The Placement of Blame
Blame can always be placed several different ways, and the accused and accusers of situations battle this all the time in literature. In one text however, several arguments can be made for one side of this ever-present schism. In this particular book, more arguments can be made to assign blame to one side of the argument rather than the other. In Homer’s Odyssey, mortal men cause their own misfortune.
One way mortal men cause their own misfortune is by disobeying Odysseus, their leader. They, Odysseus’ crew, did this several times, but two instances significantly stand out in the argument of assigning blame. Before reaching Thrinakia, the island of Helios, Odysseus told his men of the warnings he had received about…show more content…
During his visit to the underworld, Odysseus was informed of one of his most formidable enemies: desire. Teiresias plainly told him that “if [he could] contain [his] own desire, and contain [his] companions… [they] might all make [their] way back to Ithaca” (Homer 171). When they finally saw the island, Odysseus did feel the desire to stop at the island, but tried to heed the warnings he received. His men however did not feel the same way he did. His me pestered him until he felt they had “[forced him] to it” but in reality he was just making an excuse to give in to his desires” (Homer 193). After indulging in his (and his crew’s) desires, he thought they would soon proceed off the island, however this was not the case. While exploring the island, his food deprived crew came upon the cattle of Helios, and being starving, began to cook and eat them, even sacrificing a part to the gods. Odysseus was walking back to their camp on his own when “the pleasant savor of cooking meat came drifting around [him], and [he] cried out [his] grief aloud to the gods immortal (Homer 194). Once he smelled the meat he knew that the horrific actions that were predicted would come true. All these things happened because Odysseus’ crew did not follow the instruction of their leader and instead followed their desires, but an even worse fate comes true when they disobey the gods themselves.
With the warnings he received from the gods and Teiresias the seer, Odysseus tried to