Odysseus Essay Example

The journey of resourceful Odysseus begins with a ship full of men returning home after fighting in the Trojan war. The Achaeans planned to sail home on a typical trip to the their native landed called Ithaka, but unfortunately their voyage, an unordinary ordeal, puts them through a great deal of evil and treachery. As the book tells of Odysseus’ wanderings, the men constantly go up many nefarious opponents, and slowly the companions of the "son of Laertes and seed of Zeus" slowly die off. Unimaginable things like a manipulating fruit, a man-eating cyclops called Polyphemus, a witch, Circe, who drugs the men, and a six headed siren and whirlpool, all cause grave challenges for the mortal men of Ithaca. Eventually all the men, except Odysseus, the lone survivor of the Achaeans, face a gruesome fate; the men die in a large storm brewed by a vengeful Zeus after the men upset another god by the name of Helios. Once all of his companions die, Odysseus must carry on alone until he comes across the island of the beautiful goddess Kalypso, where he is kept for many years. Still, the great hero continues to dream of his homecoming, unaware that back in Ithaka his beautiful home, taken over by voracious suitors who steel from him and court his lovely wife Penelope, does not remain how he left it. The strength of Odysseus shows time and time again as his companions continue to mess things up, and he continues to prevail in all the challenges with great vigor.

When he is finally able to return home, Odysseus is disguised as a beggar by his guardian throughout his journey, the great goddess Athene. Throughout the whole story, Pallas Athene, a character of great importance to Odysseus, cares for him and both and his wife and son back home. She very much believes in the resourceful one, and her helping him, along with his natural strength will clearly lead to a great victory in the name of Odysseus. She tells Odysseus to wait with a swineherd by the name of Eumaios, a loyal servant to his absent master, until his son Telemachus returns home; for he left in search of news about his father. Once Odysseus is reunited with his son, the two men work hard together and come up with plan for revenge. Because the suitors all greatly wronged them both, the father and son come up with a brutal plan to murder all of them and take back their home. The men act carefully, and this pays off when Odysseus finally reveals himself as not a poor beggar, but the great hero of the Achaeans. This all happens in a petty contest for Penelope’s hand in marriage where the men must shoot a bow and arrow through four axes. The suitors all fail miserably at this task, but of course the great hero Odysseus once again proves himself to be the strongest among men by easily completing the challenge. After this he becomes very aggressive and brutally murders all of the suitors, and even the maids who he deems traitors. Odysseus then reunites with his wife for a brief period of happiness until some foolish people yet again challenge him to a battle in attempts to avenge the murdered suitors. Before the final battle even begins, Pallas Athene swoops in to do the right thing by Odysseus yet again, and she calls for peace. The story of the great Odysseus comes to an end here, after once again Odysseus shines strongest and most resourceful among men.


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