The Hero Odysseus
Homer’s Odyssey is an epic tale that shows us the struggle of one man who is known as Odysseus, and his ten-year struggle to return home to his wife after fighting in the Trojan War. Along the way he is faced with many challenges, and the decisions he makes shapes his fate, his life, and the lives of his crew aboard his ship. During his journey, he makes good and bad decisions such as blinding Cyclopes, leaving the mystical bag of winds unguarded, and building the Trojan horse to win the war. Of all Odysseus’s bad choices, the worst is that he decided to blind the Cyclopes Polyphemus, son of Neptune, the god of the sea and storms. This causes Neptune to focus much of his rage upon Odysseus, and this leaves Odysseus stranded on a remote island with Calypso. “Bear in mind, however, that Neptune is still furious with Ulysses for having blinded an eye of Polyphemus king of the Cyclopes. Polyphemus is son to Neptune by the nymph Thoosa, daughter to the sea-king Phorcys; therefore though he will not kill Ulysses outright, he torments him by preventing him from getting home.” (Homer, 4) Odysseus’s choice here causes Odysseus to remain stranded on the island with Calypso, and if it were not for Zeus’s daughter Minerva pleading for intervention Odysseus would never have made it off the island. One of Odysseus’s good choices was his decision to build the Trojan horse. “I have never seen such another man as Ulysses. What endurance too, and what courage he displayed within the wooden horse, wherein all the bravest of the Argives were lying in wait to bring death and destruction upon the Trojans.” (Homer, p. 25) Odysseus shows his courage and cunning ability to destroy Troy. Helen tells Odysseus’s son of his heroic tale: “I cannot indeed name every single one of the exploits of Ulysses, but I can say what he did when he was before Troy, and you Achaeans were in all sorts of difficulties. He covered himself with wounds and bruises, dressed himself all...
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