Temptations of Odysseus

1528 WordsOct 18, 19997 Pages
Temptations of Odysseus Odysseus: a hero in every way. He is a real man, skilled in the sports, handy with a sword and spear, and a master of war strategy. Most of the challenges and adventures in his return voyage from Troy show us this even if we had no idea of his great heroic stature and accomplishments in the Trojan war. I found in my reading of the Odyssey that most of the trials the gods place upon him are readily faced with heroic means. These challenges are not necessarily welcomed by Odysseus but accepted as part of his role. He is the hero, its his lot to wield sword and shield and bravely face the next army or monster. Then we begin to see more of the challenges do not require our hero to fight his way out. These…show more content…
Hermes helps him out and gives him a plan to help save his men. So our hero is saved by the god Hermes from a horrible fate. Still Odysseus is not content to sail on and leave the goddess behind (Odyssey 10:269-532). Here Odysseus lost sight of his goal, thinking he was in full control of the situation. Only after a full year has past does he even ask Circe to help them on their way and only at the urging of his crew. He forgets that it was only by the gods help that he was able to triumph over Circe. There was no other way he could have survived her magic. In a sense he is beat by her because he forgets his voyage home and wastes a year in tarring there. By forgetting the voyage he denies himself, a hero, and forgets his family and subjects in Ithaca. Exactly the same threat that the lotus eaters posed to Odysseus and his men. The temptation that Circe offers is a life of pleasure. Anything you desire: food, sport, beautiful women, anything at all. For a time Odysseus is taken in my her offer but thanks to his men he is able to break free of it and remember his home and family. After many heroic deeds and much danger and peril Odysseus journeys to the underworld and back, escaped the sirens, evades Charybdis and Scyylla, and loses all of his men. His men eat the sungod’s cattle even after promising Odysseus that they wouldn’t, so Zeus kills all of his men by striking their ship with a bolt of lighting (Odyssey 11-13:1-452).

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