The Importance Of Identity In Homer's Odyssey

1424 Words 6 Pages
Identity is the fact of being who a person is. Many make superior choices and resist bad ones. The attempt of choosing between decisions is difficult depending on what the results can be. Myriad of decisions include being able to overcome obstacles through journeys. For instance, adventurous men travel to try and accomplish their goal but end up in many bumps. The Odyssey conveys temptations the protagonist, Odysseus, has when he travels on an expedition trying to reach home. Ithaca, Odysseus' homeland, hardly stands from the twenty years he has been away from it. It begins to crumble from the lack of care and leadership taken. In The Odyssey, Odysseus' crew of men come across many figures on their travels home, including coming face to face …show more content…
Every epic hero makes mistakes when on a destined search for identity. A major fault that defines Odysseus through the “Cyclops” passage is when he reveals his true identity to Polyphemus. At the start, Odysseus kept his identity hidden by using the name “Nohbody.” Yet, as he gains so much hubris from escaping the cave, he reveals himself. Homer writes, “Cyclops/if ever mortal man inquire/ how you put to shame and blinded, tell him/ Odysseus, raider of cities, took your eye/ Laertes’ son whose home’s on Ithaca” (“The Cyclops” 1.457-460). One can note from this that, Odysseus is so confident that he thinks it would not hurt to reveal himself, yet, it stabs him ultimately in the back. Even though this mistake was major, Odysseus learns from his experience. Odysseus begins to learn that using your own name can harm not only yourself but, your crew. As well as, your journey home. Another mistake made by Odysseus is his inability to control his men. This becomes apparent when he lets his men get tempted by the “Lotus Eaters.” Odysseus himself does not get tempted by the Lotus yet, he does give his men permission in a way to do so. Odysseus notices, “They fell in, soon enough, with Lotus Eaters/ who showed no will to do us harm, only/ offering the sweet lotus to our friends-/ but those who ate this honeyed plant, the Lotus/ never cared to report, nor return/ they longed to stay forever, browsing on”(“Lotus Eaters” 1.94-99). The evidence …show more content…
Odysseus comes across many obstacles, such as facing an aggressive Cyclops, a vicious whirlpool, a rock monster, Suitors trying to marry his wife, Sirens and their songs, etc. Despite all of these obstacles, he still manages to keep his goal in mind, to get back home to Ithaca. He makes hard decisions that could jeopardize him and his men. Though Odysseus makes many mistakes along the way that affected the lives of many of his men, he fights his temptations to get his men back home and does his best to protect his men throughout the poem. In the epic poem, The Odyssey, Odysseus faces many harmful figures, but he still copes by keeping his ultimate goal to get back home in

Related Documents