An Epic Journey of the Raider of Cities The Odyssey, written by Homer, is an Epic Poem in which Odysseus, King of Ithaca, has fought in the Trojan War and he and his men are now on their journey home. While on their journey, they come across many obstacles and challenges in which only Odysseus makes it home. Through the acts, words, and thoughts of the character, one is able to see Odysseus make it back home with his family. The setting in this Epic is adventuress covering the Aegean and surrounding seas and eventually ends in Ithaca, in northwestern Greece.
In the Epic The Odyssey, Odysseus is arrogant, courageous, and intelligent character. As great as he was, Odysseus had some weaknesses, most importantly that of his arrogance, that prolongs his voyage back to Ithaca. This is clearly evident in the episode on the Cyclopes’ Island when Odysseus and his men are safely away from the island when Odysseus brags about his exploits making Polyphemus hurl giant boulders almost sinking the ship (Homer). This incident hurt Odysseus more than just losing a few men, because Poseidon makes his travel home very long and arduous.
This proud characteristic shows Odysseus has a lack of respect for others and that he is selfish. Furthermore, Odysseus stays with Circe for one year before his men remind him of home (). This characteristic of sensualness demonstrates that Odysseus is unable to resist temptation. This hinders his mission; setting him back in his journey. Odysseus’s weaknesses in life downsize him, making himself less powerful. Additionally, Odysseus is courageous, which helps him survive through the whole epic.
For example, Odysseus blinds the Cyclops while the giant is asleep, even though the monster had eaten two of his men hours before. Here Odysseus is showing that even though he killed two of his men he still needs to protect the rest of his men by getting them out of there. Odysseus has courage to stand up for his beliefs and never lets the opinion of others keep him from doing what is right. Some think Odysseus shows his courage throughout the epic because he is proud and does not want to leave any job unfinished.
Furthermore, Odysseus plugs the sailors’ ears with wax when going through the Sirens, whose sweet singing lures sailors to their doom. Odysseus often hesitates before acting, because he uses reason to evaluate the situation, which saves him and his men many times. Odysseus knows that there is no progress without the wisdom to back it up. Most significantly, Odysseus is Intelligent. Throughout the whole poem one is able to see how he uses his intelligence to recover or get away from situations.
For example, Odysseus offers Polyphemus some of his wine, and quickly the he wants more, and more, until finally the Cyclops is completely drunk. (). Here Odysseus is getting Polyphemus drunk so that it won’t be a war trying to get him to open the door. Another example of Odysseus’s intelligence is also in the cave when Polyphemus has to let his sheep out, Odysseus and his men hide under the sheep, and escape (). Odysseus demonstrates his cleverness and intelligence, by being able to create such an elaborate plan in such a short amount of time.
He saves himself and his men, although he lost several of his men. Odysseus is a combination of the self-made, self-assured man and the embodiment of the standards and mores of his culture. He is favored by the gods and respected and admired by the mortals. Even the wrath of Poseidon does not keep him from his homecoming. He is confident that he represents virtue even when a modern audience might not be so sure. He is also a living series of contradictions, a much more complicated character than we would expect to find in the stereotypical epic hero.