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Symbolic Deaths Of Odysseus

Decent Essays
The Symbolic Deaths of Odysseus in The Odyssey
What burden or identity does Odysseus shed in each of them? How does each “death” empower him to finally return and claim both home and his kingdom?

Something in the universe changes every second. Whether it be the smallest chemical reaction, or the death of a great star. The only thing that we have control of is how we react to the change. You could adapt to the situation, or stay the same and refuse to change. However, by choosing one of these options, you are setting the path you are taking. One of these paths could lead to success and progress, while the other could stop you in your tracks. These two paths are what Odysseus has to choose from at every turn in his journey. Most of the time he chooses to adapt, but when he does, he takes it to an extreme. These extremes cause him to completely change his mind set, and get much further in his journey. This kind of change could be seen as a “symbolic death”. Meaning, after going through a
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By crashing on the island he lost his strength and persistence because there was no way he could fight his way out of this situation. In this instance the “death” he experiences does not immediately help him advance in his quest, but, it is a very important part in his journey. On the island, he is able to completely unravel, he no longer has to put up a strong front for anyone. Letting go allowed him to face his weaknesses, fears, and thoughts all at once. “Sitting on the rocks and beaches, wrenching his heart with sobs and groans and anguish,” (The Odyssey, Book 5, lines 173-175). This long period of pondering and mourning was key in shaping the rest of his voyage. If he hadn’t let his weaknesses come through on the island, he would have been left with them on his shoulders for the rest of his life. Therefore, when he finally leaves, his mental strength is restored and he can leave with lighter
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