Essay on The Trials of Odysseus of Homer's Odyssey

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The Trials of Odysseus

Homer's epic poem The Odyssey was written after his Iliad which told the tales of the Trojan War. This Odyssey told of the wanderings of a prominent warrior and ruler, Odysseus. Odysseus fought in the Trojan War and, after the Greeks claimed their victory at Troy, began his prolonged journey home. During his travels Odysseus faced many obstacles which he had to overcome. Through his wanderings, Odysseus had to prove his valor, intellect, and determination. Incorporated into The Odyssey are many current-day characteristics of man including a constant dependence on others, the presence of a greater vision, or lack there of, and the essence of a sensitive side behind courage and pride.

At times throughout
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Athena reassured Odysseus throughout the epic poem saying "I am a god and will protect you to the end, through all your toils" (196). Odysseus became dependent on Athena's encouragement and lacked self-reliance. He believed it was all right to doubt himself because he knew that Athena would always be there to brush the doubt away and encourage him on his journey home.

Odysseus depended on mortals and immortals to boost his confidence and he sought their help, knowing that both would come to his aid because they pitied him. Odysseus' journey home was to prove that he could do something on his own, but the mortals' and immortals' pity constantly helped him along his journey. Odysseus was aware that both men and gods would help him and he said "Oh hear me now, although before though didst not hear me, when I was wrecked, what time the great Land-shaker wrecked me. Grant that I come among the Phaecians welcomed and pitied by them" (61) and so Odysseus foreshadowed what was to come. He knew that when he reached the land of the Phaecians that they would feel sorry for him and would try to help him. He became so dependent on others help, that he forgot his own intellect and determination, and he ended up not making the journey on his own.

Although Odysseus did depend on others much more than on his own intellect, valor, and determination, he did maintain a greater
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