”The Odyssey” by Homer Essay Sample
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”The Odyssey” by Homer Essay Sample
Even now, centuries after it was written, Homer’s The Odyssey still seems to astonish readers of all ages. In this epic poem is a story of a man being ripped from his kingdom of Ithaca, to fight in the battle of Troy. Early in the story before he is taken away, Odysseus tells his wife that if he isn’t back by the time Telemachus is a man, beard on his face, then she is to remarry. After the stunning defeat of Troy, Odysseus, king of Ithaca, urges to return to his home where his wife, Penelope, his son, Telemachus, and his kingdom await him. On the king’s lengthy journey home, he is faced with many challenges that include cyclops, sirens, Charybdis, Scylla and even a few gods. Twenty years have past and Odysseus hasn’t returned. They presume he is dead. Telemachus now has a beard and Penelope has no choice but to remarry. Eventually the king makes a remarkable comeback. In the years that the king is gone, he reveals tremendous courage, plenty of loyalty, and unbelievable intelligence. All of which make him worthy of a hero title. A character with substantial talent, Odysseus’ utmost strength lies in his courage. Countless times he and his men must overcome menacing rivals on their journey to Ithaca.
And when the king returns, his struggles aren’t over. As Telemachus tells Odysseus how the Suitors have annexed the palace, the king refuses to resign. When dealing with the men who intend to replace him, the protagonist announces, “ ‘You yellow dogs, you thought I’d never make it/home from the land of Troy. You took my house to plunder.’ ” Immensely outnumbered the returning king forewarns any man get in his way their future is at risk. To make such a challenge requires a substantial amount of courage. Keeping your word with others can be pretty difficult for some people. But this isn’t the case for Odysseus. On the voyage homeward the king of Ithaca is faced with a daunting task. He learns from the goddess, Athena, that he will come face to face with sirens. A siren is a half-woman and half-bird, who sings beguilingly to passing sailors in order to lure them to their doom on the rocks she sat on. Odysseus notifies his crew on what Athena told him. He says, “ ‘Sirens weave a haunting song over the sea we are to shun, she said, and their green shore all sweet with clover ; yet she urges that I alone should listen to their song.
There for you are to tie me up, tight as a splint, erect along the mast, lashed to the mast and if I should shout and beg to be untied, take more turns of rope to muffle me.’ ” For Odysseus to do such a tough task must take a great deal of loyalty. In the Sirens episode, Odysseus shows massive amounts of intelligence. He came up with a method to keep his sailors from hearing the beautiful song that would lure them to their deaths. If he hadn’t come up with a method to protect the sailors, the sailors would have directed the boat towards the music and to their death. This is what he did, “I carved massive cakes of beeswax into bits and rolled them in my hands until they softened, no long task, for a burning heat came burning down from Helios, lord of the high noon.
Going forward I carried wax along the line, and laid it thick on their ears.” His method was highly effective considering that they didn’t hear the melody and they didn’t steer the boat into the rocks. Coming up with such a remarkable system he had saved several sailors lives. This trait makes him worthy of the hero title. A memorable story that has delighted readers for centuries, in Homer’s epic poem The Odyssey, Odysseus defeats Troy after a ten year long battle. On his decade long journey home he encounters many foes. When he returns home he finds out that Suitors have over run his palace and they attempt to marry his wife. In his voyage home he shows courage, loyalty and intelligence, all of which are heroic traits. This is what make Odysseus a hero.