Page 1 of 3

Odysseus' Strengths and Weaknesses

Continues for 2 more pages »
Read full document

Odysseus' Strengths and Weaknesses

Page 1 of 3
Odysseus' Strengths and Weaknesses

The Odyssey by Homer is a metaphor for one man's spiritual quest. Throughout the

story Odysseus develops and growth. Odysseus learns how to use his brain instead of his

hands. He starts to listen to the advices of different people. He also finally understands the

advice given by the blind prophet Tiresias: "It is the journey, not the destination."

At the beginning of the story Odysseus has some weaknesses that prolong his voyage

back to Ithaca. His most important weakness that he possesses is that of his pride. Pride is

good to have, but in Odysseus' case he has to much of it. This is clearly evident in the

episode on the Cyclopes' island. When Odysseus and his men are clearly safe away from

the island Odysseus braggs about his exploit. Polythemus hears this and hurls giant

boulder in the direction of the ship. It came very close to sinking the ship. Still that was

not enough for Odysseus. Carried away in his pride he unwisely gives away his identity to

Polythemus. On page 86 Odysseus says: "It was Odysseus blinded you, taker of Troy,

Laertes son, who dwells in Ithaca." With that Polythemus calls upon his father, Poseidon,

to punish the man who had harmed him. That incident hurts Odysseus more than losing a

few men, because Poseidon makes his travel home ever so longer and arduous.

Yet another weakness of Odysseus is his sensualness. Odysseus enjoys women. He

stays with Circe for one year before his men remind him of home. On page 112

Odysseus says, "So here day after day, the whole year through, we sat at feast with meat

in plenty and peasant wine. But when the year had gone its way my faithful comrades

called me to them and said: Poor spellbound man, think now of your own native land."

That is when Odysseus realizes his weaknesses and starts to change. He actually listens to

Circy's advises. When he reaches Scylla he uses his brain instead of his hands. He...