The Challenges Of Odysseus Desires In Homer's Odyssey

1252 Words 6 Pages
Throughout Homer’s Odyssey, Odysseus and his crew are tempted time and time again by lustrous women, food and drink, and riches. In many instances, the men give into their desires in hope of personal gain. They often do so without thinking, causing major problems for the rest of the shipmates. The voyage home is negatively affected after the crew gives in to the temptation of the Lotus-eaters, seductive women such as Circe and Calypso, the bag of Aeolus’ winds, and Helios’ Cattle. Although the immediate impact of these events appears detrimental to Odysseus’ crew, the experiences in which Odysseus and his men give in to temptation are what shape Odysseus into the strong, experienced hero he is at the end of the epic.
After various crew members
…show more content…
On the island of Aeaea, Odysseus “urged and the men called out and hailed her. She opened her gleaming doors at once and stepped forth, inviting them all in, and in they went, all innocence” (10.252-254). This quote presents Odysseus and his crew giving in to the temptation of Circe. Entering Circe’s halls is a huge mistake made by Odysseus. Despite warning, the crew happily walks right into their own trap. This decision delays their voyage for another whole year. However, Odysseus does learn the value of Penelope after ignorantly spending time with Circe. Furthermore, Homer writes, “his heart set on his wife and his return—Calypso, the bewitching nymph, the lustrous goddess, held him back, deep in her arching caverns, craving him for a husband” (1.16-17). After sleeping with a charming nymph for seven years, Odysseus realizes he only longs for his wife. His heart is set on Penelope even though he has the opportunity to marry a young, beautiful nymph. Calypso offers Odysseus marriage and immortality, yet he knows Penelope is the one for him. In addition, “He dotes upon every aspect and attends to every whim of his wife, and his obsessive recollections throughout the day of his life with her underscore the hold that Molly has upon him” (Joyce). Throughout Odysseys’ stay with Calypso, he constantly …show more content…
Odysseus tells, “That moment soothing slumber fell from my eyes… the smoky savor of roasts came floating up around me” (12.393-196). Odysseus is sleeping while Eurylochus convinces the crew to kill the Cattle of the Sun after being trapped on the island of Thrinacia for a month without food. After waking up, Odysseus realizes that leaving his men unattended was a terrible mistake. For example, “Left on their own, look what a monstrous thing my crew concocted” (12.400-401). Odysseus learns that a ship master can never take a break leave his crew alone, even if it is for something vital, such as sleep. The leader needs to be present constantly to ensure the men are not involved in any shenanigans. Odysseus learns that in the future he must keep a close eye on his squadron at all times, guaranteeing they do not give in to temptation again. The Cattle of the Sun is just one instance in which the crew feeds their desires, improving Odysseus’ character traits and role as a

Related Documents

Related Topics