The Odyssey (Home)

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Everyone has a home. Regardless of its location, it is a place of acceptance and belonging. In a sense it's where the heart is. Though in The Odyssey, the concept of home is blurry and for the most part incomplete, it is the most important thing to Odysseus, and he is willing to go through utter hell to return to his home.

Telemachus and Penelope reside in an incomplete home. In book one Telemachus speaks to Mentes, the clear-eyed goddess Athena in disguise, "mother has always told me I'm his son, it's true, but I am not so certain." Telemachus, although frequently enlightened of his father's heroic character, knows not the slightest bit about his father, and he has contemplated whether or not Odysseus really is his father having never seen him. Growing up fatherless, having only a mother, nurse, and annoying suitors in his life, Telemachus feels incomplete, as does his mother Penelope, who hasn't seen her husband for over twenty years. Every Achaean, war hero, and friend of Odysseus knows and retells of his brilliance, but it will take more than just stories of his famous father to make Telemachus feel complete.

Odysseus wants more than anything to go home, which will complete their home. He boasts his yearning in book five, "I long---I pine, all my days---to travel home and see the dawn of my return." Odysseus' response is to Athena's offer of immortality if he will stay with her on Ogygia. His everything resides in his Ithacan home and even the bewitching nymph, Calypso, realizes Odysseus' desire to go home. Even when offered an endless life, Odysseus believes a life without Penelope, Telemachus and his home, even an endless one, is worthless.

The strong will of Odysseus kept his fire burning towards reaching him home and continuing his mortal life. When preparing to leave Ogygia in book five, Odysseus exclaims, "if a god will wreck me yet again on the wine-dark sea, I can bear that too; much have I suffered, labored hard and long by now...
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