He was a Greek hero, the son of Anticlea and Laertes, a great leader and eloquent speaker. Odysseus was said to have loved Helen of Troy but ended up marrying, Penelope. He was also behind the making of the famous Trojan horse and known for his adventures in the Underworld.
He is favored by the gods and respected and admired by the mortals. Even the wrath of Poseidon does not keep him from his homecoming. He is confident that he represents virtue even when a modern audience might not be so sure.
He Odysseus a man of great intelligence also a living series of contradictions, a much more complicated character than we would expect to find in the stereotypical epic hero. We can contrast Odysseus, for example, with the great warrior Achilles in The Iliad.
Achilles himself is not a two-dimensional stereotype. He has a tragic flaw, which can best be identified as hubris an overbearing arrogance or misguided pride as one of several distinguishing traits.
But Achilles is a simpler character. According to the myth the Homeric Greeks would have known, Achilles was given a choice by the gods to live a short, glorious life full of excitement and heroism or a long, tranquil life with little recognition or fame.
Achilles, of course, chose the glorious life; therefore, he achieves a kind of immortality through valor and intense, honest devotion to a cause.
Odysseus, in The Odyssey, is much more complicated. He lives by his wiles as well as his courage. He is an intellectual. Often he openly evaluates a situation, demonstrating the logic he employs in making his choices.
When it proves effective, Odysseus lies even to his own familycheats, or steals in ways that we would not expect in an epic hero. Although he is self-disciplined refusing to eat the lotushis curiosity is sometimes the root of his trouble as with the Cyclops.
He is willing to pay a price for knowledge; for example, he insists on hearing the Sirens' call, even though to do so, he must have himself excruciatingly strapped to the mast of his ship so that he cannot give in to the temptation. Odysseus can be merciful, as when he spares the bard Phemius, or brutal, as he seems when dealing with the dozen disloyal maidservants.
He creates his own code of conduct through his adventures. He is deeper than Achilles, more contemplative, but still capable of explosive violence; he is almost certainly more interesting. It is easy to see why some critics like to call him the first "modern man.
He wants to return home and live well in Ithaca; as a result, every step along the way is another test, sometimes, another battle. His concern with victory is also cultural, as well as practical. In Homer's world, where there are no police or justice systems, might usually makes right. Odysseus often has only two choices: Even when Athena intervenes on his behalf, she often leaves ultimate success or failure up to Odysseus.
During the battle with the suitors, for example, she could easily and quickly prevail; but she makes Odysseus earn the victory. Appropriately, Odysseus' development as a character is complicated.
He is, in every way, "the man of twists and turns" 1. While he does seem to grow throughout his wanderings, the reader should not look at each event as a one more learning experience for the hero.
The Odyssey is not a lesson plan for growth; the episodes are not didactic examples of the importance of prudence or anything else. When Odysseus left for Troy, he had already established his reputation as a hero.
His participation in the war was crucial to the Greeks' victory. It was he who disguised himself as an old beggar and infiltrated the enemy. As Menelaus tells Telemachus in Book 4, it was Odysseus' legendary ruse of the Trojan horse that led to the defeat of Troy.
Certainly Odysseus does grow in wisdom and judgment throughout his ventures. His self-control while dealing with the suitors' insults is exemplary and contrasts, for example, with his earlier irresistible urge to announce his name to the Cyclops in Book 9.
In other ways, however, he seems slow to learn. The most notable example being his difficulty in controlling his men. After the victory over the Cicones, Odysseus wisely wants to take the plunder and depart quickly 9.
His men prefer to stay, leading to a defeat at the hands of reinforcements. When Aeolus grants the Greeks fair winds to Ithaca, Odysseus falls asleep within sight of home, enabling his suspicious, undisciplined crew to open the bag of ill winds and let loose a tempest that blows them off course.
Again, on the island of the Sungod Helios, Odysseus' men disobey strict orders and feast on the sacred cattle when he goes inland to pray and falls asleep.Odysseus: A man of great intelligence The epic narrative, The Odyssey, By Homer, was written by the creator of its philosophy, Homer.
It is a magnificent story of lust, deceit, greed, and heroism. Below you will find five outstanding thesis statements for The Odyssey by Homer that can be used as essay starters or paper topics.
All five incorporate at least one of the themes in The Odyssey by Homer and are broad enough so that it will be easy to find textual support, yet narrow enough to provide a focused clear thesis statement. When one of the Phaeacians insults Odysseus's ability to compete at sports, Odysseus hurls a discus farther than anyone else and proves that he is a powerful man.
to: manly valor, loyalty, piety, and intelligence. The popularity of Odysseus transcends time. To this day he remains greatly admired as both a hero and an ordinary man who must deal with great adventures and retrieving the life he once had.
For twenty years Odysseus overcame each obstacle the gods handed to him. Apology by Plato, part of the Internet Classics Archive. Commentary: Quite a few comments have been posted about Apology. Download: A 58k text-only version is available for download.
ADDRESS TO YOUNG MEN ON THE RIGHT USE OF GREEK LITERATURE. OUTLINE. I. Introduction: Out of the abundance of his experience the author will advise young men as to the pagan literature, showing them what to accept, and what to reject.