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Odyssey

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We are first introduced to Odysseus in Book 5:Odysseus-Nymph and Shipwreck. Odysseus is stuck on an island with the nymph Calypso and spends his time grieving over his captivation. The chapter begins with the gods finally taking pity over Odysseus at the request of goddess Athena. Zeus leaves it to her control to sail Odysseus home. Also, at the order of Zeus, Hermes (messenger god) is sent to convey the message of Odysseus’ freedom to the nymph-Calypso. Calypso does not take the news well because she is in love with Odysseus and finds the situation unjust. However, she agrees reluctantly when she says “ but since there is no way for another god to thwart the will of storming Zeus and make it come to nothing, let the man go-if the almighty insists”(156). Even after Hermes leaves, Calypso tries to lure Odysseus to stay by offering him immortality and comparing her beauty to Penelope. She says “ you’d stay right here, preside in our house with me and be immortal. Much as you long to see your wife, the one you pine for all your days… and yet I just might claim to be nothing less than she, neither in face or figure”(159). Odysseus’ responses to these offers are significant because they highlight the personality of Odysseus and show how strong willed and faithful he is. Odysseus kindly rejects Calypso’s offer while appealing to pathos by talking about the value of home instead of his wife (which probably would have invoked jealousy in Calypso). He states that he is ready to once again persevere to whatever fate has in store for him. The underlying reason behind the rejection of Calypso’s offer and his perseverance is Penelope. The love he has for Penelope means more to him than any amount of power or luxuries that Calypso could have given him. Another aspect of why Odysseus rejects immortality can be explained by the question, is it better to be Socrates dissatisfied or a pig satisfied? In this case, the “pig satisfied” option would be to take Calypso’s offer...