The Odyssey By Homer: The Obstacles While Making The Way Back Home

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The Odyssey is a poem written in ancient Greece by poet, Homer. In this poem, we are captivated by the series of obstacles that happen during the main character’s lengthy and dangerous journey home. We are introduced to Odysseus who is the King of Ithaca as he prepares to lead his army as a general in the Trojan War. The war in Troy proves to be a long and difficult one. However, it is brought to an end. Odysseus and his men arrive on an island which is was homed by the Cyclops Polyphemus who is blinded by Odysseus after the Cyclops eats some of his men. Having made the Cyclops go blind Odysseus mimics Polyphemus after he tells him he is the son of Poseidon. This causes Poseidon’s wrath to grow who then curses Odysseus by making it so that he never reaches Ithaca, his home. The journey home to take back his throne as the king of Ithaca.

The purpose of why The Odyssey was written was to preserve everything that he faced during his journey so it can be told to younger generations afterward. This isn’t the first time Homer does this, and he has done this with his other poem “The Iliad.” In ancient times poems were written down, they were only being told orally, and this could’ve been or began to be the problem down the storytelling lane because someone could have easily misheard the information and then go on and tell the story wrong to younger generations. So the purpose why homer decided to write the Odyssey was to merely show what Odysseus went through during the journey and to preserve its roots.

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In The Odyssey there are many main themes to choose from but, the one that stands out the most is loyalty. Even though Odysseus was not loyal to his wife Penelope, many characters were loyal to him. For example, his wife Penelope still decides to wait for her husband Odysseus even after many people had told her that her husband Odysseus was dead considering that he had not returned for many years. In the poem, it says “Every day she would weave at the great loom and every night she would unweave by torchlight.” (Homer 2.113.114) This sets the example of loyalty because while Odysseus was gone there were many suitors in Odysseus’ house in Ithaca trying to marry his wife because her husband was suspected of being dead. Penelope did not believe that her husband was dead. And she also didn’t want to marry any of the suitors until she knew that her husband was really dead and to stall the suitors she will weave a shroud for Odysseus’ father and until she finishes weaving that nobody can marry her. She would weave the shroud during the day and untie it at night so she can hold the suitors back for a while until her husband returned. Also, this is a brilliant and brave move because many people tried to discourage her from believing that her husband was dead and had many men at her feet trying to marry her, but she was able to keep them waiting so she could wait for her husband to return home. Penelope wasn’t only a strong character, but she was also loyal to Odysseus after many years of being gone.

Furthermore not only was his wife loyal but so was his nurse Eurycleia. She was not only loyal to Telemachus Odysseus, their son by keeping his secrets from his mother but also to Odysseus after many years she still kept her loyalty for him. When Odysseus goes into his house disguised as a visitor Penelope offers him to stay, and he accepts. Eurycleia then comes over and starts to wash his feet as she does she lifts Odysseus leg and recognizes him by the scar on his leg. Odysseus came forward and confessed that it is him but commands her to keep it a secret because he wants to get to know the suitors before he kills them and Eurycleia says “you know what I’m made of. You know I won’t break. I’ll be as steady as solid stone or iron.”(Homer 19.540.541) and this part is crucial because in the poem that she was the lady that helps raise Odysseus and after many years of not seeing him she was also very loyal to him compared to the other women who did not keep their loyalty for Odysseus while he was gone.

In the poem, The Odyssey Odysseus is seen facing many challenges while making his way back home. He was held captive by a Cyclops for many years, and after escaping he gets into trouble with the Greek god Poseidon and all Poseidon wants is for Odysseus to suffer for what he did the to the Cyclops but, he doesn’t give up and is determined to make it back home. When Odysseus is speaking to his men he says “Come on, men this isn’t the first we’ve run into trouble. This can’t be worse than… well, look back at this” (Homer 12.216.221) this shows that Odysseus stayed loyal to going home and was still determined despite all the obstacles he had to face to get there. This reminded me of my high school career even though I didn’t fight in the war or fight Cyclops I still had the obstacle of my own that I needed to face to get to where I am today. The obstacles were not as violent as Odysseus’, but mine consisted of academic and social obstacles. However, this doesn’t mean that just because someone is determined to do something they aren’t going to get discouraged While Odysseus is trying to get back he gets stuck in calypsos island, and Athena speaks to her father and says “Zeus, my father…to kill his son” (Homer 5.9.22) Athena is shown begging for the gods to help get Odysseus back home. Athena is shown throughout the book helping Odysseus. This can be related to my life because I also had a teacher like Athena because she would go the extra mile to help with my problems as well.

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