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The Oddyssey Essay, Research Paper

The Odyssey is the story of Odysseus and how he faced misfortune in his attempts to return home after the Trojan war. From these misfortunes he learned to be a better man and became able to regain his place in his homeland of Ithaca. During his journeys Odysseus often makes the mistake of staying to boast to his enemies but learns that boasting gives his opposition a chance to seek retribution against him. After leaving Troy Odysseus attacks the land of the Cicones. Instead of leaving after his victory, he stays to celebrate until a force is rallied against him and he must flee with many casualties. Afterwards Odysseus and his crew land on the island of the Cyclops. They are attacked and some are eaten by Polyphemus. After getting the great Cyclops drunk, Odysseus and his men blind a monster with a heated spear. The men could have made an escape without another fight but Odysseus mocked Polyphemus and shouted out his real name, when before Odysseus had told him that his name was “Noman.” With this new information Polyphemus prays to his father Poseidon to have Odysseus and his men punished. Because they angered Poseidon, they have to wander throughout the sea slowly dying one by one. When I chose to read this book my mom warned me that it would be much too hard to read at my age. So when I read I took extra care to make sure I understood every detail. As it turned out the reading of 100 pages of this book took me about three and a half hours, when normally I can read about a page a minute. Though The Odyssey was difficult I glad I read it as it was very entertaining at parts.

The most difficult portions of The Odyssey were the sections that referred to Greek and Roman mythology. Every so often I would have to stop reading in order to find information I would need to understand a statement. Some quotes that left me dumbfounded were Hear me, Poseidon, Sustainer of Earth, and do not grudge us, your suppliants, the fulfillment of our wishes. First of all grant glory to Nestor and his sons. Consider next these others, and recompense all in Pylos for their sumptuous offerings. Grant, lastly that Telemachus and I may successfully accomplish the task that brings us here in our swift black ship and afterwards reach home safely. it was quotes like that which made the book very difficult. Really only two major lessons were taught in this book. The most obvious was that boasting will get you in trouble. The other lesson is not to anger Greek gods. Homer did not make his lessons so apparent, he would just write something like Odysseus made the unfortunate mistake of boasting his achievements to the gods, of course Homer would write it in much more complex terms.

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