temptation in the odyssey

Topics: Odyssey, Odysseus, Homer Pages: 4 (1689 words) Published: January 25, 2014
The antagonist, Temptation

This essay is about temptation in the Odyssey, more specifically temptation and its role in the book. Showing how food displays everyday temptation and how Odysseus recklessness causes his own troubled journey home.

Temptation in laments terms is the desire to do something you know you shouldn’t do. This theme is something that is repeated constantly throughout the Odyssey in a multitude of ways and for many reasons. It shows on a scale how human and mortal the characters really are. At the two extremes of the scale there are those who are favored by the gods and are even sometimes called “god like” and there are those who are just mortals, no special treatment from up high. Yet all fall pray to temptation at some point in time, event he great “god like Odysseus”. You will never see a god fall victim to temptation in the odyssey, for it would ruin the message and meaning of temptation on humanity. It is meant to subtly show that we as humans are imperfect, that no matter how high we reach and how noble we are we are still mortals and therefor susceptible to any and all mortal weaknesses. We are unable to control it because we are human, and because we are human we are unable to control it. Temptation in the odyssey does more than just hint at and reinforce our humanity in comparison to the gods, it goes much deeper and starts to talk about how as humans we should act and behave. To be fall victim to temptation shows our humanity, but to exaggerate on it and show what happens if you constantly loose to temptation you start to see the difference between a civil human being and a non-civil human. Loosing that civility puts you in a very low place in society. The Odyssey is an encoded “how to live in Greek society”. It talks about how to be goods hosts, how to treat people, how to behave and on and on the list will go.

Temptation by food seems to be mentioned more than any other type of temptation. That is not to say that every...

Cited: Fagels, Robert, trans. Homer The Odyssey. N.p.: Penguin Group $c1996., n.d. Print.
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