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In homer's Odyssey the main character Odysseus is a person who only tries to help himself. Although he earns the trust of his men while in Troy, he loses it on his perilous journey home. Many times in the epic he manipulates others, commits foolish acts and is full of hubris. He tries to take shortcuts and as a result of this is men are killed and his boats destroyed. He plays with the lives of his men and he is punished for it. Odysseus is not a hero because, he is foolish, lacks faithfulness and is consumed by his Hubris and selfishness. First, Odysseus is not a hero because he is a foolish leader who makes many mistakes on his journey back home to Ithaka. His first mistake is his decision to let his men raid and…show more content…
First, an example of his unfaithfulness to his wife is when on the island of Kirke he was told to sleep with the evil witch, and he automatically did it without even asking questions. He could have threatened to kill Kirke or reason with her, but no he took his favorite way out, sleeping with her. Another time Odysseus was unfaithful to his wife was while on the island of Kylpso he willingly slept with her countless times over his seven year captivity on the island. Penelope, Odysseus' faithful wife, never cheated on him once during his 20 year absence in Ithaka. A time he is unfaithful to the Gods is when he receives the ride home from the Phaeakians he did not pry or sacrifice anything to Poseidon before his trip if he would have done this he could have saved the lives of the Phaeakians sailors, who were killed by Poseidon. Finally, Odysseus was unfaithful to the Gods when he does not except Polyphemos sincere apology and says, “ Kyklops, if any mortal man inquire how you were put to shame and blinded, tell him Odysseus, raider of cities, took your eye: Laertes’ son whose home’s on Ithaka!” (IX 548-552). Which shows disrespect to the Gods by not accepting his sincere apology. Apart from being an imprudent leader, he is also an unfaithful man who forgets the Gods until he needs them and takes every chance he can get to cheat on this poor faithful wife.
Finally, Odysseus is also a selfish leader who is full of hubris. An example of
Determination in The Odyssey
The Odyssey by Homer is one of the most well known epic poems ever. This story takes place in ancient Greece after Odysseus fought in the Trojan War in Troy. It was written around 700 BCE and tells the story of Odysseus’ journey home to Ithaca from Troy. One of the major recurring themes in this famous piece is determination. Many characters demonstrate great determination such as Odysseus, Penelope and Athena. Each character has a goal that they must work towards. In The Odyssey characters who are determined and put in the work always achieve their goal.
The first character who shows great determination in this text is Odysseus, who is determined to get home after winning the Trojan war in Troy. Odysseus’ journey is long and hard and takes him nearly twenty years, but because he is determined he does get home to Ithaca. One of the many tough obstacles he has to ever come is on the Island of the Lotus Eaters. The Lotus Eaters who live on this island give Odysseus’ men fruit that makes them lose all desire to go home. The men suddenly have no motivation to go home to Ithaca because of this fruit they have eaten. Odysseus does not eat the fruit, so he is still determined to return home. His determination pushed him to force the crew back on the ships against their will. In fact, the men were very upset to leave, but this did not stop Odysseus of continuing on his journey. Odysseus himself says, “But I brought them back, back to the hollow ships, and streaming tears – I forced them, hauled them under the rowing benches, lashed them fast and shouted out commands” (214) which clearly demonstrates how motivated and determined he is to get home to Ithaca. Another example of his determination is on the Island of the Cyclops. Odysseus and his men wander into the Cyclops’ cave and then gets trapped there with the Cyclops. Odysseus is quick on his feet and because he is so determined to get home, he immediately thinks of a plan to escape the cave of the Cyclops and get his men back to the ships fast, so they can continue their journey home. He tricks the Cyclops and gets him drunk on wine so, then he and his men can blind the Cyclops so they have time to get out and Odysseus tells the Cyclops his name is nobody so when the Cyclops calls for help he will say “Help, nobody had blinded me” and this smart quick thinking shows Odysseus’ determination to escape the cave and get home. Yet again Odysseus displays his great determination and desire to get home when he is tempted by the Phaeacian Princess. He meets the young and beautiful princess in Phaeacia and the king even offers to let Odysseus marry the princess, but he declines because getting home to Ithaca is the most important thing to him. He definitely considered marrying the princess, but his determination forced him to move on and leave the island to reach his goal of getting home to Ithaca. In the end, with all his hard work and determination, Odysseus does get home to Ithaca after twenty years away. Odysseus is not the only character in The Odyssey who is determined, his wife Penelope is also very determined.
Penelope misses Odysseus very much and because of his prolonged absence nearly one hundred suitors have crowded the halls of Odysseus’ palace in hopes of marrying Penelope. Most people back in Ithaca assume that Odysseus is dead and will never return home, but Penelope disagrees. She is determined to wait for Odysseus to get home and to not marry any of the suitors. One way she delays marring any of the suitors is by weaving a shroud for Laertes, Odysseus’ father when he dies. She claims that she will not marry any of the suitors until she finishes her weaving. To delay her marriage, even more, she stays up during the night unweaving the shroud so it will take her longer to finish, thus give Odysseus more time to get home and deal with the suitors. Another way she is determined to not marry any of the suitors is when she tells them that she will marry one of them when Telemachus grows a beard. This makes the suitors leave her alone for a few days and only bother her to bring her presents. This makes them less of an annoyance to her while she waits for her husband to return to Ithaca. Once again the suitors become a big problem and annoy Penelope so she tells them that whoever can string Odysseus’ bow and shoot it through twelve axes, she will marry. She knows that this is a very hard task and if anyone could do it, it would take them a long time, therefore giving Odysseus more time to return and delaying her marriage. Penelope’s determination to wait for Odysseus to return can be clearly seen by her tricks that she plays on the suitors to make them leave her alone and wait longer to marry her, when she knows that she will never marry any of them because she is determined to wait for Odysseus, and she does hold off the suitors long enough for Odysseus to return and get rid of all of them.
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The goddess Athena also plays a big role in the story and she too is determined. She is determined to protect Odysseus and keep him safe. Athena relates to Odysseus and she thinks that they are very similar so she helps him out when she can and keeps him safe most of the time. The first time she was determined to help him is when he is on Calypso’s Island of Ogygia. He is trapped there by Calypso for seven years and he desperately wants to go home, but he can’t because Calypso is holding him there against his will. This is where Athena steps in to help Odysseus and end his suffering on this island. She talks to Zeus, who is her father, and Zeus sends Hermes to get Calypso to let Odysseus go, so she does. Without Athena’s help here Odysseus would have been stuck on Ogygia for much longer, but she is determined to help him along his journey. She also helps and protects Odysseus when he returns to Ithaca by disguising him as an old beggar and sending him to the loyal swineherd, Eumaeus. She protects Odysseus because if he had gone straight to the palace as Odysseus, he would likely be killed by the suitors. She sends him to the swineherd who fills him in on everything that has happened in Ithaca while he was away. She demonstrates her determination again while Odysseus and a few others are fighting the suitors. At one point multiple spears were thrown at Odysseus and his allies and Athena steps in to protect them and deflect all of the spears to keep everyone safe. This shows her commitment and determination to Odysseus. Numerous times throughout Odysseus’ journey she comes to him disguised to give him advice or to make him appear bigger and stronger. She even persuades others to do things that are beneficial to Odysseus and protect him or help his journey home. Athena’s help and determination gets Odysseus home safely and everything turns out good for Odysseus with Athena’s assistance.
In The Odyssey determination followed by hard work always results in the end goal being achieved, which can be seen through Odysseus, Penelope and Athena. These characters have a certain goal that they want to accomplish and each character is determined, so they put in hard work and their outcome is successful. Odysseus is quick on his feet and always keeps his end goal in mind to make the best decisions to speed his journey home. Penelope also thinks of clever ways to stall the suitors for almost twenty years because she is determined to wait for Odysseus. The goddess Athena also uses her powers to protect Odysseus when she can and she is determined to keep him safe and not die. The Odyssey shows numerous example of determination by a wide variety of characters.