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The Odyssey Themes

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Sorrow, Suffering, Grief, Agony, Distress, and Misery: According to Greek Mythology the act of being human demands that you must suffer and there is no escape from pain, it is the price you pay to be human. “By nights he would lie beside her, of necessity, in the hollow caerns, against his will, by one who was willing, but all the days he would sit upon the rocks, at the seaside, breaking his heart in tears and lamentation and sorrow as weeping tears he looked out over the barren water. “(5.154-158) Mental suffering Penelope, Telemachus grew up w/o dad: "swerved aside, leaving his long spearshaft lodged in Amphinomus"(Book 22-100). When T kills A he shows Odysseus that he grew up in O’s shoes, even without him around. T proves he has grown up until he leaves the door to the storeroom, giving the suitors weapons. T shows that he is not afraid of death by hanging the suitors. Physical: As for those culprits I will quickly strike their swift ship with my bright lightning bolt, and shatter it to pieces out on the wine-dark sea.” | Justice, Revenge, Vengeance: Odysseus’ crew ate the forbidden cows so Zeus created a storm that killed them all, but Odysseus. O&T get revenge on the suitors for taking over their home by killing them all, ‘Keep your joy in your heart, old dame; stop, do not raise up the cry. It is not piety to glory so over slain men. These were destroyed by the doom of the gods and their own hard actions […].’ (22.411-413), this quote justifies their deaths. Cyc gets revenge on O by telling P to make O miserable. ‘“Hear me, Poseidon, who circle the earth, dark-haired. If truly I am your son, and you acknowledge yourself as my father, grant that Odysseus, sacker of cities, son of Laertes, who makes his home in Ithaka, may never reach that home…” (9 428-536) P vents his wrath on the well intended Phonecians who helped his nemesis O | Endurance, Perseverance, Courage, Grit, Persistence, determination, “I long for home, long for the sight of home. If any god has marked me out again for shipwreck, my tough heart can undergo it. What hardship have I not long since endured at sea, in battle! Let the trial come. Book 5, 229-33” O wants to go home he endures the sirens, calypso offers him immortality, “In my grief I thought that I should cast myself overboard and drown, rather than face such a tragedy. But my spirit held me, made me cling to the rail and endure it all.” (Page 113) he endures all of Poseidon’s attempts to kill him in the fury that O blinded the Cyclops. P curses O to wander the seas for ten years, O thought he was smart to tell the Cyc his name was nobody but he boasted and told him his name. P also made them stuck on Thrinacia Helios’ Island. Z then punished them for eating Helios’ cattle and created Scylla and Charybdis. | Family, the suitors don’t value it none of them even ask her dad for her hand in marriage no respect for T either ‘For my mother, against her will, is beset by suitors, own sons to the men who are greatest hereabouts. These shrink from making the journey to the house of her father Ikarios, so that he might take bride gifts for his daughter and bestow her on the one he wished, who came as his favorite; rather, all their days, they come and loiter in our house and sacrifice our oxen and our sheep and our fat goats and make a holiday feast of it and drink the bright wine recklessly. Most of our substance is wasted.’ (2.50-58) “and now again a beloved son is gone on a hollow ship, an innocent all unversed in fighting and speaking, and it is for him I grieve even more than for that other one, and tremble for him and fear, lest something should happen to him” 4.) P is more worried for T than O. O’s mother dies of grief that he is gone. ‘But now I shall go to our estate with its many orchards, to see my noble father who has grieved for me constantly.’ (23.354-355) O is so connected to his dad that he goes to see him immediately after returning. | Faithfulness, Loyalty, devotion, reliability, trustworthyQuote from suffering also works here. His desire for Calypso has been overridden for his loyalty to his family. O is loyal to his men, ‘Right in her doorway she ate them up. They were screaming and reaching out their hands to me in this horrid encounter. That was the most pitiful scene that these eyes have looked on in my sufferings as I explored the routes over the water.’ (12.256-259) Because of the loyalty to his comrades O is very sad when they die, T is loyal to O because he kept the secret that O came back "If you truly are my own son, born of our own blood, then let nobody hear that Odysseus is in the palace" (16. 248). When O is abused by the suitors T doesn’t say a word. O’s servants are faithful in keeping his secret Eumaios the swine herd and Eurkleia the maid. | Tradition, custom, belif: O is justified in killing the suitors because they broke the greek tradition of being grateful and respectful of the host. Cyc deserved to get blinded because he was not a good host, O waited outside his house and brought wine for the Cyc as custom O expected gifts but when the Cyc ate his friends O had the right to blind him. ‘Welcome, stranger. You shall be entertained as a guest among us. Afterward, when you have tasted dinner, you shall tell us what your need is.’ (1. 118-124) T is so generous to let the stranger in even though he doesn’t know who it is the suitors are breaking Zeus’ rule of hospitality when they overstay their welcome and when antinous threatens the beggar (O) Even gods show hospitality to one another But come in with me, so I can put entertainment before you.’ So the goddess spoke, and she set before him a table which she had filled with ambrosia, and mixed red nectar for him. (5.87-93) | Deceit disguise | |

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