Odysseus By Homer 's The Odyssey

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In Homer’s The Odyssey, Odysseus endures an arduous voyage filled with countless dangers. Although he is praised by comrades and countrymen as a wise, heroic king, Odysseus does not actually live up to his name as he begins this trip back to Ithaka. Through his journey though, Odysseus corrects his reckless, undisciplined, and arrogant actions, learning responsibility, restraint, and humility in the process. Although Odysseus is the captain of a fleet, he initially takes no responsibility for the welfare of his crew. When exploring unknown lands, he often “sent out two picked men and a runner to learn what race of men that land sustained.” *(147) The king delegates the task solely to fulfill his own curiosity, without consideration of any dangers his men might face, such as intoxication in the land of the Lotus Eaters and cannibalism in the land of the Laistrygonians. Due to his indiscretion, Odysseus puts his men in unnecessary peril. Not only does Odysseus’ decisions lead to the death of crewmates, his choices also brutalize innocent people. He lacks the control to restrain himself and his crew from pointless violence. At the first stop on the journey, the land of the Kikones, the king and his crew “stormed that place and killed the men who fought.” (146) Extending their barbarism, they plundered and “enslaved the women, to make division, equal share to all”. (146) Odysseus has no control of reason, causing irrational bloodshed and atrocities upon mere strangers.
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