The Odyssey, Characteristics And Settings Essay, Research Paper
THE ODYSSEY: ESSAY What different aspects of Odysseus character emerge as Homer presents him in a variety of settings throughout the Odyssey? Throughout the Odyssey we see a substantial amount of attributes of Odysseus, such as an admirable, wise, courageous and resourceful man. Yet he is also seen as boastful and arrogant. These characteristics become evident in the course of Odysseus homecoming, which Homer vividly describes.We do not meet Odysseus until the fifth book, however we have a sound knowledge of what his character is like, as we are provided with many epithets telling of his character to be a true Homeric hero. Through abundant descriptions of Odysseus the reader finds him to be admirable, courageous and wise, as the gods describe him.Alternatively when we are introduced to Odysseus he is crying and greatly showing his feminie side. We are not fully disrupted by this introduction, and still find him to have the traits of a Homeric hero. This view of Odysseus established in the first books will persist throughout the Odyssey. We discover that Odysseus does not fit all the aspects of a true Homeric hero, as he is prophesised to lead a long life, not a short and glorious one. However Odysseus is proven to have the other traits, such as being of noble blood, proven in battle, a good orator, pious, generous and confident.These Homeric hero traits become evident in adventures undertaken by Odysseus. Odysseus is unquestionably proven in battle, we see this in his resourcefulness when constructing the large wooden horse, which was used to defeat the city of Troy. Odysseus curiosity takes him to the Cyclops cave where he is trapped with his men, he demonstrates his resourcefulness in planing an escape from the Cyclops cave by blinding the Cyclops and tying his men to the bottom of a herd of rams to escape the Cyclops detection. Also apparent in the epic is the fact that Odysseus is notably confident and ostentatious. In some cases this is a flaw in his personality and has proven to be a hazard. As shown when disembarking from the Cyclops land. Odysseus couldn t resist boasting about his incredible escape, the Cyclops heard his unkind words, and reacted by throwing a large rock at Odysseus ship, nearly killing his crew. Odysseus reveals his confident and boastful nature in saying Reach that, my young friends, if you can to his hosts when competing against the Phaeacian in an array of games.
The second half of the epic begins with Odysseus arrival at his home of Ithaca. Here he exercises boundless patience and self-control. In the fact that he is not allowed to go straight to his family, but has to be disguised as a beggar and test his family s loyalty. He tests the loyalty of his servants, and plots and carries out a bloody revenge on Penelope s suitors. This homecoming shows Odysseus piety to the gods, in the fact that he does what they tell him to. Athene tells Odysseus not to make his presence known in Ithaca but to wait, he does this showing his patience as he has to again wait longer to embrace his family.We are shown in various occurrences that Odysseus is not superhuman. Odysseus faces the challenge of temptation by Circe, who he sleeps with for a year, while on his way home to his faithful wife. Also described by Homer is Odysseus misfortune at sea. Seventeen days after leaving Ogigia he is cast off his raft into the wine dark sea to survive a day in the ocean, with no help from the gods. Yet the gods intervened and assisted him in reaching land, therefore proving that Odysseus is human and he does need help.Also evident in the Odyssey is Odysseus audacity towards Calypso when he asks her if she has plans to plot some new mischief against him. Odysseus audacity is also shown when he questions Athene if she has actually been helping him get home from Ogigia.Adventures experienced by Odysseus substantiate his courage from the beginning to the end. Odysseus faces every danger he comes across with confidence and bravery. When the Cyclops is devouring his men, Odysseus produces a plan to escape and save the rest of his crew. He is successful in his courageous plan.Furthermore displayed is Odysseus endurance in continuing to carry out the god s wishes for him to face extensive hardships. Most difficult for Odysseus is the burden of knowledge he collected from the underworld, which includes prophecy of when he will die. Odysseus shows endurance throughout The Odyssey in the majority of the situations he suffers.Homer establishes all aspects of Odysseus in considerable technicality through the settings and events that he endures. Odysseus is portrayed to possess most qualities of a Homeric hero, and is greatly admired by the gods and the mortals.