Essay about The Odyssey

Submitted By Tonbi
Words: 606
Pages: 3

The Physical and Spiritual Journey in The Odyssey In Homer’s The Odyssey, Odysseus, king of Ithaca, leaves home in order to fight in a war at Troy. Upon defeating the Trojans, he returns home with his army, however, Poseidon intends to prevent or at least delay his return by causing storms and high winds as well as drowning his crew. Odysseus’s voyage took ten years at sea is not only a physical journey home, but is also a spiritual journey of self-discovery in which he becomes a better king. After the journey home, Odysseus is more humble than his former self. He used to be a prideful, arrogant man but the hardships and tragedies he had to face turned him into a humble man. His prideful attitude is shown when blinded Polyphemus. Instead of hastily escaping the Cyclopes island, Odysseus announces, “if ever anyone asks you who put out your ugly eye, tell him your blinder was Odysseus” (110). Polyphemus, now informed of Odysseus’s name, pleads to his father, Poseidon, who then punishes Odysseus for his arrogant display by causing storms and killing his crew. Learning from this experience, when Odysseus unknowingly reaches Ithaca, he timidly approaches a stranger and asks, “I beg you to do me no wrong, but save me, and all this. I implore you as if you were a god and embrace your knees” (152). Odysseus’s drastic change in attitude, from an arrogant display to a submissive plea for help, demonstrates his awareness of the gods’ powers. He understands that he is merely a toy - a man - in the gods’ playground and though he may be the best man, he will never come equal to a god. His humble attitude reflects this realization and makes him a more suitable king of Ithaca. In addition to changing his arrogant, prideful ways, the journey also altered his mentality from a war hero’s to a nation’s leader’s by demonstrating that careful planning and great patience can win the most decisive battles. When Odysseus hears news about the suitors living in his house intending to marry Penelope, instead of being the fighter whom he was ten years ago, he decides to be a strategist. After Athena disguises his identity by transforming him into a beggar, Odysseus talks to the Eumaeus, a swineherd, who offers his hospitality to him. Upon finding that he has the Eumaeus’s complete