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The Incomplete Heros Journey Of Odysseus English Literature Essay

No Journey carries one far unless, as it extends into the universe around us, it goes an equal distance into the universe within.A the writer Lillian Smith one time remarked. Another writer, Joseph Campbell introduces the construct of the hero ‘s journey in his book The Hero With a Thousand Faces: a hero must go forth place, make up one’s mind on a pursuit, encounter a firedrake of some kind, face an full-scale battle, be marked during the battle, and derive a great wisdom. In Homer ‘s The Odyssey, a brave adult male, Odysseus, embarks on his journey place to his married woman who is being harassed by insolent suers, and his boy who is out seeking for information on his male parent ‘s destiny. Odysseus leaves Troy winning after the Trojan War, but has tests thrown at him by the God Poseidon, who holds a standing score against him. As portion of his journey, Odysseus decides on his pursuit: to do his manner back place to Ithaca no affair the cost. During the quest, he encounters many firedrakes, including the many obstructions sent by Poseidon and his ain grandiloquent self-importance. On his manner place, he escapes certain decease multiple times such as turtling after go forthing Calypso ‘s Island and about drowning. Because of all of his tests, he receives many physical and emotional cicatrixs. Despite his adversities, Odysseus does non run into Campbell ‘s definition of the hero ‘s journey because he does non truly emotionally detach himself from place or addition great wisdom during his enterprises due to his selfishness, haughtiness and sloppiness.

Throughout The Odyssey, Odysseus ne’er truly leaves place, because that is where his bosom is the full clip. While he is stranded on Calypso ‘s Island, Odysseus tells Calypso, “ I long for the twenty-four hours of my home-coming. And if some God wrecks me once more on the deep, I will digest it, for I have a patient head. I have suffered already many problems and adversities in conflict and storm ; this will be merely one more. ” ( 66 ) . During his journey, he thinks of nil but acquiring place to his married woman, male parent, and boy. In his trip to the Underworld, Odysseus egotistically takes the opportunity he is given and asks his female parent ‘s shade: “ state me about my male parent and the boy I left behind meaˆ¦ Tell me of my ain wedded married woman, what she thinks and what she means to make. Make she stay with the male child and maintain all safe, or has she already married the best adult male who offered? ” ( 127 ) . Despite the fact that he has been off for such a long clip, Odysseus is still obsessed with what is traveling on in his family. In his treatment with his female parent ‘s shade, he asks of selfish things. Throughout the heroic poem, Odysseus is driven merely by his selfish wants to “ travel place ” , which means that he is emotionally attached to his household. Because he is still emotionally grounded at place, he does non truly leave place.

One other ground Odysseus does non carry through the demands of the hero ‘s journey, because he ne’er genuinely learns anything that benefits him or his work forces. After his brush with the Cyclops, he has the opportunity to larn to maintain his haughtiness under control, but he does n’t. He sails off from the island, but being the big-headed adult male he is, he yells back at the Cyclops, “ I say, Cyclops! If of all time any one asks you who put out your ugly oculus, tell him your winker was Odysseus, the vanquisher of Troy, the boy of Laertes, whose reference is in Ithaca! ” ( 110 ) . Odysseus ‘s actions bring back effects. The Cyclops calls upon his male parent Poseidon, Odysseus ‘s immortal enemy and cries:

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‘Hear me, Poseidon Earthholder Seabluehair! If I am genuinely thy boy, and thou art so my male parent, grant that Odysseus the vanquisher of Troy- the boy of Laertes-whose reference is in Ithaca, may ne’er make his place! But if it is his due part to see his friends and come once more to his tall house and his native land, may he come at that place late and in wretchedness, in another adult male ‘s ship, may he lose all his comrades, and may he happen trial at place! ‘ ( 111 ) .

Poseidon so hears him and makes Odysseus digest many adversities including return place without his crew after a series of freak storms and events. If merely he had non allow his haughtiness and hot-headedness get above himself, he would hold gotten place safely with his crew. If merely he had learned his lesson, he would non hold turned many of the people in Ithaca against him after killing off all of the suers every bit good. In his battle against the suers who were infesting his house, Odysseus slays all of the suers, Antinoos, the lead suer, being first. When Antinoos ‘s male parent finds out his boy and all the suers have been killed, he responds:

‘My friends, here is a monstrous thing this adult male has done against our state! First he goes off with a fleet of ships and a batch of all right chaps, loses the ships, loses the work forces, and comes back entirely: so he kills the best of the Cephallenians. Come now, before he can escapeaˆ¦ it will be a smudge upon us in coevalss to come if we do non penalize the slayings of our ain boies and brothers. ‘ ( 269 ) .

The male parent leads some of the suers ‘ household members to travel kill Odysseus, and Odysseus hot-headedly goes for the challenge, killing Antinoos ‘s male parent. If it is non for Athena ‘s counsel and intercession, Odysseus and his friends will kill all the people and trigger more inauspicious effects. In this illustration, it is clear that Odysseus ne’er learns his lesson on commanding his hot-headed, chesty and violent inclinations.

During the class of the narrative, Odysseus repeatedly fails to larn how to command his work forces. On the Island of the Ciconians, he and his work forces slay all the work forces and take their ownerships. Afterwards, he “ told the work forces we must demo a light heel and be away, but the hapless saps would non listen, ” and “ a battalion of these work forces swarmed down early in the morningaˆ¦ six men-at-arms were from each vas were killed ” ( 100-101 ) . Later in the narrative, the God Aiolos gives Odysseus a bag incorporating the air currents so that merely the air current he needs is blowing. He heedlessly and unwisely disregards to state his work forces what was in the bag and keeps it to himself, and as Ithaca comes into position, Odysseus falls asleep and “ the work forces began to speak to one another, said there must be gilded and Ag in that bag, nowadayss from the generous Aiolos Hippotadesaˆ¦ they opened the bag, the air currents leaped out ; at one time a gale caught them, and carried them off to sea rupturing their hair as they left their native land behind. ” ( 112-113 ) . Subsequently on in the narrative, on the island of the cowss of Helios, the Gods put Odysseus to kip, and while he was asleep, “ Eurylochos was doing a fatal address to his comrades ” ( 144 ) and “ they wasted no clip, but drove off the best of the cowss of Helios close byaˆ¦Then they chopt up the remainder and put the pieces on tongues ” ( 145 ) . This is a awful error. Helios so goes to Zeus, who blasts the adventurers ‘ boat into smithereens. In these three cases, Odysseus fails to command and train his work forces, which leads to black effects. What Odysseus should larn from the first case is to put a tight appreciation on bid. One can state that let go ofing the air current is the mistake of human wonder, but will it go on if Odysseus makes certain his work forces know what is in it and told them non to open it? No. Another can state that in the 3rd case, the work forces are hungering and needed nutrient, but can Odysseus non state them to scrounge for roots or beginnings of meat other than sacred cattles? Harmonizing to Niccolo Machiavelli ‘s book The Prince, a certain sum of fright is necessary to maintain order. If Odysseus learns to transfuse a certain sum of fright in his work forces instead than give an air of sloppiness, will his work forces fit his degree of foolhardiness? No. In all of these illustrations, Odysseus fails to larn how to maintain his work forces in line.

In the existent universe, one must non merely physically leave place, but besides emotionally leave place at one point to prosecute illustriousness in the hero ‘s journey. In add-on, one must larn for his/her ain good to be a true hero. In our society, we have many heroes. Our soldiers who traveled across the word to contend in the Middle East are some people we consider heroes. If a soldier is like Odysseus and ignores every chance to larn things that would greatly profit, if non salvage himself and his comrades, would they be alive? That is really improbable. We hear narratives of soldiers throwing themselves onto grenades and other explosives to salvage their companions. These work forces are the true heroes who have experienced danger and seen their comrades blown to pieces. They learn from their experiences that one can easy salvage many. Since worlds rely on larning from experience to make up one’s mind on things, non larning will take to perennial mistakes and effects as demonstrated by Odysseus. From this we learn that emotionally go forthing place and that larning from errors to profit oneself and comrades are two of the most defining features of the true hero.


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