A Tragic Hero Odysseus

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Greek mythology was used as a means to explain the environment in which humankind lived, the natural phenomena they witnessed and the passing of time through the days, months, and seasons.(Cartwright ). The myths were tied with Greek religion and the Greek worlds. It explained the lives and origin stories of many different gods. For example, it talked about where humans had come from and where humans go when the pass away. Lastly, some greek writings tell stories of tragic heroes. Tragic heros are characters with heroic personalities, but also make mistakes that lead them into suffering and defeat. Odysseus is a tragic hero and his story was written by Homer.

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Odysseus was a greek hero who fought in the Trojan War. According to Trenton Mabey, his roman name is Ulysses. He was known for his cunning intellect because he made a plan that destroyed the city of Troy which ended the war. His real story began with The Odyssey. The Odyssey was about Odysseus traveling the seas for about ten years trying to return home to his family. Before the war, he left his wife Penelope to take over and his newborn son Telemachus. In the Trojan War, there was a prophecy that said Odysseus had to stay away from home for a long time if he joined the Greek army and attacked Troy. The war lasted for about 10 years and in the war was a giant wooden horse called the Trojan Horse. The horse was a peace offering and inside the horse, Greek warriors were hiding.

While leaving a storm caused by the gods hit the army and Odysseus and his crew were blown off course. This was the beginning of his troubles of getting back home. First place they arrived to was the city of Cicones. They attacked and sacked the city, which angered the god Zeus. ( Mabey). While angry, Zeus blew Odysseus and his men into a realm of mythical creatures and the dead. Zeus blew them to the Land of the Lotus-Eaters. In this place people who created food and drink from flowers, but with a drug effect. (Mabey). In result, his men forgot that their goal was to return home, so they wanted to stay. Odysseus did not approve of that so he made then return to the ships.

Next was the island of the Cyclops. There, they met Polyphemus the Cyclops. Cyclops have one eye and they are giants. Odysseus and his men went to explore the area until they found a cave to rest in. Polyphemus returned to the cave with his flock of sheep, blocked the entrance and ate two of Odysseus’s men. Odysseus told Polyphemus that his name was Noman and after that, Polyphemus fell into a drunken stupor. The men stabbed the cyclops in the eye so the cyclops yelled for his brothers. Odysseus and the rest of his man managed to escape but they angered Poseidon (a sea god).

After they escaped from the island of the cyclops, they went to visit the King of the Winds. The king name was Aeolus and he gave Odysseus a big bag of wind to get them to Ithaca. His men thought it was treasure he was hiding for himself so they opened the bag releasing the wind. The wind blew them to Laestrygonians which was full of giants and cannibals. They killed most of his crew and destroyed most of his ships. Soon after that, Odysseus landed on Circe’s island. When some of his crew members stumbled across her palace she invited them in for drugged food and drink, but she turned them into animals. One of the members remained outside and went to tell Odysseus so the remainder of his men would not eat them.

On his journey to save them, he came across a god named Hermes. Hermes gave him a herb to serve as a cure for the curse. Circe agreed to change his men back to humans if he stayed with her for about a year. Circe did not want him to leave but she helped him get help from the counsel of Tiresias in the underworld on how to get home. He gave Odysseus the route to Ithaca but before that he had to sacrifice a sheep. After he left the Underworld, he went to the Sirens. The Sirens were mythical bird-like creatures whose beautiful voices lured men to their deaths. ( Mabey). In order to protect them from that, they had to put wax over their ears to block the noise.

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A tragic hero Odysseus. (2019, Nov 18). Retrieved December 5, 2022 , from
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