Lust in Homer's The Odyssey and Aristophanes’ Lysistrata Essay
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Lust in Homer's The Odyssey and Aristophanes’ Lysistrata
Lust is defined as an intense longing or a sexual desire. It is a common theme in literature; particularly in classic Greek literature. The reason it is so prevalent in literature is that is prevalent in our daily lives. Everyone lusts after something or someone. It is an interesting topic to examine closely, and classic literature is an excellent medium for such an investigation. Two works I have studied, in which lust is a theme, are an epic, Homer's The Odyssey, and a play, Aristophanes’ Lysistrata. In both The Odyssey and Lysistrata, lust is a theme that plays a major role in the course of the story, making the stories similar, but very different.
The Odyssey is an epic…show more content… She is certainly not in love with him, but she wants him. Thus, she makes the time pass very quickly so that Odysseus will stay with her.
The second instance of lust occurs in Book XII when Odysseus is washed up on the island of Ogygia, after just barely surviving the perils of Scylla and Charybdis. His whole crew has perished, and he is alone. He is found by Calypso's handmaidens. At first Calypso treats Odysseus well. However, when Odysseus asks for a boat to leave the island, Calypso tells him that he may never leave the island.
Calypso lusts for Odysseus so much that she holds him captive for many years. Odysseus, however, does not feel this lust for her. At this point in the epic, he wants nothing more than to reach his home and his wife, whom he loves very much. Finally, the gods tell Calypso that is time to release Odysseus, and she obeys.
The Odyssey is a tale of growth and development. Odysseus was, in a sense, defeated by the power of Circe. However, later in the story, as he continued to grow and change, he was able to be strong when faced with Calypso. He did not forget his goal of getting home as he had previously done.
The comedy, Lysistrata, is based almost entirely around the theme of lust. The story tells of a war among the Greeks. Lysistrata, whose name means "she who dissolves armies," is the wife of one of the soldiers. She, along with the other wives, is sick and tired of her