How Is the Greek Idea of a Sound Mind and Body Essential for the Succe

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How Is The Greek Idea of a Sound Mind and Body Essential for The Successful Characters of The Odyssey?

If one were to only have a very fit and strong body, lacking mental ability, to the Greeks it would not suffice. If a man were merely smart and intelligent, without much physical capability, the Greeks would feel that he is not complete. They believed an individual must have have both, a well developed mind and a fit body, not only one or the other, to be ideal. This is the Greek concept of a sound mind and body. In Homer's Odyssey, Odysseus and Telemachos, had to have and/or achieve a sound mind and body, to be the successful and outstanding characters of the epic. The ones who lacked these quality suffered and paid for it in the end.

In Books one and two, Telemachos acts immaturely and lacks mental prowess. For this reason he makes his life difficult. Yet, Later on he matures and gains a sound mind. Telemachos certainly has a sound body. Menelaos says of how "...it amazes me quite, how this young man(Telemachos) looks exactly like Odysseus, strong and mighty"{page 47}. Yet, he is criticized by others, for the reason that he does not have a sound mind. In an attempt to stand his ground, in front of the council he breaks down into tears. Antinoos says "Telemachos you are a boaster, and you don't know how to keep your temper!"{page 24}. Telemachos made an attempt to express his valid point of view, and does so, but fails to convince the council. He breaks down in tears, showing how immature he really is. He does not have a sound mind. The council basked in this weakness and was even more critical of him at that point. Later on, he is told of how "(Telemachos), you speak like a man of sense, you are older than your years, your father is just the same, you get it from him."{page 48} As his adventure progresses he grows to be a more complete man, to eventually fighting along side his father against the "hangers-on"{page 17} that are "tormenting...
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