Published 05 May 2017
Odyssey is the story of Odysseus’ journey towards home from an island where he was held captured for many years. Back in Ithaca, his hometown, his beautiful was contended by many suitors meanwhile his son Telemachus vows to protect his mother and their kingdom. When Odysseus had the chance to return to his homeland, he encountered many obstacles but in the end, together with his son, they were able to defeat the suitors and regain their kingdom (Fagles).
On a deeper and more objective analysis of the character of Odysseus, he is the epitome of a Homeric leader. He is a very intelligent man but just like any other human being, he is entitled to his own misjudgments. Since he longs to wins his kleos and nostos, he enjoyed the luxurious life that he had with Calypso but since Calypso had a major liking for him, she trapped him in her island. In this scenario, Odysseus became blind to the trappings of the material world. He was unable to discern the true motives of Calypso; he did not properly use his intelligence.
Back in Ithaca, the suitors is another story. When Odysseus finally had the chance to kill them, he instantly grabbed the opportunity and being the great warrior that he is, he was able to destroy them one-by-one. He successfully prevented the angered families of the suitors and Athena arrived in Ithaca to restore the peace(Fagles).
The story of Odyssey depicts many symbolism and values but throughout it all, Homer reiterates the standard characteristics of his literary protagonists as portrayed by Odysseus himself.
- Fagles, Homer as translated by Robert. The Odyssey. New Ed edition ed: Penguin Classics, 1999.