25 September 2018
The Odyssey – Paper
The Odyssey is a Greek epic poem that takes place after another epic called the Iliad. It was written by a man named Homer around the eighth century before common era. The Odyssey’s main focus is on a man named Odysseus who is the king of Ithaca and his journey back to Ithaka which takes him 20 years in total. The Odyssey takes us through the journey of Odysseus and all of the challenges he faced along the way. Odysseus faces many obstacles that significantly increase the time it takes for him to return home. He has cheated on Penelope with many other women since he hasn’t seen her in twenty years, however, his knows his heart still belongs to her. In this essay I will be talking about why Odysseus finds himself on an extended journey, where his journey leads him, and what must happen in order for his journey to end.
The reason it took Odysseus twenty years in total was because his primary goal for the first ten years was to fight against troy and destroy them. It wasn’t Odysseus’ number one priority to return home during the first ten years. After Odysseus had finished fighting against Troy, he was imprisoned on an island by Calypso due to her extreme love for him. It is during this time that Odysseus finally wished to go back home to Ithaka to see his wife Penelope and his son Telemachus, however, he didn’t have any way of leaving the island since he didn’t have a ship or people to rescue him. Odysseus was imprisoned on that island for seven years which explains why it took him such a long time to get back home. After those seven years, Odysseus’ biggest supporter, Athena, helped get him off the island by convincing Zeus to do something about it. Zeus ended up sending Hermes to help Odysseus escape the island. After leaving the island, Odysseus sets sail to Ithaka but is then thrown off course by Poseidon because Poseidon is angry at Odysseus for blinding his son, Polyphemus.
After finishing fighting against Troy, Odysseus started his journey back home. This journey led him through many places and met many people along the way. His journey starts out by meeting the Lotus eaters who offer him and his crew lotus fruit which causes some of the men to want to stay and eat fruit for ever. The next thing that happens in his journey is encountering Polyphemus which ends up with Polyphemus getting blinded and Poseidon taking Odysseus of his course. Odysseus then faces the Laestrygonians which results in all of his crew’s ships getting destroyed and cannibals attacking him. When Odysseus escaped the Laestrygonians he reached Circe’s island where all of his men were turned into pigs. There was also a point in the journey where Odysseus comes across the sirens which are women who sing in order to cause ships to crash. Odysseus avoids this plugging his crew’s ears. After all of his encounters, Odysseus is imprisoned by Calypso for seven years and wasn’t able to escape until Zeus helped him.
In order for Odysseus’ journey to end, he must make it through many obstacles on his way back to Ithaka and take control if it once again once he gets there. While Odysseus was gone for so long, everyone thought he was dead which left his son Telemachus with the position to rule over Ithaka. It is during this time that the suitors were trying to take control of Ithaka and planned on killing Telemachus. Telemachus wasn’t able to get rid of the suitors because he wasn’t able to fight them off and didn’t feel strong enough force them away. This left Telemachus stuck because his father Odysseus was the king of Ithaka and was still facing many challenges on his way back home.
It took Odysseus twenty years to finally get back home to Ithaka to his wife and son. He has faced a great number of obstacles and took him many years yet still successfully manages to get back home and take his place as king once again. It is clear that Odysseus has a clear goal and is willing to go through anything to achieve it. He didn’t care how long it would take and kept on going after his goal. All of the obstacles he encountered has caused his journey to be much longer than it should’ve taken and forced him to wait longer to see his wife and son. While Odysseus was gone his son was now a prince ready to take control of Ithaka, however, the suitors didn’t like that idea so they tried to kill Odysseus’ son. When Odysseus got back home from his long journey, he regained control of Ithaka by killing all the suitors that planned on taking control of it. Odysseus was helped by Athena and his son Telemachus. After defeating the suitors, Odysseus finally completed his journey and was reunited with his son and wife.
My favorite quote from the book is, “No fear of the gods who rule the skies up there, … Now all your necks are in the noose…your doom is sealed!” (Odysseus, book 22), that is my favorite quote from the book because Odysseus is telling the suitors that they will get destroyed because they have bad morals and don’t fear the gods. What Odysseus says comes true because Athena was supporting him and was on his side, this resulted in Athena helping Odysseus in killing the suitors which resulted in their deaths. The quote shows that the gods don’t like people with bad morals and will probably result in their demise.
Homer. “The Internet Classics Archive | The Odyssey by Homer.” The Internet Classics Archive | On Airs, Waters, and Places by Hippocrates, classics.mit.edu/Homer/odyssey.html.
Inc. “The Odyssey Quotes – Course Hero.” The Logistic Model Has Good and Bad Features PROS CONS Mathematically Tractable, www.coursehero.com/lit/The-Odyssey/quotes/.