Examples Of Stupidity In The Odyssey

The Odyssey is a classic piece of literature. This is an indisputable fact. The work has traversed centuries, influencing authors, playwrights, film directors, and every form of media we now use. In creating this narrative, Homer set standards for all future authors, one of the most prevalent being the formula for a hero. Odysseus appears to be the ideal protagonist, intelligent, strong, often described as attractive, and always acting with the best of intentions. He seems to be the original Superman. Despite the attractiveness of this easy-to-swallow description, it is wrong. When looking critically at The Odyssey and at Odysseus’s character, we see insurmountable evidence that Odysseus is not the “good guy” history has made him out to be. …show more content…
Courage is defined as this: “The ability to do something that frightens one.” In The Odyssey courage seems to be abundant in both the main character and in many secondary characters. This, however, is disputable. Often overlooked is the fine line between courage and blatant stupidity, which is defined at this “Behavior that shows lack of good sense or judgement.” Keeping this idea of stupidity in mind while analyzing Odysseus’s actions, we start to see where the line between the two qualities is blurred. Many readers at first glance find Odysseus incredibly brave by planning to attack all 108 suitors alone, at the same time. But it’s likely that this is only seen as courageous because he succeeded. When we look at Odysseus’s actual plan and execution, we see many foolish assumptions and decisions being made. When Odysseus explains his plan to Telemachus, he reveals that he is depending on Athena and Zeus to assist him during the fight. He makes this claim and incorporates it into his plan without discussing it with Athena and with no knowledge whatsoever that the two gods will actually help him. Odysseus is preparing to charge into battle, and leading his only son into battle, on what is basically a hope and a prayer. The more this is considered, Odysseus’s actions seem more stupid than courageous. If he had lost the fight with the suitors, it is very likely that more readers would have viewed the plan this way. Another questionable decision made by Odysseus involves mass murder and his ability to be diplomatic. After Odysseus reveals himself to the suitors and threatens to kill them, some of the young men tried to reason with him. The suitors offer that in exchange for their lives, the remaining men will pay huge amounts to Odysseus each year to make up for their advances on his wife. Odysseus refuses this offer, and instead slaughters the whole group. This could be

Related Documents