Character Foils For Odysseus By Homer

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Character Foils for Odysseus Throughout the epic Homeric poem, The Odyssey of Homer, Odysseus is a hero known for his cunningness, vigilance, and overall attainment of homecoming. Odysseus’ journey home is one of many mental and physical tests that which involve numerous encounters with others whose characters are in opposition with his. It is important to understand that through his encounters with certain opposing characters, Odysseus’ qualities of possessing heroism and cleverness are vividly portrayed. In this instance, the characterization of Odysseus will be discussed in terms of how Agamemnon’s, Odysseus’ companions’, and the suitors’ characters reinforce Odysseus’ cleverness, prudence and heroism, as well as his avoidance of self-destruction and attainment of homecoming. The importance of the household is emphasized greatly throughout the poem. More importantly, the portrayal of a threatened household in absence of its ruler. In the beginning of the Odyssey, the story of Agamemnon’s death and faithlessness of his wife Klytaimestra is discussed by the Gods. They express their disbelief in “ how the mortals put the blame on [them]” and how “it is by their own recklessness [that they] win sorrow beyond what is given” (Odyssey 1.32-34). This not only illustrates the thematic sense of human beings bringing destruction upon themselves, but also the difficulties of one maintaining an orderly and faithful household while away. If Agamemnon had been able to preserve the
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