Odysseus Essay Example

Published: 2022-03-28
Odysseus Essay Example
Type of paper:  Essay
Categories:  Homer World literature
Pages: 3
Wordcount: 588 words
5 min read

In this essay, I will provide the reasons why Odysseus is described as one who 'veered from his Path'. Odysseus is the archetype of cunning. Odysseus also represents practical intelligence, healthy curiosity, right judgment, prudence, courage, diplomatic skill, perseverance, self-improvement and the resolution of road obstacles. The rugged return to your home is a metaphor that alludes to your own identity. The home is the roots, the memory of the lived, the received restraint, the wait in the absence, the permanence of the traditions. His return to Ithaca is the return to his kingdom and his home, his place of belonging. That return, cursed by the god Poseidon, was a sacrificial and patient learning where the hero humiliated his pride and knew how to wait for the time of the gods. Such a return was transformed, in short, into the archetype of the journey towards himself, to his own self-knowledge and learning. It was not the same after the war and especially after the long and dangerous journey.

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The curse of Poseidon became for him his most precious blessing. He made him sacrifice himself and know how to see the priorities of his search. He became a hero, not only for courage in the war but above all, for having overcome himself throughout his journey. The true itinerary was towards itself. Ithaca took him to his own destiny. To the path of his heart, the longest path that every mortal has in his life. The journey of Odysseus has several stages that, in time, took him ten years, which is also a symbolic number. The ten is a figure that contains the value of all the numbers of the first ten, represents the whole, a complete cycle, the perfect circle, closing and opening, a new opportunity. Each of these tests was a teaching his initiatory itinerary, the pilgrimage that gives him the wisdom of divine designs, although apparently they may seem cursed purposes, however, lead him to the adventure of self-knowledge. He had to pass ten tests: the first test was the fog that confused him and made him lose his way, a symbol of everything that disorients us on the road and that has to be cleared.

Once he reached his desired kingdom, he began the test of fidelity: him, his wife, his son and his servants. Only then, when everyone recognizes him and is avenged, did he finally feel at home and in his destiny, unleashing - forever - the curse of the sea. This entire itinerary symbolically shows the spiritual path, the search for our vocation and ourselves. We are all Odysseus. We are all that man lost between the seas and time. The price of the return is always high. Everyone has to value it to find his or her own way. Odysseus is his own trip. Each one is, although he does not know it. All these features make Odysseus to be described as the one who veered off. He was different from other gods and he followed his own path.


Clayton, B. "Polyphemus and Odysseus in the Nursery: Mother's Milk in the Cyclopeia." Arethusa, vol. 44 no. 3 (2011): 255-277.

Homer. The Odyssey. Translated by Robert Fagles. Introduction by Bernard Knox. United States of America: Penguin Books. 1996, p. 13.

Muller, W. G. "From Homer's Odyssey to Joyce's Ulysses: Theory and Practice of an Ethical Narratology" Arcadia, 50.1 (2015): 9-36.

Turkeltaub, D. "Penelope's 'Stout Hand' and Odyssean Humour." The Journal of Hellenic Studies, vol. 134 (2014): 103-119.

West, E. "Circe, Calypso, Hiimba." The Journal of Indo-European Studies, 42.1 (2014): 144-174.

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