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.
One of the traits that makes Odysseus a Greek leader is that he is favored by the Greek gods. In the Odyssey they help Odysseus often. For extinct when Poseidon struck Odysseus' ship with lightning, Odysseus was able to survive because a goddess named Ino gave him a magical cloak. The cloak prevents Odysseus from drowning and when Odysseus' men are turned into swine by Circe, Hermes the messenger god gave Odysseus a magical herb that prevents Circe from using her spells on him. Due to this Odysseus was able to gain favor in Circe's eyes and he convinced her to turn his men back to normal. Towards the end of the book, when Odysseus returns to Ithica, Athena disguises him as a beggar. The disguise was to fool the suitors, who are eating Odysseus out of his home and are harassing his wife Penelope, and to get Odysseus access to the palace.
The ancient Greeks used to say that a true leader must show respect to the gods by giving them sacrifices and praying to them. Odysseus gives sacrifices to the gods in many instances in "The Odyssey." When Odysseus goes to Hades, the underworld, he sacrifices a ram and an ewe to the gods. When Odysseus defeats Polyphemus, the Cyclops, who is the son of Poseidon the god of the sea, Odysseus gives sacrifices to the gods. Lastly when Odysseus defeats those horrible suitors that outnumbered him by so much Odysseus realizes that it was the gods who helped him do this. The feats of strength and the ability to overcome insurmountable odds could not be performed by a mere mortal without help from the gods. Therefore he makes sacrifices to the gods. When Odysseus is in trouble he always shows that he is depending on the gods by praying to them. The fact that the gods usually listen to him shows that he is well liked by the gods. In order to be a Greek leader you had to be liked by the gods since religion was such a big part in their lives.
Odysseus, with the help of the gods, can survive adventures that kill most other men. Odysseus travels to the island of the Cyclopians. The Cyclopians are giants that have one eye, they don't fear the gods because they believe that they are better than the gods and they eat people. They represent the opposite of what Greek men should be. Odysseus and his men meet Polyphemus the cyclops. Polyphemus being a cyclops eats some of Odysseus' men. Odysseus with the help of the gods figures out a plan to escape and he does. Scylla is a ferocious monster with six heads that kills most men that pass by her island. She kills six of Odysseus' men. Odysseus prevents her from killing himself and more men. There is another ferocious monster named Charybdis. Charybdis sucks in water from the sea and creates a whirlpool that kills any ship that passes by. Odysseus passes by her. His crew is killed and his ship is destroyed in the whirlpool but Odysseus alone survives. There is an island that Odysseus passes by with monsters called Sirens on it. The Sirens sing beautiful songs that lure ships toward them. The ships then crash into the island and the people are killed. Nobody has heard the song of the Sirens and survived. Odysseus is warned of