Vengeance in the Odyssey

Topics: Odyssey, Odysseus, Polyphemus Pages: 2 (678 words) Published: January 10, 2013
Vengeance in The Odyssey
In the Odyssey, vengeance is one of the most important themes, as it is why almost all the conflict in the story happens. First, Poseidon constantly upbraids Odysseus for blinding his son, Polyphemus, by making his journey home extremely difficult. Also, Telemachus and Odysseus need to get revenge on the suitors for disrupting their family. Lastly, Odysseus tells Penelope “to stay quietly in her chambers since the angry kin of the suitors will be vengeful” (Nardo, 100). The Odyssey contains many people getting revenge on others, like Poseidon reprimanding Odysseus for blinding his son, Odysseus and Telemachus repaying the suitors for disrespecting their household, and the families of the late suitors requiting Odysseus and Telemachus for killing the suitors.

First, Poseidon’s vengeance plays an important role in this poem because it is the cause of almost every challenge that causes Odysseus not to return home easily. He wanted to get revenge on Odysseus because he blinded his Cyclops son, Polyphemus. Although Polyphemus ate a few of Odysseus’s men while they stayed on his island, the death of a few sailors did not give Poseidon the satisfaction of vengeance. Therefore, Poseidon decides to make Odysseus’s journey home long and dangerous. He is responsible for most of the tribulations that Odysseus and his crew encounter. But, at the end, Odysseus overcame “every obstacle of men and gods” (Nardo, 54).

Next, Odysseus and his son, Telemachus, want to avenge the suitors for upsetting their home by eating all the food and disrespecting Penelope, Odysseus’s wife and Telemachus’ mother. The suitors have stolen Odysseus’s integrity and home, and he will stop at nothing to get them back. Telemachus and Odysseus form a plan to defeat the suitors by a surprise attack. After the action took place, they had “slaughter[ed] an entire generation of Ithacan youth” vying to take Odysseus’s role (Bloom, 89). Although this may be seen today as an...
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