Father-son Relationship In The Odyssey by Homer Essay
In Homer’s most famous epic poem, “The Odyssey” there is certain facts that are obvious to the reader about the nature of a father –son relationship. For instance, that the structure and the organization of the Greeks was patriarchal (Caldwell 40). The men were highly respected especially those that were strong and courageous. Their sons were mostly prized too if they exhibited their father’s achievements and skills.
In Odyssey therefore, it is expected that the relationship of Odysseus and Telemachus is as admiring as it is; the father is proud of his son, who is courageous and the son is proud of his father who has earned a reputation as a warrior who defended his territory bravely.
However, it is surprisingly that distance earned the father –son affection. A son must earn his father’s respect and it is by leaving home and fighting his own battles that a son is able to achieve this. Through distance, a son and a father establish their share of beliefs and values but not through direct contact
In the Odyssey, the father and the son spend most of their time apart and it is through distance that they developed admiration and love for each other. The physical distance between the father and the son is vital and cements their relationship. The father created the distance by being far from home for twenty years.
His son then decided to go on a journey and look for him. It is through this journey that Telemachus is able to prove his worth. Blazina says that there is unique bond between Odysseus and his son Telemachus “desired to connect all along” (285) and the distance strengthens this bond and proves their achievements.
Telemachus went and faced the king when he was enquiring on his father’s whereabouts as explained in the most important quotes from the Odyssey, “to see lord Menelaus…There face-to-face [to] implore father’s whereabouts” (Homer 52).
There is also the connection of emotion when the father and the son meet, “salt tears rose from the wells of longing in both men…./So helpless they cried pouring out tears” (Homer 268). The distance allowed the father and the son to develop a strong bond and feelings towards each other.
In respect to the distance that existed between the father and the son, Telemachus discovered his father in him. Through Telemachus victory, Odysseus saw himself in his son. There are some secrets, not pronounced in fathers that appear in their sons. The father is similar to his son and the vice versa is true. Some aspects and values that fathers and sons share define them.
These values are in The Odysseys by Homer to help shape father- son relationship. According to Homer there are characteristics, “that a son must be willing to do anything for his father, whether it is avenging him or keeping a secret for him (49).” Through these believes and values, the father and son establishes a solid relationship where every one looks after the other.
With this sense of responsibility to look after one another, the sons will always avenge their fathers from any humiliation. When Telemachus went enquiring from the king about his father the king told him of Orestes and what he did to the man who murdered his father. Nestor says, “… you’ve heard of Agamemnon – how he came… how Aigisthos waited to destroy him…paid a bitter price for it in the end… that is a good thing…a son behind him… (Homer 41).
According to Homer every man should have a son that would avenge for him when he his gone. A son should look at his father as his greatest father and uphold him in his highest esteem. The father on the other hand should protect his son from any harm. Odysseus would do anything to protect his son from any danger. He was gone for twenty years but when he returned Odysseus made sure that he protected his son.
He attacked all the suitors who disturbed his son saying, “You yellow dogs, you thought I’d never make it/you took my house to plunder…You dared bid for my wife while I was still alive…Your last hour has come. You die in blood” (Homer 410) He made sure that he put them to death because that what they deserved for disturbing his son.
In conclusion, the relationship between a father and his son is strong bond that cannot be broken. It is usually internal as expressed in the Odyssey. It is stipulated clearly that a father will go to any limits to protect his son and with the same measure; a son will protect his father.
However, the quality of this relationship is determined through the distance between the two. As aforementioned, a worth of a man develops by fighting and winning own battles. Odysseus won his battle just like Telemachus and each saw himself through the lenses of victory of the other and their relationship grew stronger every day.
Blazina, Chis. “Mythos and Men: Toward New Paradigms of Masculinity.” The Journal Of Men’s Studies 5.4 (1997): 285-294.
Caldwell, Richard. The Origin of the Gods: A Psychoanalytic Study of Greek Theogonic Myth, 1993. New York: Oxford University Press.
Homer. The Odyssey. Trans. W. H. D. Rouse. New York: Signet Classics, 1999.
“The Odyssey” by Homer Essay
The Odyssey is the story of an old man (Odysseus) returning home and a young man (Telemachus) venturing out in search of himself. Telemachus, throughout the story, considered the heroic Odysseus as his model.
Throughout the story, there is a constant struggle of the growing Telemachus to imitate the actions of his father and then eventually become like him that he comes to an end of his journey. In the beginning of the poem, Homer does not give any indication to the readers that Telemachus will eventually go on a journey like his father.
Telemachus’s headway towards this goal actually shows how difficult were the goals and ventures of Odysseus. The text of The Odyssey presents a single framed narration of the hero, Odysseys, and the journey of a child, Telemachus, into manhood. This essay will demonstrate the comparisons and contrasts the tale draws between the two central characters of father and son.
There are distinct similarities between the character of Odysseus and Telemachus. The resemblance are so close that in one account Penelope had to reverse the procedure in identifying the true identity of her visitor as Odysseus.
In Odysseus 4, Helen’s description of Telemachus actually shows the close physical resemblance between the two characters. However, as a character in the book, Telemachus is often found to move under the shadow of his father’s heroic feats.
Odysseus is hailed a hero for his heroic adventures and conquests in the battle of Troy. Telemachus too tries to emulate his father, and like him, goes out on a voyage, but fails to attain full respect like his father. Therefore, a continuous struggle is observed in the text wherein there is continuous comparison between the two characters.
The writer, the readers, does it and even by Telemachus himself who felt that, he could never match up to his father’s valor. In Odyssey 2, the episode in which Telemachus leaves a sword in unlocked room that helped the suitors to possess arms to combat the former.
Odysseus, though had made mistakes, could not be expected of making such a careless mistake. Eurymachus states that Telemachus could never muster the courage and conviction to face the threats of the suitors. In another instance, Leocritus points out that Telemachus may not venture out in a journey even after continues encouragement from his elders.
Homer’s epic poem portrays the character of Telemachus as a son who takes change of situation due to an absent father. Only till the father returns to take back the reigns. Therefore, to a great extent the character of Telemachus and his adventures hs been belittled in the text. However, Telemachus does show a sense of pride in his family and blood when he says that he will not shame his family.
Odysseus is critical of Telemachus when they reunite after the former’s return to Ithaca. Telemachus expresses his doubt on their reunion if the man who had transgressed from a beggar to the state of a hero could really be his father, to which Odysseus answers with impatience that had he not been the real father he would not have returned to Ithaca after twenty years of toiling.
In general, the characters of telemachus and Odysseus reflects on that of an obedient son tied by his duties and a gentle father happy to reunite with his family.
The poem stresses on equality and a cordial relation between Telemachus and Odysseus. However, it cannot be overlooked that the poem is more about Odysseus, who fought at Troy, and his grand heroic adventures and that of a mediocre son who lived a mundane life in the island of Ithaca encompassed by his family duties.
Disguise in the “Odyssey”: Character Development & Athena’s Impact
All through the Homer’s Odyssey, disguise has been adopted by different characters to complicate or facilitate their or another character’s passage across the world. Some characters assume multiple disguises throughout the plot.
Athena, the goddess, for example, goes through no less than three transformations. It is not only the goddess who puts on a camouflage, though; Odysseus also pulls off the disguise power to progress his goals and objectives. Odysseus was the king of Ithaca at the time when Palamedes sent him to the Trojan War, which lasted for ten years.
The story begins when Odysseus with his crew journey back to Ithaca, his homeland, as a Trojan War’s valiant hero. He sets sail for Ithaca but in the face of fate wonders for a decade when his ships were instantly drifted to Thrace by a violent storm.
It was the beginning of an expedition. Throughout the The Odyssey, disguise helped the main character, Odysseus,develop through humility and understanding, which eventually led the character back to Ithaca. This journey was made with the aid of the goddess Athena, who disguised Odysseus
Odysseus faces many challenges and tragedies during this adventure. During his travel back home, he was put to trial on different occasions by the monstrosity that nearly destroyed him. His intelligence and sly behavior made him pull through the various dangerous situations he met.
Ultimately, he succeeded in getting back home, and this, he owes to Athena, the goddess, who always supported him throughout his travel. Athena incessantly favored Odysseus, as witnessed in The Odyssey, when Zeus, on Athena’s behalf, had ordered him to release from the island of Calypso where he had been held captive for seven years.
Unfortunately, Poseidon noticed him floating in the waters and was compelled to make him drown, had it not been for goddess Ino who saved him. Later, Odysseus reached Phaecia city, where he encountered Athena camouflaged as king Alcinou’s daughter. The following excerpt supports that, indeed, the goddess Athena disguised Odysseus to help him. (Homer and Johnston 111).
“Straight to his house, the clear-eyed Pallas went, full of plans for great Odysseus’ journey home. She made her way to the gaily painted room where a young girl lay asleep: Nausicaa, the daughter of generous King Alcinous. The goddess drifted through like a breath of fresh air in face and form like the shimpan Dymas’ daughter. Disguised, the bright-eyed goddess chided…” (117).
Athena also had to pour a sea fog around Odysseus to protect him, and then she assumed the shape of a little girl and showed him the way to the palace (Homer and Johnston 111-112). Athena again used this tactic when Odysseus had safely reached his homeland. The goddess did not want the people to notice his return until he had taken revenge upon the suitors of his wife.
Zeus’ daughter Athena had made it a foggy day, so that people might not know of his arrival, and that she might tell him everything without either his wife or his fellow citizens and friends recognizing him until he had taken his revenge upon the wicked suitors(185).
Back in his homeland way before the Trojan War, Odysseus was a king. He had a wife and a son whom he had left an infant when he had to leave for Troy. Being transformed into a stranger, Odysseus had managed to convince Alcinous to bring him back to his homeland. He had to put away his pride to get the much-needed help in reaching home.
“And there Odysseus stood, gazing at all this bounty, a man who had borne so much…Once, he had had his fill of marveling it all.” (141). Athena disguised Odysseus as a beggar to get revenge against the suitors. With this, he had to cast away again his pride (Homer and Johnston 148). Athena explains to him:
“First, I will transform you-no one must know you. I will shrivel the supple skin on your lithe limbs, strip the russet curls from your head, and deck you out in rags you’d hate to see some other mortals wear; I’ll dim the fire in your eyes, so shinning once…” (253)
Once again, Odysseus displays much loss of pride when he comes across a goat herder who mocks and kicks him but was capable of rationalizing the situation. That signaled maturity in his part has been a man of inordinate self-esteem. Later on, he was able to put aside his identity and egoism even when in concealment (Homer and Johnston 235).
The use of disguise in The Odyssey was helpful as it allowed Odysseus to survey his palace and identify those who had remained loyal and those who had not. Emmaus was one of such great men who displayed loyalty to his king even in his long absence.
This is noted when he says: “Not even my parents at home, where I was born and bred. I miss them less than I do him…” (354). He displays further loyalty by showing a feeling of disgust toward the suitors, which moves Odysseus.
Another example of loyalty is shown by his dog, Argos, who was merely a puppy at the time when Odysseus left and was at the point of an old dog. The dog recognized his old master, wagged his tail then died. The fact that his wife, Penelope, did not remarry despite the many suitors who courted her, shows a great height of loyalty.
Other loyal people were his son Telemachus, and Eurykleia, his old nurse. The opposite case is with the suitors and, more especially, Antinous, who rudely hurled a chair at him when in disguise had announced that Odysseus would return (Homer and Johnston 367-389).
Boiling over Antinous gave him a scathing look and let fly. ‘Now, you will not get out the hall unscarred; I swear not after such a filthy string of insults!’ With that, he seized the stool and hurtled it-Square in the back it struck Odysseus… (369).
Eventually, Odysseus successfully vanquished the suitors and was able to reclaim his castle.
Upon bringing back Odysseus adventures from his battle with the monsters though his landing home to his reclaiming the palace, it is noted that his wit and guise aided him to put through his hardships, of course, with the help of Athena who revealed it to him after he had landed in Ithaca. Sure enough, the role of disguise helped Odysseus’ character develop through humility and understanding, which eventually led the character back to Ithaca, with the aid of the goddess Athena.
Odysseus’ journey was much of a self-discovery. It served as a realization of what it takes to be a leader, thus, enhanced his maturity. In conclusion, the importance of disguise in the Odyssey was not only that of practical purposes (to help Odysseus on his journey back home to Ithaca), it also psychologically impacted Odysseus for the better, which helped him complete his hero-cycle.
Homer. Odyssey. Trans. Ian C. Johnston. New York: Richer Resources Publications, 2007. Print
Examples of Hospitality in the “Odyssey” [Hospitality Theme Essay]
In Homeric poem “The Odyssey,” we are treated to an account of the story of Odysseus as he tries to make his way back to Ithaca after successfully aiding the Greeks in conquering the city of Troy. While the tale has various mythical and magical motifs in the form of Gods, Goddesses, nymphs, witches, and magic; one of the most interesting and a rather unusual aspect of the story was the astounding level of generosity shown to Odysseus through various parts of the story (Grabek, 96). In this essay, examples of hospitality in “The Odyssey” shall be explored.
It can be stated that if it were not for the multiple instances where Odysseus was accepting the generosity of various strangers, he would long ago have been able to reach home instead of being delayed for so long.
An examination of other forms of ancient Greek literature reveals that the concept of Greek hospitality (xenia) towards guests is firmly embedded in the belief that all guests are under the protection of the Gods. Zeus himself was said to be the benefactor of guests who entered the households of strangers in foreign lands and that to turn away a guest would be the same as insulting Zeus himself (Grabek, 96).
Other interpretations show the belief that guests are said to be tests sent by the Gods themselves and that various guests asking for shelter within households could be Gods in disguise (Grabek, 96).
One particular piece of Greek mythology supporting this claim is the story of Baucis and Philemon. In it, readers see a situation wherein Zeus tired of eating ambrosia on Olympus descended to the Phrygian countryside along with Hermes to test the generosity of the people. Disguised as poor travelers, they knocked on hundreds of doors. However, they were always rebuffed, and the doors slammed into their faces.
It was only when they encountered the dilapidated cabin of Baucis and Philemon that they were accorded with the highest degree of courtesy from the unfortunate couple. The end of the story was the complete flooding of the Phrygian countryside with all that turned them away dying as a result, with Baucis and Philemon being honored for their generosity by being made into priests of a new temple on top of a hill that escaped the destruction of their neighbors.
As a result of similar tales, ancient Greek society at the time had a rather generous predisposition towards guests, often showing them the most fabulous hospitality that one can muster (Grabek, 96). It must be noted, though, that this hospitality is not the result of any ingrained cultural predilection towards generosity. Still, rather, it can be interpreted as being the result of fear towards the wrath of the Gods (Melisa et al., 1).
Another interesting factor to consider is the concept of the “guest-host relationship” in ancient Greek culture and how it plays a factor in the theme of hospitality in “ The Odyssey” (Melisa et al., 1).
The concept of the guest-host relationship is firmly embedded in the method in which hospitality is given and how it is received. As stated earlier, it was shown that improper hospitality towards guests had the effect of dire punishment. On the other hand, it was also revealed that proper generosity resulted in a significant number of blessings (Melisa et al., 1).
In this paper the ways how hospitality can be applied in “The odyssey.”Three distinct parallels will be examined: Calypso’s imprisonment of Odysseus vs. Circe’s offering of hospitality and love; Alcinous/Phaeacians being helpful by trying to get Odysseus home vs. Poseidon’s shipwreck and finally Penelope’s hospital reception of Odysseus disguised as beggar vs. the suitor’s bad treatment/mocking of him.
These three cases show the concept of the guest-host relationship and what the result of improper/proper hospitality in both cases was. It can be stated that while it was hospitality that enabled Odysseus to finally overcome various obstacles and get back home, the concept of hospitality firmly embedded in the guest-host relationship that caused several of his adventures and was one of the primary reasons behind him getting delayed.
Calypso Imprisonment of Odysseus vs. Circe’s Hospitality
In the first parallels, there are two distinct situations presented, namely the imprisonment of Odysseus and the reception shown to him by Circe. In the case of Calypso, Odysseus was found by the sea nymph after his ship was wrecked due to the fury of Poseidon. After which he spent seven years in the captivity of the sea nymph due to her falling madly in love with Odysseus and wanting him to become her mate. Under the guest-host relationship concept, Calypso is playing the part of an excellent host.
Even though her father is Poseidon, she still chose to aid Odysseus when she found him washed up on the shore of her island, Ogygia. In this case, Calypso successfully fulfills the first aspect of the guest-host relationship in that she accepts a guest that has come to her home in need.
While Odysseus may be criticized in various texts due to his actions with Calypso wherein he did not attempt to immediately escape after getting better, the fact remains that Odysseus was fulfilling the second half of the guest-host relationship. He was adequately and respectfully receiving the gift of hospitality that was given.
For the ancient Greeks, the concept of hospitality does not just extend to how it was given but rather in the way it is received and the inherent consequences of the reception. For example, in the case of the island of Thrinacia, where Odysseus and his men were allowed to land by the God Apollo, various members of the crew violated the guest-host relationship by hunting the cattle of Apollo (Greek life, 1).
The result was the death of all crew members except Odysseus, who survived the resulting shipwreck. Thus, on the part of the host, violating the guest-host relationship by not being open and friendly to guests results in the wrath of the Gods descending upon him. However, the reverse is also true wherein guests that do not adhere to proper mannerisms behind the guest-host relationship will also receive some form of misfortune.
The consequences behind the reception of hospitality are one of the driving factors behind the reason why Odysseus had to stay with Calypso for seven years. He did not want to break the guest-host relationship by just leaving when it was apparent that Calypso was in love with him, especially when taking into consideration the fact that she had saved his life.
In other words, it can be seen that for the Greeks, there is a specific code of conduct that must be done when it comes to hospitality or else there would be dire consequences (Greek life, 1). Homer further emphasizes this point in the case of Odysseus and Circe, in this particular part of the Odyssey, we are presented with the witch Circe who kept on turning all guests who came to her island into pigs.
In this case, instead of Odysseus himself being turned into a farm animal, he is warned by Hermes of what Circe was doing to his crew and informed him about taking the drug moly to prevent the effects of Circe’s magic. The result was Odysseus brandishing his sword at Circe, threatening to kill her. The reason why Hermes helped Odysseus was that Circe was violating the code of conduct of hospitality, which even the Gods themselves must abide by.
Circe, powerful though she was, was not exempted from this rule and as such, was taught a lesson by the Gods to teach her to be more hospitable to guests. What is being implied here is that the rules regarding hospitality always have consequences no matter who you are. This particular concept will be more apparent later on as I elaborate more on the various parallels in this paper.
How Is Hospitality Shown in “The Odyssey”? Odysseus Home vs. Poseidon’s Shipwreck
Unlike the previous parallel, where, in both cases, Odysseus had to spend a significant portion of time with both Circe and Calypso, Odysseus was able to get home through the Phaeacians’ help. The basis of this story lies in Poseidon’s destruction of the raft of Odysseus and his subsequent shipwreck on the island of Phaecians.
Once more, we can see the guest-host relationship wherein Nausicaa, the daughter of Alcinous, encounters Odysseus and encourages him to seek the hospitality of her father. Once again, we see the guest-host link at work wherein Odysseus is openly greeted by Alcinous and is treated rather well. Odysseus, on the other hand, similar to the cases of Calypso and Circe, once more plays the part of a guest who graciously receives the hospitality of Alcinous.
Unlike the cases involving Circe and Calypso, the culmination of the stay of Odysseus with the Phaeacians results in him being able to leave rather quickly for his home in Ithaca through their assistance. The reason behind this is connected to the concept of the guest-host relationship and the consequences behind the reception of hospitality. In the case of Circe and Calypso, both women did not want Odysseus to leave since they were both in love with him.
This presents a problem for Odysseus since he must also be receptive to the wishes of the host. As a result, his time in both cases gets extended beyond what he had initially planned for since he did not want to become an ungracious guest due to the possible repercussions this might bring him as a result of the guest-host concept.
While the Odyssey does take the concept of the guest-host relationship to an absolute extreme is does portray an accurate enough depiction of the idea utilized in ancient Greek society (Shaw & Bloom, 41). Thus, it is also considered one of the examples of hospitality in “The Odyssey.” It could be stated that the reason why Homer chose to depict the story of Odysseus in such a way was that he wanted to present his views regarding the system itself, which places an unnecessary burden on both the host and the guest (Shaw & Bloom, 41).
In the case of the Phaeacians, particularly Alcinous, after hearing the tale of the travels of Odysseus, it was the wish of the people present there to help him reach Ithaca. As a result, Odysseus complying once more with the concept of the guest-host relationship goes along with the wishes of the Phaeacians to help send him home.
In this particular case, it was the wish to help Odysseus by the Phaeacians that was the facilitating factor in enabling him to go home. It can be assumed that if the king wanted to keep Odysseus around instead of helping him go home, it can be expected that the time Odysseus spent away from home would have increased to a certain degree.
On the other half of this parallel is the case of Poseidon and Odysseus involving Poseidon’s antagonist attitude towards Odysseus involving the shipwreck before Odysseus was able to reach the Phaeacians. It must be noted that as God of the sea, the various seas that Odysseus traversed were, in fact, part of the home of Poseidon.
When he blinded the Cyclops Polyphemus, who also happened to be a son of Poseidon, this constituted a violation on the part of Odysseus towards the concept of the guest-host relationship, which inevitably caused him to be shipwrecked due to Poseidon’s wrath. From this, it is further emphasized that violations of the guest-host link can and will result in an ignominious end. The reason behind my emphasis on this particular concept can be seen in the parallelism involving Odysseus and the ill-tempered guests at this home.
Examples of Bad Hospitality in “The Odyssey”
In the conclusion of the Odyssey, we see Odysseus returning to Ithaca. However, instead of immediately presenting himself to his wife, Athena first disguises him as a beggar for him to evaluate what has happened to his home while he was away. The result of this action is that when he entered the home looking for food and shelter, he was immediately accosted by the various suitors who were there berating him, mocking him, and otherwise treating him in a deplorable manner.
What must be taken into account in this situation is that Odysseus himself is the master of the household that the guests are in. Even though they are unaware of it, treating him in such a manner goes entirely against the guest-host relationship. Another factor to consider is that in several parts of the Odyssey, it is shown that Penelope, the wife of Odysseus, has often asked the various suitors to leave. However, most of them stayed despite her wishes and even abused their privilege while staying at her house.
This instance shows another violation of the guest-host relationship wherein the guests do not follow the wishes of the host. Throughout the story, it is evident that one of the reasons why Odysseus took so long to reach Ithaca was because he adamantly tried to follow the guest-host relationship (Melisa et al., 1).
As mentioned earlier, violators of the guest-host relationship often wind up in an ignominious end. In this particular situation, all of the suitors at the house wound up dead. However, there is no punishment coming from the Gods for the actions of Odysseus. In fact, in some versions of the story, Athena herself intervenes to save Odysseus from the anger of the parents of the various suitors.
The reason behind this is the fact that the suitors themselves violated the guest-host relationship by not treating the host with respect and not following through with the host’s wishes, as such, this justifies their slaying.
In the other half of the parallelism, Penelope treated Odysseus, who looked like a beggar with a great deal of kindness and compassion following the tenets of the guest-host relationship. Earlier it was mentioned that the concept of openly receiving guests was because the Greeks thought that guests were a form of the test from the Gods because they never knew if the person that they were treating was a God in disguise (Steward & Bloom, 187).
Similar to the story of Baucis and Philemon, the disguised person, in this case, was not a God but Odysseus, but it was also a test similar to the case of Baucis and Philemon (Steward & Bloom, 187). The result was that Penelope was able to receive the reward, her husband being alive and well.
Grabarek, Daryl, Walter Minkel, and Patricia D. Lothrop. “Understanding The Odyssey A Student Casebook to Issues, Sources, and Historical Documents/A Companion to Homer’s Odyssey (Book).” School Library Journal 49.12 (n.d.): 96. Literary Reference Center. EBSCO. Web.
Greek Life. “Greek Life as Depicted in Homer’s Odyssey.” Ancient Greece., 2004: 1. Web.
Melisa, Cory et al. “The Value of Hospitality.” Why So Hospitable. Union.edu, N. A.:1. Web.
Shaw, Thomas., and Harold Bloom. “T. E. Shaw on Homer’s Temperament.” Bloom’s Notes Homer’s Odyssey (1988): 41-43. Literary Reference Center. EBSCO. Web.
Stewart, Douglas J., and Harold Bloom. “The Disguised Guest.” Bloom’s Modern Critical Views: Homer (1986): 187-204. Literary Reference Center. EBSCO. Web.
Odysseus Heroism Essay
Wily Odysseus emerged as a hero in the poem, “Odysseus Strings His Bow”. He fought in many battles that cost him separation from his family. He did not give up until he was re-united with his family. At first, he was the king of Ithaca, an implication that he possessed excellent leadership skills.
In the course of his life at one time Odysseus fell in love with Helen’s cousin Penelope. Penelope bore him a son whom they named Telemachus. He was afraid that this would be known and to cover for the same he pretended to be insane. His scheme was discovered by Palamedes who placed his child (Palamedes’) to find out if really Odysseus was insane. It was expected that he (Odysseus), being insane, could harm the child but he did not. This led to a conclusion by the others that he was not insane (Historylink 1).
Odysseus was also a brave and clever warrior. He formulated the trick of the great wooden horse to give victory to the Greeks. This idea brought an end to the war of Trojans and Greeks which had taken a period of ten years (Historylink 1).
Odysseus had left his wife Penelope who had faithfully waited for him till he came back. She had made promises to him that she would wait for him. Penelope had made all efforts to avoid marrying another man. At the time of his return, many people believed that Odysseus was dead (McIlvain 1). He was a hero because he had for himself a very faithful wife.
The long away stay of Odysseus made people think that he was dead. A group of men took over his palace and had even tried to date his wife. One of the suitors, Antinous wanted to kill Odysseus’s son who was meant to be the next prince. Telemachus had made efforts to get these people out of the palace but they overpowered him (Notes 1).
On his way home, Odysseus encountered many gods on the way. Some of the gods such as Poseidon had issues with Odysseus. Athena was the one who pleaded with Poseidon to let him go to his home Ithaca. Odysseus was famous even to the gods who had heard of his victories: “When he identifies himself as Odysseus, his hosts, who have heard of his exploits at Troy are stunned” (Notes 1).
Odysseus finally made it to his home. Surprisingly, not even his wife could recognize him, apart from his nurse, Eurycleia. Odysseus was angered by the condition of his palace. Maids went to sleep with suitors at night. Athena a god asked him to stop his anger and appreciate what he had: wife Penelope, son Telemachus and the palace (McIlvain 20).
Odysseus made a long conversation with his wife Penelope who could not recognize him. She told him of how much she missed her husband. This was where the nurse recognized him as he cleaned his feet. The nurse recognized a scar that was on his feet but Odysseus’ look stopped her from telling Penelope (McIlvain 19). He was a hero because he made it to have a long conversation with his wife ensuring that she did not recognize him.
Penelope then decided to put up a contest. She said that the man who would be able to string Odysseus’ great bow and fire it through a row of twelve axes would become his husband. She chose this contest because only his husband Odysseus had been able to do it. Odysseus had not revealed his identity. He looked like a beggar all this time. The beggar, Odysseus asked for the bow to try. Antinous mocked him. Surprisingly, he effortlessly stringed the bow and sent it through the axes (McIlvain 21). This skill was a character of a hero as well as outdoing all other men.
Odysseus in anger turned against Antinous and the maids and killed them. Finally, Penelope was reunited with her husband after revealing to her that he was Odysseus. He was a hero because he could do anything to achieve his goal (McIlvain 22). He was re-united with his wife because of one special skill of using a bow. He convinced his wife Penelope that he was Odysseus by telling her about the bed he had made from a still rooted olive tree which was only known to him (McIlvain 24).
Faith and Religion in “The Wife of Bath”
This poem was based on Christian values in marriage. The poem was derived from the Bible; 1Corinthaians 7:1-9. Behaviour of women was described and outlined by Christian traditions. Christianity guided morals in the society. The speaker told of how marriage was for her. Since she was 12 years of age she had been married five times in church. All the men she married were well up and had inherited wealth (McIlvain 1).
Marriage in this context was based on Christian values. One was only supposed to wed once: “That since Christ went never but once, to a wedding, in the Cana of Galilee, that by that same example he taught me, that I should be wedded but once” (Benson 1).
The tale teller also used the Bible to justify her multiple marriages. She used some examples like that of Jacob, and Abraham and claimed that they were saints but never had more than one wife. She said this in a tone of persuasion. The tale teller narrated her experiences using Biblical quotes:
Lo, here the wise king, dan Solomon, I believe he had wives more than one, As would God it were lawful unto me, To be refreshed half so often as he! What a gift of God had he because of all his wives! (Benson 1)
Christianity was the basis of morality. Those who were able to uphold the moral standards were very few. There were two characters that played different roles in the church, the pardoner and the Summoner. They were corrupt. The pardoner was the one received those who had sinned while the summoner was responsible bringing the sinner to the church. The summoner had committed a crime that he accused others for.
The poem was made of instances of preaching so it could teach on faith. The preaching was made of rules and texts from the Bible. The preacher could explain the Biblical principles to the audience who had little knowledge about the scriptures. These teachings could thus explain the moral theories of this society.
In this story, the pilgrims were knowledgeable in that they knew the basic rules that are laid by the Bible from the sermons they heard in church. The pardoner used many supporting scriptures to justify immoral behaviours of the drunks. He quoted people from the Bible such as Herod, Lot and the sins they committed in their drunkenness. The pardoner was very corrupt in that he used scriptures to justify his immoral actions.
The tale described faith in Christianity. It said that those who lived in chastity were following Christian teachings. Those people would always sing a new hymn. This was a call to perseverance in whatever one went through. The most important thing was to obey God’s commands so as to make it to heaven.
The Prince: Machiavellian Philosophy
“The Prince” story was written by Niccolo Machiavelli. He dedicated his writings to his grandson on how to maintain power as a leader. His advice was his philosophy. He had previously been a leader of Florence in Italy. His experiences with Politician Cesare Borgia were ruthless.
He drew his writings from his leadership skills. This was because the tactics he used in to rule people at that time worked out for them. His message was on how his grandson could protect himself as a Prince. Maintenance of power was his main interest. Machiavelli had been accused of conspiracy which led to his imprisonment. This was when he wrote this story, “The Prince” (Amazon 1).
Firstly, Machiavellian offered his philosophies on how to retain power as a prince. In the first chapter, he recommended imitation of the style and techniques of rulers who had previously made it to rule over their territories (Amazon 1). He described two types of states, Republics or Principalities.
Principalities included new and hereditary principalities. His perspective was that it was easier to govern hereditary states because those who were ruled by the state family were familiar with the ruling of the prince family and the subjects would always love the ruling family unless they misbehaved (Notes 1).
Secondly, as a Prince one was supposed to limit the freedom of citizens (Amazon 1). Princes were supposed to have dominion over weak surrounding states. The prince was also supposed to weaken the strong states. He believed that the weaker states would always naturally support the stronger side and thus the prince power would not be at threat (Notes 1).
The prince was supposed to have a strong military force that was made of local people and not foreigners. He thought that foreigners could not be trusted. Skills in leading the troops were very essential for the prince (Amazon 1). This would secure the Prince’s power.
He also believed that a prince was supposed to use violence, trickery and insincerity to gain his political interests. On this, he recommended that a prince was not supposed to use these tactics unnecessarily (Amazon 1): “It makes him (ruler) hated above all things, as I have said, to be rapacious, and to be a violator of the property and women of his subjects, from both of which he must abstain” (Amazon 1).
He said that a prince was supposed to increase the wealth of the state by whichever means whether good or bad. The reason for this was so as to ease the burden of paying taxes to his citizens (Amazon 1). Plundering of enemy’s money or treasury was one of the tactics if an opportunity presented itself to him. However, his advice to the prince was to increase taxes if need arose to maintain his state.
The prince was also supposed to strike a balance of generosity to the citizens. Doing according to the will of citizens was an important tactic of maintaining ruler ship; but the prince was not supposed to always follow their wish (Amazon 1). To guard against crime in his state, the prince was supposed to have punishments which could suit the criminals fairly.
Very harsh punishments were not recommended because they could trigger hatred of citizens to the prince. On the other hand, if little punishment was given to great criminals, people would complain and probably overthrow his kingdom. He put it that it was better for people to hate the prince other than to love him, but his actions was supposed to avoid people’s hatred (Amazon 1).
The Prince was supposed to appoint court officials who were trustworthy and able to tell the truth without fear of offending the ruler. However, they were supposed to serve for the ruler’s interest (Amazon 1).
Similarities between Quran and Analects
The Quran and The Analects are used to guide moral principles in societies. Quran is used as a holy book for the Muslims and Analects of Confucius are used by the Chinese. The two books guide the believers on how to live a good fulfilling life.
The two books uphold good morals. Everyone who follows the rules and guidelines set by them gets a reward. The Qur’an recommends moral values including “genuineness, sincerity, modesty, peacefulness, compassion, justness, tolerance and forgiveness” (Yahya 1). Analects of Confucius have moral teachings. The Analects encourage people to love each other. People are not supposed to mistreat each other. Leaders are not allowed to show selfishness to other people (Ross 1).
The two books encourage people to treat each other in a fair manner. People are supposed to treat others as they would like to be treated. The Analects advocates for the following:
If what you don’t want for yourself, you shouldn’t do to others, and then you would like others to do for you what you would indeed like for yourself…If you desire to establish yourself, then establish others. (Ross 1)
In Qur’an, righteousness demands one to spend for the sake of love of other people. The Qur’an encourages that people should treat each other with respect irrespective of their social standing (Ipaki 1).
Good things follow those who obey the rules and laws set by the two books. In Analects, a good leader was easily obeyed even without having to use force on the people. The bad leader without good morals could not be obeyed even if he gave orders to the people (Ross 1).
Both books honour human life. Violence is discouraged in both the Quran and Analects. Killing of the innocent is prohibited in the Quran.
If someone kills another person, unless it is in retaliation for someone else or for causing corruption in the earth- it is as if he had murdered all mankind. And if anyone gives life to another person, it is as if he had given life to all mankind. (Ipaki 1)
Confucius said that a good government does not need to kill. Having good example in leadership would help people to obey the rules (Ross 1).
The two books uphold morality above all other things. The conditions and situations in which one is subjected to should never corrupt his moral values. In Analects, “The Gentleman doesn’t worry about pay, profit, or poverty in comparison to Morality” (Ross 1). In Quran the emphasis is on avoiding the wrong, “A good action and a bad action are not the same. Repel the bad with something better” (Ipaki 1).
Goodness is connected to ritual in Analects (Ross 1). In Quran, if any deed is not for Gods pleasure, the deed becomes unrighteous. All good things done for other people should have their intensions in pleasing God (Ipaki 1).
The two books condemn stealing and support acquisition of wealth in the right way. Analects say, “Everyone wants wealth and rank, but can only get them in the right way” (Ross 1). Violence was never supposed to be the means of wealth acquisition. The Quran condemns mischief and the corrupt people are subject to a curse (Ipaki 1).
Amazon. The Prince. Cumming study Guides. Web.
Benson, Larry. The wife of Bath’s Prologue and Tale.Harvard, 2008. Web.
Historylink. Odysseus. History, 2004. Web.
Ipaki. Righteous Deeds. Ipak. Web.
McIlvain, John. The Odyssey. Leasttern, 2004. Web.
Notes, Spark. The Prince. Spark Notes, 2011. Web.
Ross, Kelley. Confucius. Friesian, 2011. Web.
Yahya, Harun. True wisdom described in the Qur’an. Harunyahya, 2011. Web.
“The Odyssey” by Homer Report (Assessment)
Homer’s captivating chef-d’oeuvre The Odyssey stands out as a must-read piece of literature that tables the interactions as well as the various interests existing between people and the so-called gods. Odysseus is the key character in the story that strategically develops the plot of the story that explains issues pertaining to kingdom, conflicts and love amongst others. For instance, Odysseus hides himself only to return after ten years to find the place invaded by suitor.
His forgotten wife reunites with him through trickery and afterwards they regain the kingship and embark to their normal life. This unification comes after Odysseus has undergone several hardships that end up earning him the name beggar. As the paper reveals, the choices that people like Odysseus make in life matches with the situation that they have at hand, otherwise symbolized by the ‘journeys’ in Homer’s The Odyssey.
During his journeys, Odysseus makes several choices. For instance, the journey of Odysseus back to Ithaca feature him as an important figure to Calypso therefore helping in building up the story as his return remains the center of all agony that begets the suitors and the happiness and regain of his former title in Ithaca.
On his journey, Odysseus encounters a command to throw ‘Ino’ in water in order to secure protection from the storm send by Poseidon who seems unhappy with the decision made by other gods to release Odysseus. The first choice Odysseus is required to make is whether between leaving his love Calypso and head back to Ithaca to his former palace and the reverse of the case. Calypso who has held him hostage for a very long period loves him dearly leading to his losing of hope even in his own son and wife Penelope.
Secondly, on his journey, Odysseus has to make a choice on whether fall in love with Nausicca when he meets her swimming in the river or not, a decision that he has to think of during his journey. When Odysseus reaches the palace, Phaecian, the Alcinous the king, welcomes Odysseus well and offers her daughter hand for marriage. He further provides a ship to carry Odysseus to his homeland. The Odysseus journey, which finds him in the sea results from a wind send my Zeus to drug their ship.
Upon reaching the main land, Odysseus is advised to enter a cave to take some cheese, milk and sheep for the other crewmembers. However, unfortunately due to his delays, the inhabitant Polyphenus, a son of Poseidon and the owners of the foods, who at first shows them hospitality, catches up with them devouring two members imprisoning Odysseus and the others for the next day meals. Based on these expositions, there stand some similarities between the journey and the choices that Odysseus makes.
When captured by Poseidon on his journey, Odysseus conceals his identity, a case that appears similar to the choice he makes when he meets Nausicca, her love pretending that he was going to marry her. This similarity is therefore in terms of falsehood that he employs on his journey and his choice to marry.
Another similarity is the decision he makes on his journey of whether to remain with Calypso or go back to Ithaca. Both the choice and the journey prove difficult since Calypso loves him while on the other hand going back to Ithaca seems to pose a threat as Suitors occupy the palace.
Every person has an episode or an event that one way or another happened to him and one that remains an experience or rather a ‘journey’ in his/her life. These events, heavy-laden with lessons, happen in life remaining in our minds to the level of affecting its mental capacity. They can come to us through illusions, dreams and imaginations. Odysseus’s journey is full of temptations and bad experiences, which resemble my experience in my life.
Odysseus seems held captive suffering imprisonment by the gods of the sea together with his six members, an episode that looks unreal. Just like Odysseus, I experienced an awful event through a dream, which actually continues to affect me mentally day-by-day. I had watched a horror movie in which vampires devoured people mercilessly. People went through agony trying their level best to escape the wrath of these vampires but their cries and escape could not help them.
Facing the devourers cowardly without resistance stood as the only option. I was coming from my school, it was a bit late and on reaching by last corner heading to my place, I was ambushed by three people covered in bloods and covered their faces with goats masks, they were energetic and extremely big in size. I fainted and fell down aimlessly without knowing what to do. I later gained my conscious though unable to tell where I was. It seemed a very deep home surrounded by many bloody covered creatures, which I could not identify.
They were to feed on me. Before they could dissect me, I found myself surrounded by my father and mother inquiring why I was shouting and shading tears. I then realized that I was just dreaming. I told them the story and they were all astonished. It is an experience that I have ever remembered and wish no recurrence of the same.
Homer’s gods provide an insight of how the Greek people should behave. They believe in Zeus, the father of all gods to provide the background of how Greek’s culture should be practiced. For instance, hospitality and respect among the Greeks seems important as exhibited through the way the two kings welcome Telemachu despite his being unfamiliar to them.
Calypso, a god who has fallen in love with Odysseus feels betrayed after the other gods led by Zeus decide to release Odysseus back to Ithaca. She feels that her feelings and her intimate relationship with Odysseus is not given any priority.
Through Calypso’s hypocritical thinking that Homer tries to bring out, she complains of how the male gods make choices without regarding the fact that she also has a say in the issues. Instead, they overlook her feelings and just make up judgments without consciously thinking about her. On the other hand, suitors engage in relationship with Penelope, which to her seems unfair.
Therefore, one can deduce that Homers gods behave and think in the perspectives of how people or human beings ought to interact and socialize. Their thinking provides insight in how the human race needs to appear culturally and socially by observing or conforming to the rules and regulations, which prove worth abiding by and further distancing themselves to such activities or relationship that might lead them astray.
It seems clear how Homer presents these gods in relation to human affairs. He has also managed to highlight some social aspects and family issues that the society goes through revealing how one can reach the various decisions whether constructive or destructive.
Human beings believe in these gods in their daily lives. There is a perception of humans that the gods help them in providing security, information as well as protecting them against evil occurrences in their day-to-day lives. For instance, when the solicitor learns about the plan of Odyssey’s son Telemachus, of regaining back the throne and the place of his father, the herd medon, the gods hear the plan reporting later to his mother Penelope.
In this regard, Athena, a god does some activities by sending a phantom inform of Penelope sister’s image to assure her that she should not worry as protection will be provided. These gods also play a function of making important decisions pertaining to the welfare of the humans. For instance, when Athena suggests the release of Odysseus, the other gods agree therefore leading to his release from Calypso, his lover.
Human beings also have a responsibility towards these gods since they take them as their source of reference in whatever decisions they make. For instance, there exists the god of the seas, rain, storm, peace and so forth. This therefore implies a certain role that the gods play for instance in providing them with a decision or direction they should take. On the other hand, they have the responsibility of adhering to what they say lest they succumb to the negative or atrocities associated with negligence.
In conclusion, Homer’s masterwork provides an interesting and humorous perspectives and beliefs of the Greeks. The plot, as developed by Odysseus provides a better insight on the relationship between gods and human beings showing how the relationships help in building and destroying their values.
Therefore, the book proves worth reading as it explores the social lives of people shading light on their formation as well as their destruction. It therefore helps people in general to understand the vicissitudes of life: that life encompasses all sorts of issues done by people for their survival purposes for instance relying on god’s interventions.
Analysis of Job’s and Odysseus Essay
The strong character traits of the main characters Odyssey and Job in the epic The Odyssey and The Story of Job help develop their plots from the beginning to the rise of conflict and their resolutions. Although written by different authors, periods and places, the two characters’ physical strength is not as important as their intelligence in handling their difficulties.
The Odyssey is an epic that describes the tales of Odysseus, who is the main character in Homer’s story. Its setting is around 3,200 years ago. It begins on an island in the Ionian Sea. Throughout the plot as Odysseus travels to the war in Troy as a warrior, and his journey back where he is taken captive by the nymph Calypso, he remains intelligent.
The book of Job is said to be set around the 4th century B.C. Job is a dedicated and faithful servant of God. He is tempted in the effort to challenge his perspective of God. Everything he possessed, both health and wealth, is gone. For Job to deal with the devil’s temptations and still remain faithful to God, shows great wisdom. Although his first response is anger, he is careful not to curse God as advised by both friends and family. In his pursuit of litigation, he wants God to intervene on his behalf.
Intelligence and their Response
In both, the Greek Gods in Homer’s The Odyssey and Job’s God, humans are subordinate to the gods who have to be approached with fear and respect. However, in Job’s case, God allows the suffering in which Job wisely uses his freewill to make choices: the knowledge that his adversity is the enemy not God.
Both Odyssey and Job have well developed traits; as perseverant, self sacrificing and faithful. In the plot of the book of Job, Job clearly understands that his suffering is not an aspect of cause and effect. This dogmatic approach enshrined even among his friends and his own wife, whose response is to blame Job for either doing wrong or respond in cursing God, is foolish.
From the beginning, Job is described as blameless, his faithfulness and wise response to God is as a result of his understanding that this was not retribution. He applies dissenting wisdom instead of conventional wisdom in responding to the questions and advice from his friends or family.
Odyssey battles with the Cyclops and Polyphemus, considering their superiority in physical strength, challenges his intelligence further. The confrontation with the gods, Zeus and his daughter Athena, goddess of wisdom, also shows great wisdom. He remains focused during these struggles and captivity that separates him for 20 years from his family.
Intelligence and relationships
In Greek literature, Odysseus’s strong relationship with his wife Penelope allows him to remain loyal and strong in his most difficult periods and their long separation. Despite, that Nymph Calypso tempted him and sleeps with her against his will; his feeling for Penelope helps him persevere.
Job, in his relation with God and the choice to maintain a positive perspective of God despite his unbearable circumstances, is wise. The pressure for his friend does not distract him from believing God’s faithfulness. Although his friends understand God’s just principles, they think he has wronged God, resulting into the punishment.
It is only Job’s foundation of wisdom that gives him a better understanding that it is God’s policies being challenged. His belief that if God is wise means He is just too takes him a long way. Dealing with the devil and the decision not to take his wife’s advice to curse God, takes not only integrity and patience but also wisdom. He tells her off as it is foolish not to expect evil by cursing God.
Although Odyssey’s sorrow and pain is obvious to the readers, his choice not to express this to his crew serves to maintain a good relationship with them. Odysseus sheds tears from under his brows therefore, nobody else noticed. Odysseus offers sacrifices of thanks throughout the epic even as Zeus strikes down his crew for disobedience as they eat the Cattle of the Sun.
It is because Athena admires Odysseus’ intelligence that this goddess of wisdom aides him during the war of vengeance waged against him by the suitors’ parents. His ability to disguise himself and hide all weapons helps in defeating the suitors who outnumbered him.
He defeats the giant Cyclops by making it drunk without the help of his crew because they are all fearful of the giant. The giant helps him move the stone from the door, only to escape wrapped on a sheep.
Both Job’s and Odyssey’s response to their difficult circumstances throughout their journey maintains a perspective that transcends their current circumstances. As they go on a perilous journey in pursuit of good and knowledge, they discover that man can never fully understand the mysteries of God and the universe. In their quest for answers, they undergo numerous challenges and it is only in following this path that they get closer to the truth.
The Odyssey by Homer Essay
The most striking feature of Odysseus is deception. It is evident that in the land of the gods, the tricksters have a better chance of survival. The reader might view it as acts of lack of honor, which could be true. However, deception was the best resource that Odysseus possessed.
The character’s ability to improvise false stories and devise trickery plans is outstanding and draws the reader’s attentions closer. Throughout the play Odyssey does not struggle to reveal himself to anyone as a trustworthy person. Deception is a vital tool for survival in this story, considering that not all events favor the protagonist. This paper seeks to show how lying has been employed as a survival tool in Homer’s work “the Odyssey”.
The Trojan horse trick against Polyphemos is an instance that gets Odysseus out of trouble. The soldiers disguise themselves in a body of Trojan horse to conceal their identity. Odysseus and his accomplices disguise themselves as rams to hide from Polyphemos. Another instance of deception is when Odysseus pretends to be a beggar to keep himself safe. He also pretended to be a beggar to test the loyalty of others and to devise his plan of overthrowing the other suitors (Homer 93-96).
Amid all deceptions, the protagonist is viewed as an honest soldier going against all odds. The protagonist uses the deceits to acquire a strong team of followers. The followers view the protagonist as the voice of reason, an inspiring figure to continue fighting. Their hero is their reason of continuing no matter the change of challenges.
The hero uses deception to create a symbol of ideals and exemplifies what the group believes. The hero makes his followers to respect him in order to obey him. As a consequence of deception, the hero endures more problems than his followers.
In the story, deception is not always meant to cause harm to other people. Some instances of deception are meant to help other people to get out of trouble. In the story lies have been used as tool for encouragement especially in family relationships. In the absence of the father, a woman takes the role of the husband inform of disguise. This is not meant to do any harm but just as way of encouraging a child who may be totally dependent on the father’s advice (Homer 99-105).
Deception has been used as a manipulation tool. The protagonist lies to be someone he is not in order to manipulate people to do something that will be to his advantage. By way of embodiment Odysseus is able to pretend to be somebody else. A good example was when Odysseus pretended to be a beggar, and also when he pretended to be somebody else to test his wife’s trust. In the story, a character is able to achieve this by lying that she is a god and at the same time makes sacrifices as a human (Homer 435).
Lies have been used to test the hospitability of other people. Odysseus transforms himself to beggar so as to test character of others whether they can be hospitable or not. Odysseus was able to pretend to be a beggar and creep all along the borders of enemy line that he was fighting without being noticed. His creativity as a liar gives him an advantage over his enemies. This made him win battles and came out as a war hero but it was all through deception (Homer 255).
Deception has been used as tool to get honor. Many instances of deception have made Odysseus to stand out as a hero to his acquaintances. The soldiers trust his wit and follow his ideas which end up rescuing them in times of trouble.
When Odysseus went to a new place where the natives did not recognize him and, it became easy to win their honor through lies. Odysseus lies to have come from a lineage of a wealthy family. He lied that his wealthy father died and left him with a lot of properties. The story represents a community that emphasizes on an individual’s lineage in matters relating to marriage.
In order to win the trust of a wealthy family, it becomes important to use deception. Due to honor of his father as a wealthy person, he is able to marry a girl from family with a lineage of wealth. This is arguably the negative consequence of deception, but on the contrary, Homer has used it to show the readers the extent of desperateness that his protagonist was going through (Homer 220).
Deceptions have been used in testing other people’s emotions. Sometimes it is hard to know what people are capable of when they are emotional. As means to protect yourself from their emotions you can lie to them so as you can know them better. In the play Odysseus tests the emotions of his father by lying to him about his identity by pretending that he was another person. He only reveals his identity when his father gets emotional. This deception gave him an opportunity to read his father’s mind, a chance to understand how he would react when the emotions take the best of him.
Deception has been used as a way of testing someone’s love. This is based on the fact that a person in love is primarily supposed to defend her love especially to strangers. Odysseus talks ill about himself when disguised to give him an opportunity of reading the mind of Penelope. In this way Odysseus uses his disguise to test if Penelope loves him by speaking to her as a stranger (Homer 200).
Deception has been used to show cleverness. Cleverness has been used to depict the characters of people in the play. Many of the actions displayed by Athena throughout the play shows how clever she was. She wants to help Odysseus after realizing he was lying .She does this using deceptive means.
It is through cleverness that gives Penelope value which makes Odysseus to like her but achieves this through lies. Athena wants Odysseus to be inspired by the beauty of Penelope so that he can know what he would be fighting for. She must be clever enough to accomplish this and does it using lies (Homer 503).
Deception has been used as a test of loyalty for the protagonist to know the people he could trust. In the play Odysseus was able on spy his servants to know whether they were loyal to him. He was able know those who were disloyal to him by his act of sleeping outside.
Even though he gets them he is unable to take any actions because he feared being blackmailed by another nurse who had identified him. He used deceit to identify he men who had invaded his home. The reasons for doing this was to enable him identify the loyal people who he could trust and work with (Homer 502).
Deception has been used as a tool of vengeance. Odysseus revenge could not have gone through if he had not used deceit. He is able to accomplish his revenge mission on the suitor who once a conflict with by killing him through deceit. He takes the advantage during the contest to win Penelope in marriage to kill the suitor first.
Using deceits he kills those suitors who were disloyal to him and saves those who seemed of good character to him. In the end he is able to kill the maids who were disloyal to him by using by blackmailing the old nurse who brings them to him. It was the plan of deceit that enabled him to accomplish his vengeance.
Homer. The Odyssey. New York: Plain Label Books, 2009. Print.
Greek/Roman Humanities: Epic of Gilgamesh and the Odyssey Essay
The earliest works of fiction included the work of fiction the Epic of Gilgamesh that dates from the beginnings of civilization in Mesopotamia and Homer’s Odyssey, greatest ancient works of literature attributed to Homer. This epic is crucial to the present Western canon, ranks second and extant in the works of Western literature. This essay analyzes the ancient epics that exist presently and are of interest in the world of literature because of their historical worth and the beauty of imagery and language choice (Knox 23).
The epic of Gilgamesh revolves around a demigod king of Uruk. Gilgamesh was a king who ruled the mighty city of Uruk in Mesopotamia. Parts of Gilgamesh’s life are written on clay tablets, presumed to be the oldest existing story of a man’s life.
Thus, this epic revolves around the tale of his pursuance for eternal life. Acceptance of one’s own morality is portrayed as the major theme in the epic, as Gilgamesh finds highest purpose in search of eternal life. It is among the greatest works in ancient literature. In the epic, Gilgamesh is presented as a demigod or a legendary king.
The historical king of Uruk reined in 2700 and, perhaps, the legendary material, it may have been grafted from the king Gilgamesh. This epic contains fictional aspects characteristics of a heroic epic and reflects historical aspects, as well. The Gilgamesh epic is crucial to understanding the history and culture of Mesopotamia since it reveals much concerning contemporary and religious worlds (Fiero 20).
These include individual’s attitudes towards gods, and the reference and definition accorded a hero. In addition, the epic provides individuals views over death also describes the political and the social context in Uruk, a Mesopotamian city, as well as, its landscape. According to the prologue (Mitchell 61), Uruk is described as a developed city on the River Euphrates, having fortification walls and templates. Mesopotamia was polytheist society.
The Epic of Gilgamesh is a story based truth. It is particularly appealing with regards to its links with the Holy Bible and various connections in them. These include the worldwide flood and man’s relationship with God. The Epic enables us to understand the culture of ancient Mesopotamia, since it describes that the inhabitants were not primitive cavemen.
There is the presence of boats as well as a fairly advanced language. In addition, ancient Mesopotamia can be understood to constitute theological culture with a belief in a supernatural deity who was at an extremely high point.
Homer’s Odyssey is read in Homeric Greek and relates to the perils of Odysseus, who was a famous war hero who planned a return journey home after the end of the Trojan War. It has been translated into many languages of the world. Most scholars hold a belief that the epic was composed in an oral tradition by a professional performer and was more likely to be performed than read.
However, the details of the ancient oral tradition and the conversion of the epic to a written artistic work have caused controversy among many scholars. Initially, the epic was written in a poetic dialect of Greek with many lines of dactylic hexameter. The text has a non linear plot that is particularly impressive and influences the events of women’s choice, as well as serfs, besides the actions of wrangling men.
The term Odyssey refers to the Epic voyage in the English language and many modern languages, as well. The Epic describes the celebration to refuse to accept limits on love and the hope against overwhelming odds. Various themes are described in the epic, the theme of temptation and hospitality, as well as the theme of disguise that also prevails in the Epic of Gilgamesh, because the heroes are portrayed to disguise themselves, in order to interacts with mortals.
The Epic of the Odyssey enables us to understand the ancient Greek religious views, and the essence of the world which was its underlying chaos. The deities among the Greek are not true speaking gods to the Greeks but rather are deities in a contemporary religious sense.
In conclusion, the heroes and their journeys are in significant ways representative of their respective culture’s vision of reality. For instance, in Gilgamesh, the hero goes through a thorough education before he makes a decision to choose from his fate. He returns to Uruk and lives his life comfortably and freely accept the worldly operations. After all, Gilgamesh had the freedom not to return. Thus, man must be encouraged to take control of their lives.
The Epic of Gilgamesh still influences the poetic style and does not depend on literary devices such as meter or rhyme. However, it depends on rhetorical devices such as antithesis and parallelism. These are the characteristics of the Epic of Gilgamesh that it shares with Homers’ Odyssey.
Furthermore, the heroes in these Epics confront fate in a personal manner, and reactions to their encounters serve a purpose of illuminating individuals’ conditions. The choice of words portrays the direct embodiment of human vision, which is universal and permanent condition (Knox 23). Life and death are observed as absurd, heroic wistfulness, as well as nostalgia because of lost possibilities.
Thus, death cannot make the love of friends prevail, and erotic women destroy their husbands with impossible demands. These epics explain that nothing endures, and the memory of a heroic act has a small life span and, at times, the walls of the empire prevail. In addition, these ancient works explain that life’s meaning can be revealed but hard to explain. Thus, the realization of truth embodies the achievements of true personality (Knox 25).
Fiero, K. Gloria. (2007). The Humanistic Tradition: The First Civilizations and the Classical Legacy. 6th ed. New York: McGraw-Hill.
Knox, Bernard. (2007). Classical Literature. London: The Johns Hopkins University Press.
Importance of the Book “Odyssey” by Homer Research Paper
Odyssey is an epic story done by Homer. It is one of the best epic stories which revolve around a hero who is faced by many challenges and problems which he conquered. The author has used an admiration tone throughout the book which helps to improve the character of the hero. The epic story is characterized by supernatural powers that have an effect on all that happens in the book, by influencing their outcome.
The Odyssey is sequential to the Iliad and it has twenty four books. It is a story of how Odysseus helped to fight and defeat the Troy by the use of the Trojan horse. It is a book with a story that has lasted for ages due to its major themes such as the relation between father and son, the role of women, the significance of hospitality and the use of disguise in the book. The essay delves in the above themes to show the importance of the book.
The relationship between father and son
It is always said that “like father like son”. This is true in the epic story, The Odyssey. Odysseus who is a man of advanced age is the main protagonist in the book.
He has succeeded in gaining a lot of respect, heroism and glory among his people due to his brave response in guarding Ithaca’s honor. This character makes Odysseus to be admired worldwide due to his character of an ideal man with a lot of intelligence and demeanor. “Like Odysseus, Telemachus is undertaking his own journey in an important sub-plot to Odysseus’s return voyage to Ithaca.
By examining this sub-plot and the character and trials of Telemachus, the reader is able to predict how Ithaca will go on once Odysseus dies (Caldwell, 2004)”. Under the leadership of Telemachus, Ithaca will be safe since the son will take over from his father in terms of his charismatic and brave leadership.
The relationship portrays the culture of the Greek society which was patriarchal in nature. Sons were rewarded for taking after their father and showing skills and determination shown by their fathers. Odysseus and his son Telemachus show similar characters. Odysseus is proud of his son who shows a promise of greatness and Telemachus is proud of his father who had admirable character as a warrior and defender of Ithaca. Both father and son are not close to each other and they develop their love for one another in a distance.
The distance between them is what prompts the son to start identifying his own worth. In the book, there is evidence that Odysseus and his son longed to see each other and they were determined to face any challenges in their quest to meet and reunite their family. The absence from one another gave them a psychological reason of redefining themselves and creating the urge to meet one another (Homer, 1999).
Women in Odyssey
From a cultural perspective, women’s position in the society was different from that of men, but women in Odyssey had influence and power. The book portrays women as modern and he shows their role in the book. For example, Odyssey’s wife who was called Penelope exerted a lot of power and influence. She knew that men would be lured by her sexual charms which she used to her advantage by obtaining what she wanted from them as she was waiting the return of her husband.
Women are seen as pitiful and people who are strong willed though they are defeated in the end. “Telemachus first asserted his manhood by ordering Penelope from the public rooms of the palace, indicating to the suitors of his intention to assert his claim to his father’s throne. The dependence of mothers on their son’s devotion to them is made clear elsewhere in Homer, as in the case of Anticlea and her statement that she died not of illness but of longing for her son Odysseus (Pomeroy 1995, p.28)”.
Significance of Hospitality
It took more than ten years for Odysseus to go back to his home after the victory for Ithaca in the Trojan War. He took long because he had to accept all the hospitality and welcoming nature of all the people he met along the way. Hospitality forms an integral part in the book since it is an aspect of social life and cooperation of relationships.
It fosters open communication in rather hostile environment. “For instance, in Homer’s Odyssey, when Telemakhos goes off on his own and encounters the castle of Menelaus, there is no hesitation to bring him inside and allow him to join the feast and welcomes them personally (Homer, 1999)”.
The story show how hospitality is used to open doors and it serves as a tool to create conducive environment for communication in a rather threatening situation.
The use of disguises
The book has used disguise of characters to enable the easy movement of characters from one region to the other in the world. There are players in the book who disguises themselves in more than one way. The goddess Athena disguised herself more than three ways. Odysseus also used the disguise of a horse to lull his enemies into trap and thus defeat them. Disguise was used for psychological as well as for pragmatic reasons (Homer, 1999).
Caldwell, Richard. The Origin of the Gods: A Psychoanalytic Study of Greek Theogonic Myth. New York: Oxford University Press., 2004. Print.
Homer. The Odyssey. NewYork: Signet Classics, 1999. Print.
Pomeroy, Sarah. Goddesses, whores, wives, and slaves : women in classical antiquity. New York: Schocken Books, 1995. Print.