period the story too place demanded that no man be an island of his own. Every leader worked to develop his or her bonds with neighboring authorities in order to preserve or strengthen their influence on the portion of society they exercised dominion over. Telemachus is mentored by Athena, the goddess of wisdom, in his pursuit to learn more about his father’s whereabouts. Athena’s decision to guide Telemachus is an example of parental love as Athena clearly is the more prominent player in the game and loves him from a higher position of influence, as she mentors him on his short journey to discover his father. The alliance between Athena and Odysseus plays a pivotal role in the story and is formed through the love of Agape. This form of love is the same love that creates a dangerous rift between Odysseus and Poseidon ...

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...ods Zeus and Poseidon. Due to Odysseus’s benevolent reputation with Athena, she takes up the role of mentorship with his son Telemachus. The reputation of Odysseus bridges the gap between Athena and his son forming a bond of agape between to otherwise strangers. A positive reputation has the capability to form bonds of agape; likewise, a negative reputation stunts any future growth regarding malevolent relations.
Agape is the pivotal force driving complex interrelations between the characters of the first three books of the Odyssey. Trust, reputation and companionship are all key components that determine the magnitude of the agapeic bond between characters. If the bond of agape was rendered obsolete in the first three books, Telemachus would have never left Ithaca, Penelope would have remarried and the entire opening plot of the story would never have taken off.

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