The Honorable Odysseus of Homer's Odyssey Essays

The Honorable Odysseus of Homer's Odyssey Essays

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The Honorable Odysseus


When Odysseus returned home to his wife and son, he took a very brutal approach to rid his home of the suitors who had invaded his household.  This revenge was also taken out upon the servants and maids who had been unfaithful to Penelope and had slept with the suitors.  Some may say this punishment was too harsh, and made Odysseus less than an honorable man.  However, Odysseus’s actions were justifiable.

            Indeed those who occupied the lord’s manor during his absence did so with no honor.  But one may argue that Odysseus’ method of punishment was far too brutal, especially for the murder of the ladies who had dishonored his household.  How could a man of respectable qualities do such a horrid thing, how could he soak his own home in blood?  Even after Odysseus had killed Atinoos, those who begged mercy saying that Antinoos had led them to their dishonor, were slain brutally.  All this harshness to others because Odysseus desired revenge on the number of men lusting for Penelope.  This seems unjustifiable, and very inhumane.  Odysseus was so overcome with his hate that he lost control, perhaps it was his years of denying the power of the gods that led him to brutality.  Odysseus’s actions are indeed aggressive and morality at this point in his life seems to have faded.

            All these things considered, the validity of Odysseus’s actions remain fair.  Because of his denial of the power of the gods, Poseidon forced Odysseus to the raging sea.  For these years that he was apart from Penelope and Telemachus he...

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...uth ready to kill Penelope’s suitors, the men took to arms picking up shields and weapons.  All of these men were familiar with the ways of the time and the ways of battle. 

            Odysseus should not be condemned for his actions.  There are many justifiable reasons for the method in which he punished those who were disloyal and uncivil.  One should take into consideration his trials, and put themselves in Odysseus’s place.  If you came home after twenty years, and found men about your wife, (or women about your husband) would you consider morality first?  In Odysseus’s case anyway, his all powerful heart and emotion filled his brain with rage.  And any human being today would submit their mind to their feelings if their souls had been tossed about on the sea by Poseidon.

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