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Odyssey Essay, Research Paper

The epic The Odyssey has a collaboration of claims in reference with family and relationships. Not only is the story about an immortal man pampered by the wishes and desires of the Greek gods to travel home after twenty years away from home as a punishment, but as a breakdown of a man and wife s relationship over a struggle of time apart. The marriage bond between Odysseus and Penelope in this book is somewhat distorted. There are situations that may be looked upon by others in our time period as being immoral and sinful. It is these situations that breakdown an argument between what is justified right and wrong in a marriage.

Odysseus has been away from his kingdom in Ithaca for the past 20 years. Not only has he been away from his kingdom and people, but his wife Penelope and his only son, the prince, Telemachus. Over these profuse years apart from one each other Penelope has stayed desolate, not marrying another to take place of the man she has wept for in thought of his return almost every night. By today s standards it is sometimes quite uncommon to hear of a widow or widower staying single and carrying on a relationship with anybody else than the one that they lost. At times money, property and materialistic objects can blind a relationship into wrong thoughts and perceptions that are spite and ill willed. While in The Odyssey it seems to be a case of a man sacrificing everything and doing whatever it takes to get home to his wife and child. There is no obstacle he cannot over come, no wall that is too high, and no ocean large enough that he can and would not conquer to see these two representations of his life. With these we learn that Odysseus falls into traps of deception, as well as lust and has to give up being true to Penelope in order to stay alive and continue his journey. Many do not agree with the idea of Odysseus, the man, engaging in extra marital affairs. I mean he s only doing it to continue on his journey home, isn t he? While if Penelope, the woman, decided to engage in such activities she would be seen as a slut and deceiver to her man of marriage.

With all the incidents that have enveloped Odysseus journey home to his wife, he seems to slip back into Penelope s arms just as easily as he slipped away. She is quoted as saying after Odysseus reveals himself to her towards the end of the book as saying, If it s bed you want, it s bed you ll have. I just can t seem to understand how a woman can so easily take back a man who has been out on his own for twenty years and is unraveling his stories not only of triumphs, but also deception. Marriage between a couple is a great gift. It shows that there is a bond between you and your mate that cannot be compared to any other object. You would rather spend your entire life, raise a family and devote nothing but your time and energy to that person. But when that bond is broke, it not only shatters the couples connection, but at times shatters a heart that was thought to be unbreakable. Giving up certain objects, behaviors, and or habits for a loved one is a strong indication that for that person of your desire, you would give up what ever it takes to make them happy. But there are also certain aspects of a relationship that you should never give up, that being the aspects of honesty and truthfulness. These are emotions that if a bond is strong and true, no matter what the circumstance may be, could never be taken away.

I feel that this book had some good points in reflecting relationships. For instance the reunion of a long lost father and a son seeing each other for the first time and bonding together in revenge on a corrupt kingdom. But for the most part those points were overshadowed by, what I feel were more of the stronger, but yet equally as important, family and marriage relationships. Which should come first in any situation, but did not see all that well in The Odyssey.

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