The Powerful Mind of Odysseus
The Powerful Mind of Odysseus
Odysseus, among all the Greeks who sailed during the war against Troy, may be considered the luckiest. He is the ruler of a very peaceful island called Ithaca, where all his constituents love him. He is married to a very beautiful and faithful woman by the name of Penelope, from whom he begot a bright and spirited young son, Telemachus. However, considering the intellectual capacity he was gifted with, it may be said that luck has nothing to do with it. It was pure genius, a boon of the Gods which he utilized to his best advantage (Homer and Murray).
Upon the onset of the Trojan War, King Menelaus, whose wife was abducted by the prince of Troy invited Odysseus to take part, but the wise king of Ithaca did not want to meddle with the personal affairs of a husband whose wife committed adultery so he disguised himself and tried to decline the invitation through it. When he was finally discovered, he was further urged to join the war as he may be a very good strategist for the fleet. He proved to be an asset indeed as he was the one who devised the Trojan horse stratagem, which led to the defeat and destruction of Troy (Homer and Murray).
Unfortunately, although the Greeks won the war only one ship was able to leave the shores of Troy safely and it had Odysseus on it. This ship has met dozens and more perils along the way for the Gods were not pleased with the brutality that the Greeks have shown against the Trojans. It lasted for 20 years and before finally making it home, Odysseus, little by little, lost his men through different circumstances. Once in the isle of Calypso, they were made to drink something that turned them into pigs. Another in the same island of Calypso, a Cyclops appeared and ate the remaining men one by one.
Only Odysseus survived the dangers that came their way, but as he was coming home he had found his house filled with men courting his beautiful wife. Here again, he used his intellect. As he was disguised by the goddess as an old man nobody recognized him but his faithful dog and so he came to his son, Telemachus and told him everything. Upon realizing that he was indeed speaking to his own father, Telemachus agreed to help him get rid of the suitors and be recognized by his mother. A string bow contest was held in which Odysseus came out the winner.
He was then recognized by his wife and finally he was home (Homer and Murray). In his very long journey, full of various dangers and experiences, Odysseus was able to show his great strength, courage and intellect. He was able to survive all the challenges and successfully come home. He also showed his nobility as he declined to be part of what seemed to be a war for the sake of a woman. However, his thirst for glory and self-confidence has driven him to join. In this war, he showed how intelligent he was through the strategies he devised for the Greek Fleet.
He was also able to show his skills in convincing people as he was able to persuade the great Achilles to join the war and fight for the Greeks. However, all his great traits were unpleasant to the Gods because of his attitude and views in life (Homer and Murray). Because of his clear knowledge of the things he possesses, Odysseus had an arrogant nature. He was boastful like Achilles. This was evident when he came home and found that there are many suitors in his house, he killed them all believing that none of them, but he alone deserves the beautiful Penelope. His arrogance even reached the Gods and it displeased them.
This arrogance toward the Gods has led him and his army to the perils on their way home. This arrogance and non-submissiveness to the wants of the Gods brought about the deaths of his company and the destruction of the only ship that was able to leave the shores of Troy (Homer and Murray). After the 20-year voyage that is full of unhappiness and misfortunes, Odysseus learned to humble himself to the Gods and this humility helped him get home. The Good goddess Athena appreciated his intellect and helped him in getting rid of the suitors and getting his wife back.
She disguised him and helped him devise a way to defeat all the suitors (Homer and Murray). As he was successful in destroying the suitors and finding his wife still awaiting his return, again Odysseus’ arrogance dissolved and he realized that his wife had been very loyal to him and so, he must do the same to her. He also found out in his return that patience was indeed a virtue as he had to wait for 20 years before getting back everything that he once had (Homer and Murray). As may be seen, Odysseus’ views and attitudes toward something have led him into the many misfortunes of life.
It has led him into what seems to be a personal war. It took him into a journey within the perilous waters and isles for 20 years, but it also took him into a good realization of what he possesses and a great appreciation for it. It played a great role in his life as it shaped him to become a better person, one that is more deserving of the boons of the gods, and one who deserves to be called the luckiest of all Greek men who went to Troy. Works Cited Homer and Murray, A. T. Odyssey. United States: Plain Label Books, 1946.
University/College: University of Chicago
Type of paper: Thesis/Dissertation Chapter
Date: 14 October 2016
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