Why Odysseus Described As One Who 'Veered From His Path' - Literary Essay Sample

Published: 2022-03-09
Why Odysseus Described As One Who 'Veered From His Path' - Literary Essay Sample
Type of paper:  Thesis
Categories:  Character analysis
Pages: 3
Wordcount: 561 words
5 min read

In this essay, I will argue that Odysseus deserves to be described as the one who veered off the path. In line 2 of Homeric Odyssey Rhapsody 1, Odyssey is referred to as a polu-tropos man (meaning a versatile man) who has veered from his path and wandered off everywhere.

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First, we have to look at line 11 of Homeric Odyssey Rhapsody 1, where all the soldiers who had gone with Odysseus have traveled back home safely. Although the war and the sea voyage was not easy and some of them perished, Odyssey and the soldiers manage to sail back home. However, Odyssey is detained and imprisoned by numphe Kalypso (queen nymph). In line 16, we learn that the gods had decided that Odyssey should go back to Ithaca since they had begun to pity him. This shows that Odyssey was adopting human traits and veering off from the other gods. Line 17 states that Odyssey felt settled when among his people.

Next, we see in line 45 when the owl-vision Athena is talking to his father. He is pleading with him and saying that he does not feel pity for Aegisthus, rather, he feels pity for the "high-spirited Odysseus," and his heart bleeds for him. Athena is referring to all the sufferings that Odyssey is going through in the lonely sea-girt island. Odysseus had been separated from all his friends and taken to an island that was covered with forest and was in the middle of the sea. The daughter of the magician Atlas had held Odyssey captive and kept doing all kinds of blandishment to make him forget his present home and think of nothing else other than seeing the smoke of his chimneys (Homeric Odyssey Rhapsody 1, Line 60). This shows that the daughter of Atlas had also seen how much Odyssey had veered off from his real world and become attached to the present world that he was living in. She was doing everything to make him remember his past life and prepare him for his nostos (homecoming).

When speaking of Odysseus as the one who veered off, it is important to note that, he had blinded the eye of Polyphemus who was the king of Cyclopes. Poseidon, the earth-encircler, was angry with Odysseus and although he could not kill Odysseus out rightly, he tormented him be ensuring that he never came back home ((Homeric Odyssey Rhapsody 1, Line 75). Finally, in verse 3 (Odyssey i 1-14), we get to know that Odysseus saw cities of many mortals. Because of staying with them, he came to learn about their ways of thinking, noos. In the fifth verse, we also get to know that Odysseus was intent on winning two things. The first prize was his life, psukhe, so that he could finally be at peace and the second prize was his homecoming, nostos, and that of his fellow soldiers. The term nostos, other than homecoming, could also be interpreted as 'return to light and life'. As such, Odyssey this implies that Odyssey had veered off and when he finally reaches his homeland Ithaca, he feels a sense of having returned from darkness and death to life and light.

Works Cited

"Homeric Iliad." Homeric Iliad -SB, chs.harvard.edu/CHS/article/display/5286#1t.

"Hour 10. The mind of Odysseus in the Homeric Odyssey." Part I. Hour 10. The mind of Odysseus in the Homeric Odyssey, chs.harvard.edu/CHS/article/display/5952.

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Why Odysseus Described As One Who 'Veered From His Path' - Literary Essay Sample. (2022, Mar 09). Retrieved from https://speedypaper.com/essays/why-odysseus-described-as-one-who-veered-from-his-path

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