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In Homer’s historic epic The Odyssey the protagonist, Odysseus, is venturing home to his native land of Ithaca. Throughout the story Odysseus is faced with many great challenges and is forced to make many decisions that will greatly affect his life and that of everyone around him. Each decision is crucial to his survival and his journey home. Homer portrays many patterns that are susceptible throughout the tale. One of the major themes that he portrays is that temptation can befall any man, even Odysseus. Many times throughout the story Odysseus and his men fall or are delayed due to the sweet temptations that the world offers them. These temptations do not end even after Odysseus arrives home. There are many times during and after his journeys that Odysseus’ plan almost fails due to the temptations that surround him.
Odysseus’ falls victim to both temptation and his own character many times during his adventure. Many times during the story, Odysseus’ story telling skills are brought out. When Odysseus first lands on the island of the Phaecians he is reluctant to tell anyone who he is or what he has done. Yet, after hearing many stories of the plight of the Greeks at Troy, he eventually is overcome by the tales of the bard. Once his true identity has been revealed he can not help but tell his parable to all those that would listen (9.42-45). For someone who is so eager to return to his homeland, he feels the need to recount his adventure for a whole crowd of people. The temptation to receive the praise and glory for being the great “Odysseus” overcomes him. This would not be the first time this trait of Odysseus’ would reveal itself. During his short time ...
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...e person he is at the beginning of the epic, to the hero at the end. It almost seems like he is trying to show a level of spiritual growth amongst the characters. Homer uses temptation to display ideas about mankind, in that any man can fall to temptation. Odysseus’ main temptation was to reveal who he truly was as a great hero. It plagued him throughout the epic and got him in to more trouble then he needed to be in. The challenges and tribulations that Odysseus faced throughout the story were not just physical, but mental and required strategic planning on his part. Temptation hinders that mental state that a person needs to be in, causing delays or even the end to a journey. Due to the temptations that Odysseus faced, his journey home was delayed much longer then it needed to be, but it helped to show how he and those around him develop throughout the epic.
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