Who Is the Monster in Odyssey in Current Society?

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Ahmad
November 17, 2011
World Literature
Professor:
Who is the monster in Odyssey in current society?
After reading the epic The Odyssey, I have realized that Odysseus can be identified in various distinctive ways. The most arguable question that the Odyssey leaves its readers with is who is the monster in this epic? Throughout the story he is being recognized as a great hero but upon finishing the story I have realized it that this man Odysseus, is the monster in this story. The same goes for Polyphemus; he is referred to as a cruel beast in the beginning but readers perceive him in a different way when he is crying. Polyphemus is much more than the merciless monster he is often thought of as being; but in my view, Odysseus is more of a monster than Polyphemus. Odysseus doesn’t signify the principles of modern-day culture. Nevertheless several of his talents are still appreciated; many of his actions are now reflected upon as being morally wrong. The motive of the epic was to perpetuate the values of the Greek society. The morals today have been shaped by our society, and many of these moralities have improved. 
That’s why he is well thought out a monster in current society. Odysseus would only be considered a hero if he would’ve consistently showed courage as necessary, instead he was a coward putting his warriors lives in danger to save his. He was a selfish man; Odysseus was too dependent on his warriors and other Gods/Goddesses to protect his life. He put other lives in danger to protect his own; this shows how cowardly he is to use others as pawn to make himself look like the hero. “ I beg you, goddess, tell me is there is there any way I can escape from Charybdis” “Athena stood beside him, fleshing out the limbs of the great commander.” (Puchner 587) Real heroes only kill when there is a definitely need for it however Odysseus would even massacre poor people lives for glory. Not only that I have remember Odysseus cried numerous times, ‘this broke my spirit. I sat on the bed and wept. I had no will to live nor did I care if I saw the sunlight again. But when I had my fill of weeping and writhing, I locked at the goddess” (Puchner, 449) He keeps crying through out the epic or begging for help from other, this is not a quality of a hero. There are countless reasons why Odysseus is considered a monster, although he overcomes and facing many dangers but a real hero wouldn’t bring his pride to cause his fellow member in danger. Many heroes the population at large looks upon to such as our firefighters, and our Military members that sacrifice so significantly for us, for example living in harsh condition while deployed, time away from their loved ones, missing out special occasion, risking their lives to defend our freedom that we take for granted. But a real hero will never let his pride or innate manhood overpower his honor, but Odysseus’s pride leads his crew members to their deaths multiple times: for example, when he immodestly told the Cyclops his name causing the deaths of his warriors. Only a monster would cause danger to his people. One of the many reasons why Odysseus is the monster in the story is because he went to poor Polyphemus’s cave, ate his food without his permission, and also had the guts waiting to see him beg for his life and in return demanding a “gift of hospitality”--just like the priest did who lived in grove of Phoebus Apollo. “I took along a goat skin filled with… when I spared both him and his wife and child out of respect for god…. and gave me splendid gifts: seven bars of gold, A solid silver bowl and twelve jar of wine, sweet and pure, a drink of the gods.” (Puchner 430.) Polyphemus killing Odysseus guys were justify by his action; anyone would do the same in Polyphemus situation, for example if someone intrudes into ones house eat his food and also demand a gift of hospitality, a man would defend himself and his family in order to survive. Its one natural choice perceived of as...
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