Odysseus and Penelope's Suffering
The book The Odyssey, by Gareth Hinds, is about Odysseus and how he battles mythical creatures and faces the anger of the gods. His wife, Penelope, and his son, Telemachus, avoid many suitors contending to marry Penelope try to take Ithaca’s throne until Odysseus returns home. The Odyssey ends when Odysseus wins a contest to prove his who he really is and takes back the throne of Ithaca again.
One of the main themes that comes up throughout the story is suffering. Types of suffering that come up are personal suffering, suffering you share with other people, and finally how those problems are resolved in the end.
Personal suffering in this book is usually caused by wars or other depressing events. One example in this book is when Odysseus spent a long time looking for his family. This clearly had a big impact on his journey. He did everything for his family and to try to get to them but in the story, it clearly shows that he was suffering because of the way he missed them and how long it took him to find them. Between Telemachus, Odysseus and Penelope, the stress in all of them tested and affected their mental strength while being sorrowful because they were being separated from each other. When Odysseus left for the war, Penelope stayed at home with Telemachus. After many years passed by, people thought Odysseus was dead and a new kind of pain and suffering both Telemachus’ and Penelope’s life was created because of that. Because of this, suitors harshly ravaged their house and this caused her a lot of pain for many years. Penelope wished for Odysseus to one day come back home, but after many years of hoping, it seemed like it would never come true. This same kind of hardship that Penelope experienced was also shared with Telemachus in a very similar way. He was always looking to find a way of his father to come home but he would never come back.
In the book, there were many wars of different kinds, some of which involved violent wars and lots of killing but also wars within yourself and other people. The wars affected the story greatly because it showed how it impacted people greatly. One example of this affecting people is when Odysseus was away and is trapped on Calypso’s island. Once Calypso lets him leave the island, he goes on many adventures that cause many members of his crew getting killed. Odysseus feels like it is his fault that they have died because he was the one that brought them along on the journey. He thinks deeply about what is going on and how it would have been if they weren’t with him. Before much of the misfortunes of them getting killed, Odysseus and his crew get stranded with a lady that poisons them but then Odysseus gets them out of the poison. While they were there, they were out of worries that they would get killed in any place they walked.
In the end, all of these problems were eventually solved, and character’s attitudes were clear to change when they did. When Odysseus returned home, Penelope’s problems with the suitors got resolved. When he got there, he took back her hand and the throne of Ithaca again. She no longer had to deal with them fighting over who would marry her or who would take the throne. Even though nothing can change the grief of the loss of a loved one from the war, a lot of the depression from the crew stopped because they no longer had to live with the worry of getting killed overnight or Odysseus not coming back home.
To conclude, The Odyssey can teach us many things about suffering and the ways people suffer. Even though problems may be hard on you and other people, most times they can be resolved, just like they were with Odysseus and Penelope. Penelope didn’t have to worry about many problems when Odysseus came home and Odysseus didn’t have to worry about someone taking the throne while he wasn’t at home.
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