Egomania Humans are innately selfish beings. Many characters in Homer’s The Odyssey exemplify this perspective as they act upon selfish motives in order to better their social standing. These self-centered characters will lie, cheat, and steal in order to climb the social ladder. Because these characters are preoccupied with bettering their standing, they disregard their personal relationships and respect for one another is lost. In this way the rigid social class structure generates conflict within Ithaca. According to The Odyssey’s social ladder, men are subordinate to the gods and women are subordinate to men. The Odyssey has many problems that revolve around this social ladder. Homer uses these conflicts to demonstrate that he thinks people are generally selfish and blinded by their motives. This inability to see themselves for who they really are enables them to act cruelly with no regrets. In the epic, Homer paints the picture that humans are selfish in general. He speaks out through the goddess Athena, “It’s wrong Telemachus, wrong to rove so far, so long from home, leaving your own holdings unprotected--crowds in your palace so brazen they’ll carve up all your wealth, devour it all, and then your journey here will come to nothing”(Book 15, page 319, line 11). According to Athena, the suitors are stealing from Telemachus and destroying his kingdom. Unless he returns home all his wealth will “come to nothing.” This reveals Homer’s idea of people in general. He believes humans are mostly parasites that will latch on to a being and “devour” all the food and money they can. Antinous is one parasite who demonstrates this lack of good morals and the blindness of his self-image. Although he is aware Odysseus and Penelope are married, he is willing to sacrifice anything, even the lives of his fellow suitors, to have Penelope as his wife. He also proves his inability to see his character as he insults the beggar, “What a brazen, shameless beggar! Scrounging for food from each man in turn, and look at their handouts, reckless, never a qualm, no holding back, not when making free with the next man’s goods” (Book 17, Page 368, Line 496) It is ironic that Antinous screams and tries to demoralize the poor beggar (Odysseus in disguise), but what he says to the beggar is a great description of Antinous himself. Antinous’ craving for control shows his inability to see beyond his desires. When Antinous pursues Penelope for chasing Odysseus’ wife for his own advancement he proves his self-centered nature. In turn, women in The Odysseys like Penelope are held back without power because they are downgraded by their male superiors. In Homer’s epic men are warriors and mighty kings. Therefore they are central. In contrast to the men, women work at home. The relationship between Penelope and Odyssey is one model relationship for the difference between men and women in The Odyssey. Odysseus is off fighting wars while his wife Penelope is hung out to dry at home with all the suitors. While Odysseus is gone Penelope makes a deal with the suitors, she will weave a…
Five Hundred Pages of Greek Mythology
Mrs. D’s class used The Odyssey as an example of Greek mythology. The Odyssey shows all thirteen steps of the hero’s journey and the four functions of Greek mythology. Even though this book is five hundred pages long, it is an exemplar of Greek mythology, which is in contrast to most other Greek mythology stories that tend to be short.
In the book The Odyssey the main character Odysseus is an exemplar of the hero’s journey. To begin, the initiate is…
Advanced Freshman English 4th
17 March 2014
The Odyssey Essay
When you think about Greek Epic leader, Odysseus will most likely come to mind. Odysseus is the main character in Homer's poem "The Odyssey,” which is a narrative poem that describes Odysseus' adventures and obstacles in his quest to return home to Ithaca, where he is king, from the Trojan War. Odysseus has been gone for two decades. All the other chieftains have returned, however, Odysseus' whereabouts are unknown…
Honors English 10 Period 5
30 November 2014
After reading The Odyssey it is evident that no matter what obstacle he and his
men face, big or small, Odysseus' character remains the same. In the epic poem The Odyssey
Homer explores and describes the life of a man named Odysseus. Many of Odysseus' godlike
traits are evident throughout the many challenges he and his men face. Odysseus is a very clever,
brave, and strong man.
Throughout this epic…
During the era of The Odyssey, hospitality played a vital role in the ethics of society. Travel was immensely tiring and many travelers needed places to stay. Therefore people were expected to provide hospitality and in turn, were often rewarded in some type of way. People were expected to treat traveling strangers with food, shelter and entertainment even if they were unaware of the possible danger. Also, people were very wary that if they failed to offer hospitality the Gods would unleash punishment…
In the epic poem The Odyssey, in books 1, 2 & 9, Homer showed that Odysseus had admirable traits even though at times his actions brought pain and suffering to others. By some of his characteristics, he showed us that he is a warrior at this time in his life. His intelligence and his courage were admired by all the characters in The Odyssey. Odysseus demonstrated his intelligence in Book 9 when he didn’t tell the Cyclops his real name because everyone knew who he was. An example…
17 December 012
Homer was in some ways a ghost, he believed he was a blind bard, or a storyteller. David Adam Leeming says that some people believed there are two Homers, or that Homer was a legend. Homer is famous for writing the Iliad and the Odysseus. The story of the Odyssey takes us through the seven stages of a Greek soldier’s journey of getting home after the Trojan War.
The first stage in Odysseus’ Call to venture home to Ithica. Odysseus…
“It is not what an author states, but what he or she whispers that is important.” In other words little details in a work are actually important in fully understanding it. Two works that prove this quote true are The Odyssey by Homer and “Ithaka” by Constantine Cavafy.
The Odyssey by Homer proves that this quote is true in many ways. There were many events in this poem where little details could teach the reader a lot. One was when Odysseus and his men went to The Land of the Lotus Eaters. Though…
November 4, 2014
The Odyssey, a great epic, told us the story of Odysseus and his adventures. Its
characters , their problems, obstacles and their morals weave their way into our live
as well. The morals and beliefs of the Greeks represent to us through stories and
incorporate themselves into our mind. I believe the Odyssey to be an allegory, meaning
it has two parts of interpretation to it. The obstacles, problems and goals relate to our
modern day lives. It…
Odyssey Essay 1/18/13 Period C
Throughout the history of mankind has looked for guidance from a godlike being or beings. In the Greek epic The Odyssey composed by Homer, mortals’ lives are affected by the presence of the gods, who watch over and even intercede…
In this essay I will be talking about whether the statement, “the female characters in book 5 and 6 are more important than Odysseus” is true.
In the books 5 and 6 we meet the female characters, calypso, Athena, Ino and Nausicaa. They all play a significant part in on helping Odysseus find his way home.
Calypso: Calypso is a nymph who lives on the island of Ogygia. She found Odysseus near death and took him in to her home and cared for him. She keeps Odysseus prisoner there for seven…