Gorgeous women, vengeful gods, helpful gods, numerous riches, ugly monsters, and a hero with his crew. The Odyssey of Homer, translated by Allen Mandelbaum, tells of the hero Odysseus' journey home from Troy. At his home in Ithaca, Odysseus' estate and wife, Penelope, have being overtaken by suitors. Odysseus' son, Telemachus, begins a journey to discover news of his father. After being away from home for numerous years, Odysseus' main goal is to reach home and regain his wife and estate. Along the way Odysseus learns many lessons about life as he grows from an immature lout to a humble, mature man.
Odysseus' first stop after leaving Troy is Ciconia. Odysseus and his men do not show any respect for the people of the city. Odysseus and his men just want to have fun by taking over the city, and stealing all the treasure: " `I sacked their city, massacred their men. We took much treasure and we took their wives-and shared it all' " (170). Odysseus is his worst in Ciconia, only caring about himself and his own wants.
Next Odysseus learns a valuable lesson at the land of the Lotus-Eaters. Odysseus, being curious about the people and riches of the land, sends a few of his men off to investigate the island. His men come across the Lotus-Eaters. The Lotus-Eaters do not try to kill Odysseus' men, nor do Odysseus men harm the Lotus-Eaters. Instead, the Lotus-Eaters offer Odysseus' men fruit. Odysseus' men love the fruit so much, they have " `the least desire to bring back word or soon return [to the ship]. [T]hey [want] only to stay there, to feed upon that food and disremember their homeward path' " (172). Odysseus learns that he cannot become sidetracked or try to destroy anymore villages. If...
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...re the life of Medon. Odysseus takes back his pride and smiles as he tells Medon, " `Take heart. My son has won: he saved your life that you may know and tell others, too, that goodness gains far more than malice can' " (450). Odysseus heeds his son's plea and spares Medon's life, showing he knows when to stop killing and take mercy on one's life. Odysseus also words also show he has learned one should be kind and behave, for good gains more than evil.
Throughout his journey, Odysseus met many obstacles and difficulties. He reached his destination of home, gathering many riches along the way. However, the lessons he learned throughout his journey were much more valuable. Odysseus began his journey as a conceited and greedy male and matured into a humble, giving, and caring man--thanks to the help of a few women, gods, riches, and ugly monsters.
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