Odysseus and His Flaws

Topics: Odyssey, Greek mythology, Trojan War Pages: 3 (1205 words) Published: May 29, 2012
Odysseus and his flaws
In Homer's Odyssey, the hero is Odysseus, a man who left his home to fight the Trojan War and who comes back twenty years later to find his household overrun by suitors courting his wife Penelope. Throughout his journey, this rich and complex character battles life's temptations towards purification, since he must overcome his sins and flaws in order to obtain redemption from the gods, thus returning home to his throne on the island of Ithaca. However, this purification process and Odysseus' chances of returning home are compromised by his flaws and those of his crew, while enhanced by the many virtues and qualities he possesses. This voyage symbolizes man's road to salvation hoping to obtain the God forgiveness and entrance into his kingdom, and Odysseus incarnates man's soul, representing life and the return to God and faith. In spite of his being an epic hero, and as such, superior to common men, Odysseus has some profound flaws and weaknesses like all other mortals. The consequences of these flaws are the wrath of certain gods, like Poseidon, who bears a grudge against Odysseus after the Trojan War, and delays his return back to Ithaca. Some of Odysseus' flaws are pride, curiosity, and lack of vigilance. The first flaw which Odysseus displays is pride. At the end of the Trojan War, he boldly defies the gods by loudly declaring that he was the sole artisan of his victory and that he didn't receive any help from the gods, when this isn't true since Poseidon sent a sea serpent to kill one of the enemies of Odysseus just before he was going to check the content of the Trojan Horse, which would have gotten him and all his men killed. This pride is a reoccurring element in the plot, since it is also what leads Odysseus to violate his invincibility and to reveal his real name as he leaves Polymachus the Cyclops' island, increasing Poseidon's anger at him, since the Cyclops' are his children. Another flaw of Odysseus is curiosity. He shows...
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