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The Great Odyssey and Son
In every book and story there is a lesson to learn from to help shape the reader s experience. Here we see how the stories influence Odysseus and his son Telemakhos s live.
Telemakhos is forced to mature at an astounding rate, traveling far from home and risking his life to learn of his father. His trip teaches him more than he could ever have learned staying at home with the suitors. From Nestor and Menelas he learn both courage and bravery, how to be both a man and a host. His perception of how the world unfolds from abstract ideas to pure ideals under their guidance. He learns that he must fight against what the suitors represent, to take his place and not let them take it. Nestor and Manelas guide telemakhos, with Athena s help, toward manhood.
When Odysseus finally does reach home Telemakhos is the first person he reveals himself to. Their reunion is a very happy one, joy leading to tears. Odysseus immediately treats him like an inferior however, telling Telemakhos his plans and carry them out. This is a role that, perhaps, Telemakhos still deserves, though not by much. After the plans are laid telemakhos is left dirty work, gathering the suitors weapons, while his father gets an idea of the suitor strength. Telemakhos does very well in gathering the arms, keeping the suitor busy, and holding his temper at the mistreatment of his father in his own home. He acts very mature; having learned from the best sources in the land, and keeps a very cool head. He has most definitely changed from the young boy he was.
Through Telemakhos, a valued father-son relationship is shown. He exemplifies loyalty and devotion to his father. The other important father-son relationship that exhibits love is one between Odysseus and Laertes. Since Odysseus was assumed to be dead, it almost sent Laertes into a kind of depression. When Odysseus returned it gave Laetes an overwhelming happiness. This is a case where love seems to be the cure for pain and grief. The few loyal servants and worker of Odysseus show the reward for standing strong. From them one can learn not to be influenced by the crowd, which certainly is an important lesson to learn.
There are many essential emotions that form the building blocks of our lives. These emotional help to shape the people that we are. Although Odysseus is gone for twenty years he never forgets his faithful wife in Ithaca. This love helps him persevere through the many hardships that he encounters on his journey home. For example, Penelope is the ultimate example of loyalty. Penelope also exemplifies this same kind of love for Odysseus. Upstairs I go, then, to my single bed, my sighing bed, wet with so many tears after my lord Odysseus took ship (372). At home in Ithaca, she stays loyal to Odysseus by unraveling his shroud and delaying her marriage to the suitors that are courting her. She always keeps the hope that her love, Odysseus will return. Odysseus and Penelope s marriage clearly illustrates the theme of love.
Odysseus goes to Hades. Upon arrival in land of the dead, Odysseus is anxious to learn from Teiresias, the dead prophet, whether he is destined to return home. Odysseus learns much more whether he will return home. He gains relevant information from Teiresias and other dead souls that help equip him to deal with the troubles that lie ahead he not only obviously learns that firsthand, but he learns of the troubles that lie before him in his journey to and arrival at home, he learns of the death of his mother and companions as well as the lives of his father, son and wife, and he learns of his own fate to be met at sea at an old age.
Odysseus learned a great deal from his experience with Hades and the ghosts. The information that he obtained about his loved ones was invaluable as were the new things that he learned about himself. I don t believe Odysseus realized how much he missed his family until he saw his mother. He was saddened to see the ghost of his mother. This sorrow was shown when he asked his mother mother, why do you stay when I would embrace you? If we could throw our arm around one another we might find sad comfort in the sharing of our sorrows even in the house of Hades;only? This statement expressed his sorrow as well as the happiness of seeing his mother again. Odysseus also learned the fate of his wife and son from a conversation with his mother. I believe that once Odysseus received all of this information from his mother is caused him to wonder whether or not he had made right decision when he left home on his journey.
Through out his journey Odysseus goes through some difficulties, he takes away the trust he sets in others and the gods when he is doubtful of himself. Odysseus looses belief in himself is when he faced with the task of eliminating his house of the suitors.
It is then on Athena s shoulders to make Odysseus trust himself and her. She does puts that trust back into the mind of Odysseus when she says, men trust weaker friends, friends who are mortal and not wise as I. I am a god and will protect you to the end (196). The reason why Odysseus is experiencing this self-doubt is because he is trusting people who are weaker than him and may not be able to live up to their word. With Athena on Odysseus side he has nothing to worry about except the worries he places in himself.
Odysseus also reveals himself to be strong, both physically and mentally. He is such a stud, who endures all the suffering. He may have had too much pride as he sometimes acts too impulsively and when he feels superior. Afterwards Odysseus learns to be more careful in handling other people s feelings and becomes more aware of other people needs.
The wandering shows us how it is necessary to have great deal of self-control mixed with intellectual curiosity when traveling. When Odysseus passed through the area of the sirens, he plugged all of his crew s ears so they would not be tempted with their beautiful song to seduce the crew to certain death. The wandering can be seen as stages in development of humanity, in the sense that as we learn about ourselves and as we learn about others; we live as we learn.
Throughout his wandering for home, Odysseus becomes a humbler and more respectful man. The once boastful man learns that his bragging can bring people against him, and is quieter than before he left for Troy. He also learns that the immortal gods of Olympus can be merciful and bring great prosperity, but they also punish those that disobey their wishes. Every time Odysseus has not been respectful he has been severely punished and his trip home delayed. Out of this tragedy he has become a greater man to regain his kingdom and live a long life.
From Odysseus, readers learn the virtue of patience and faith. Neither Odysseus knowledge of his return to Ithaca nor his faith in the gods ever wavered severely Odysseus s persistence in reaching Ithaca and his and his eventual payoff for hard work and patience. This lesson can be applied to and situation in which one wishes to achieve a goal.
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