Patience In The Odyssey

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In retrospect, Odysseus does not evolve remarkably as a leader throughout the course of Homer’s epic The Odyssey. However, this is not to say that Odysseus exhibits no signs of growth. Already starting out as a celebrated war hero, Odysseus continues on his journey home with his prominent title. As the epic progresses, Odysseus displays a strong sense of self-restraint opposed to the rash and rather egocentric leadership skills he exercised in his previous encounters. Instead, he tempers this aspect of his nature with the need for patience as he goes on to embark on the later stages of his journey. While he is able to occasionally subdue his inclination, Odysseus is not able to fully suppress his desires to attain honor and glory.
As Homer
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Disguising his identity establishes his cunning and quick-wit. However, this particular trait of the usually revered leader is later undermined as Odysseus single-handedly ruins the chances of escape without any damaging repercussions. Injuring and escaping from the formidable Polyphemus should have been glory enough for Odysseus, but his insatiable appetite for recognition prevails. The safety of his men is no longer priority as Odysseus eventually reveals his name, “...if any man on the face of the earth should ask you who blinded you, /shamed you so—say Odysseus..” (227). Moreover, Odysseus attaches a title to his name as the “raider of cities”, pointing to his status as a victorious warrior. Homer’s particular diction of “raider” raises an inquiry about Odysseus’ moral conscience. Although “raider”, synonymous to a thief, essentially has a negative connotation, …show more content…
Circe advises Odysseus to put earwax in his men’s ears when passing the island of Sirens, but leaves it up to Odysseus whether he, himself should listen to the songs or not. Next, Circe urges him to sail his ship past Scylla and sacrifice six men rather than risk the possibility of getting sucked into Charybdis’ whirlpool. Odysseus asks if he could take a different route,“ ‘Deadly Charybdis—can’t I possibly cut and run from her and still fight Scylla off when Scylla strikes my men?” (275). Even Circe recognizes Odysseus’ obstinance by responding “ ‘So stubborn!”(275). While being fully aware that Scylla is immortal and Argo was the only ship to escape the whirlpool, Odysseus persists on his glory seeking ways. When passing the island of Sirens, Odysseus again, gives into the pitfalls of temptation, as he longs to hear Siren’s song. Thanks to his men, Odysseus is kept back and bounded. In this instance, roles are reversed as the crewmembers take on the role of protecting Odysseus rather than the other way around. Homer has a tendency to depict Odysseus struggling with temptation. Despite his shortcomings, Odysseus increasingly improves on his capabilities to make wiser decisions. Although his pursuit for glory and honor is perpetual, Odysseus resists succumbing to these desires. Odysseus decides to take the safe route, and takes Circe’s advice by passing by Scylla. Scylla and Charybdis cannot