The companions are the source of much grief for Odysseus. How far do you agree with this statement?
Odysseus, the strong, courageous, dedicated hero, travelled for miles on end to return to his home land of Ithica and to bring with him the twelve fleet ships carrying his loyal companions. However throughout this epic poem Odysseus’ companions have been the bearers of much grief for Odysseus, in many ways from questioning his leadership to simply dying in battle. And slowly during this epic poem each of his twelve fleet ships has been struck down.
The stories of Odysseus’ companions begin from the very opening of book nine, on the coast of Ismarus home to the Cicones. Odysseus and his men “sacked the place and destroyed its men folk” after taking their women and their vast spoils, Odysseus warned his men to dispatch with haste. But they were not quick minded enough, and a tremendous battle broke out between Odysseus and his men and the Cicones. Seventy two of Odysseus’ men were brutally killed. We can see here that this would cause much grief for Odysseus and his remaining companions, for his men had made it through the battle of Troy and where rejoicing to be returning home to Ithica, now he would have to return to grieving families awaiting their heroes return and for some, now their hero’s would never return. This is a classic example of the kind of grief Odysseus feels throughout the epic poem, because this is how many of his companions have presented Odysseus with grief, through death. Whether it was falling in battle or devoured by a monstrous creature. For instance when, Odysseus and his remaining companions sailed to the island of the Cyclopes, where with twelve companions, he entered the cave of the Cyclops Polyphemus. This giant devoured, one after another, six of the companions of Odysseus, and kept Odysseus and his other men as prisoners in his cave. Witnessing their loyal companion’s cannibalistic murders right in front of them Odysseus and...
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