Odysseus

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Odysseus: The Epic Hero
The Trojan War took place around 1200 B.C. The cause of this war was Helen, Menelaus’ wife and the most beautiful woman in the world. She was kidnapped from Sparta and taken to Troy, where she was married to Paris. A war resulted, and it went on for ten long years. Troy was defeated with the Trojan Horse, which was Odysseus’ idea. Greek warriors hid inside the hollow wooden horse, and it was brought into Troy because the Trojans assumed it meant that the Greeks had surrendered. When the Trojans were done celebrating and they had gone to sleep, the Greeks were let out of the horse by Sinon, who had stayed behind so that he could do this. The Greek warriors killed the Trojans, and the surviving women were given to the Greeks as prizes of war. The men that went to war were very skilled and brave; one of these men was Odysseus, “the man skilled in all ways of contending” (1.2). Robert Fitzgerald’s translation of Homer’s epic, The Odyssey, is the story of Odysseus and his long voyage home. Odysseus shows great heroism throughout the epic with his constant courage and infallible leadership, but he is not a typical hero; he expresses his emotions and his humanity with compassion and he strongly believes in the Greek values. Odysseus expresses his emotions with great passion and intensity. Odysseus is on Skheria Island with the Phaiakians, who don’t know who he is yet, and the minstrel has just sung the song about Odysseus’ journey. The simile is comparing Odysseus to a wife who is mourning the death of her husband who has died in war, by saying that “Odysseus let the bright molten tears run down his cheeks, / weeping the way a wife mourns for her lord / on the lost field where he has gone down fighting / the day of wrath that came upon his children” (8.561-564). Odysseus, having heard the minstrel’s song, is weeping for himself, his family, and the Greek warriors who were killed in Troy. He loves and misses them all very much. Odysseus’...
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