The Journey of Odysseus and Telemachos
In The Odyssey written by Homer and translated by Richard Lattimore, several themes are made evident, conceived by the nature of the time period, and customs of the Greek people. These molded and shaped the actual flow of events and outcomes of the poem. Beliefs of this characteristic were represented by the sheer reverence towards the gods and the humanities the Greek society exhibited, and are both deeply rooted within the story. In the intricate and well-developed plot of The Odyssey, Homer harmonized several subjects. One of these, was the quest of Telemachos, (titled "Telemachy") in correlation with the journey of his father. In this, he is developed from a childish, passive, and untested boy, to a young man preparing to stand by his fathers side. This is directly connected to the voyage of Odysseus, in that they both lead to the same finale, and are both stepping stones towards wisdom, manhood, and scholarship. Through these voyages certain parallels are drawn concerning Odysseus and Telemachos: the physical journeys, the mental preparations they have produced, and what their emotional status has resulted in. These all partake a immense role in the way the story is set up, stemming from the purpose of each character’s journey, their personal challenges, and the difficulties that surround them. The story commences when Odysseus, a valiant hero of the Trojan war, journeys back home. Together with his courageous comrades, and a several vessels, he set sail for his homeland Ithaca. Fated to wander for a full ten years, Odysseus’s ships were immediately blown to Thrace by a powerful storm. The expedition had begun. Upon this misfortune, he and his men started a raid on the land of the Cicones. However, this only provided them with temporary success. The Cicones had struck back and defeated a vast majority of Odysseus’s crew. This was their first of many disastrous experiences to come. Storms then blew his ships to Libya and the land of the Lotus-eaters, where the crew was given Lotus fruit from which most lost their entire memories from home. Odysseus, and the others who had not tasted it, recovered the sailors by force, and set sail again, westward, this time to the island of the Cyclops, a wild race of one-eyed giants. Leaving most of his men in a sheltered cove, Odysseus then entered the island with one crew only. They wandered around, encountering, and foolishly entering an immense cave, awaiting the owner. Moments later, a Cyclops named Polyphemos, son of Poseidon, entered and pushed a huge bolder covering the entrance to the cave. Upon this, he immediately ate two sailors, and promised to eat the others in due time. The morning came, and Polyphemos had promptly eaten two more seamen, against the will of Zeus. Odysseus, soon realized that killing him asleep would do no good since the mouth of the cave was still inescapable. The captain had then devised a new plan. When Polyphemos returned that evening, Odysseus showered the monster with wine until he had fallen under a drunken spell. Then, with the help of his companions took a sharp pole and rammed it into his large eye, blinding him instantaneously. As the crew sailed away into the vast dimensions of the sea, Odysseus had unwisely revealed his name in taunting the poor beast, boasting his excessive pride. Polyphemos then made a prayer to his father, asking to punish the man who had caused him this harm. Several days later Odysseus and his men arrived at the island of Aeolus, keeper of the winds. There, they stayed for about one month, and departed, in sight of the long-awaited Ithaca. However, before they left, Odysseus was presented with a container of winds, carrying each but the needed West wind. As Ithaca approached, the crew not knowing the contents of the "skin", opened it up and released all of the winds, depositing the ships back at the island of Aeolus, who refused to help them any further....
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