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Describing odysseus in the story of the odyssey

Ideas that make a difference Odysseus and the Cyclops: King of Ithaca, he sailed to Troy with an army of men to liberate the princess Helen from the Trojans. Yet, Odysseus had a fatal flaw, and this would be his undoing. Every now and then, his pride would get the better of him and he would become wild and unchecked, a primal force of passion and fury.

In these moments, Odysseus would forget the limits of his powers. He would believe that he was god-like and untouchable, the master of fate and destiny.

  1. When they awake and prepare to leave the following morning, Odysseus learns that yet another of his men has perished, having fallen from the roof after drinking too much and breaking his neck.
  2. She tells him to seek out Eumaeus and take refuge in his hut.
  3. Athena assures him of his future success though, even against such incredible odds.
  4. Laertes is his father, and he makes his home on Ithaka' 9.

He would lose his grip on reason. He would overreach himself and get himself into all kinds of scrapes. Finally he messed up big time.

Most importantly, it indicates how pride, or hubris, constantly undercuts our attempts at self-mastery. We believe that we are masters of the world. We overreach ourselves and wind up victims of the world instead. It was Odysseus, at the siege of Troy, who devised the plan for getting the Archaean army into the city. Odysseus gave it up reluctantly. The Archaeans would build a giant horse and put soldiers in its belly, giving it to the Trojans as a gift.

It was a crazy scheme but it just might work! Under the cover of darkness, the soldiers would creep from the horse and throw wide the city gates and the Archaean army would come pouring in. In fact it was a disaster. The Cicones attacked the Ithacans as they sat feasting on the beach and the tide ran red with blood. Odysseus had to forcibly reconscript his crew, driving them back to their posts and lashing them to the oars to make their escape.

It was at the island of the Cyclops that things really came unstuck. Exploring this island, hunting for goats, Odysseus and his men became trapped in the cave of Polyphemus, a one-eyed giant who happened to be the son of Poseidon, Lord of the Sea. Through the resourcefulness and nerve of their captain, the soldiers blinded the Cyclops and escaped his lair clinging to the bellies of sheep.

But as they rowed back to the ship, ducking the boulders that the Cyclops hurled at them from the shore, Odysseus lost his self-control for just one moment. He roared at Polyphemus on the beach: Polyphemus called on Poseidon to avenge him and Odysseus, as a result, knew nothing but bad luck from that day.

Gods, monsters and stormy weather conspired to drive his ship far from its intended destination. It would be ten long years before Odysseus made it home to Ithaca and his wife and son. The first and most obvious lesson is that self-control is a vital commodity for dealing with change. Change throws up turbulence in the form of unexpected shocks and blows. Just when you think you are in the clear, you find yourself at the stern screaming abuse at your enemy!

An Odyssean fate awaits anyone who tries to navigate change without sufficient self-control. This concerns the limits of personal control. Perhaps you think that you are the master of your destiny. Perhaps you have an incredible capacity to stay calm under pressure, keeping focused while everyone about you is cracking up. Even so, describing odysseus in the story of the odyssey should not assume that your focus and nerve will see you through every situation.

The fact is most of life is out of our control. No matter what your powers, they have limits.

  1. Odysseus does not want to be seen going to Penelope though. Due to their devouring of Hyperion the Sun-god's oxen, his comrades are now dead and Odysseus is stuck on the island of Ogygia with Calypso, a besmirched nymph, Odysseus still yearns for his wife and home.
  2. He himself is naked, but does not reveal his true identity, instead taking the time to clean the dirt and muck from the ocean clean. So the famous singer sang his tale, but Odysseus melted, and from under his eyes the tears ran down, drenching his cheeks.
  3. Zeus replies with a thunder clap, coinciding with maids nearby cursing the suitors.
  4. His reaction to the bard prompts his host, the king Alcinous, to ask him who he is and what is his story? Book 8 The following day, an assembly of the Phaeacian counsel is called with Athena ensuring maximum attendance by carrying word to each counselor of the visitor to the island who appears as a god.
  5. She then leaves Scheria to return to Athens. He's bold enough to lay claim to his violence.

Only the gods are the sovereign masters of fate. This lesson was lost on Odysseus. Fired up from his stellar performance at Troy, he assumed that he was the master of his destiny and could say and do anything he liked.

  • They blame Penelope for her treachery, which Agamemnon compares to the actual treachery of Clytmenestra, knowing that Penelope is a better person;
  • Book 20 Because of the task ahead of them, Odysseus has trouble sleeping;
  • However, Odysseus steps forward and requests to try the task himself.

Big mistake, as Poseidon reminded him. This lesson resounds throughout Greek literature: You are not a god. Do not forget it — or else. It is a lesson that we are still learning today. Like Odysseus, we have a habit of becoming too fond of ourselves. Boosted by pride and ego, we allow ourselves to believe that we are the lords of our domain, if not masters of the universe. We leap ahead where angels fear to tread.

We overplay our hand. When our house of cards comes tumbling down, we fall down with it. We lie in the ruins of our dreams, wondering how we could have ever believed in ourselves. This is not the behavior of someone who is in control of themself.

What are some characteristics of Odysseus?

It does not reflect the inner mastery that we need to successfully deal with change. We are misled by Hollywood as much as by myths and legends. Maverick is pure focus and nerve. As a trainee pilot, he breaks all the rules, confident that he can beat the odds on the basis of talent alone. What happens to Maverick? Maverick gets into a situation that spins wildly out of control. It takes his wingman and it almost takes his wings.

Maverick is devastated by the loss of Goose, his friend.

Odysseus and the Cyclops: mastery, humility, and fate

He gets drunk, refuses to fly, and comes apart at the seams. It is a question of humility. You need to recognize that life is out of your hands.

  • After barely escaping, Odysseus and his men arrive in Aeaea where the witch-goddess Circe lives;
  • This notion of love conquering fear and hatred is a common theme in Greek quest mythology;
  • Feeling good about yourself?
  • We're supposed to think "It's not his fault these beautiful, immortal ladies can't keep their hands off him!
  • He eventually travels to visit friends of his father and returns to help his father remove the suitors;
  • When the time is right, father and son will take the hidden arms and slaughter the suitors.

When circumstances change and events slip from your grasp, shift gears, reassess the situation, focus less on controlling what is happening than on trying to control your responses to it. Self-control is equal parts focus, drive, and humility. A Philosophical Guide Share this: