What qualities of character does Odysseus show in facing the dangers of Books Nine to Twelve of the Odyssey?

1589 Words7 Pages
Odysseus narrates books Nine to Twelve to the Phaeacians. Odysseus’ character is greatly revealed here and the evidence taken from his actions supports attributes that the audience has been previously told exist. From the very start of the poem we are old that Odysseus is ‘resourceful’ and in these four books, we are clearly shown how. Odysseus demonstrates his resourcefulness when he uses what is lying around in Polyphemus’ cave – an olive tree branch- to save his comrades and himself. This story also shows Odysseus’ resourceful attribute when he uses the rams for concealment. In the story of the Sirens he uses the wax from the ship to block the ears of his comrades, which shows resourcefulness. Additionally, the story of the Sirens shows that Odysseus is unable to endure the temptations of the sirens, as he struggles and calls to be released. From surviving this ultimate test of forbearance, Odysseus learns endurance and later, when he returns to Ithaca he will need this skill. His temper during these four books can be ungovernable, as he says: ‘Now when Eurylochus said that, I considered drawing the long sword from my sturdy side and lopping his head off to roll in the dust, but my men held me back and calmed me down’1. Nevertheless he has shown his patience and persistence before. For example he persists and continues to endure all that happens even when he ‘had no further use for life, no wish to see the sunshine anymore’2. Earlier, in the Cyclops’s cave we see Odysseus’ restraint when he had ‘murder in [his] heart’3 but held back and devised a better plan. It is possible to think that as his intense journey continues, Odysseus becomes less patient and his temper shortens, this would explain how in certain areas Odysseus shows patience, restraint and endurance, whilst in others he is easily angered or frustrated. In telling his story to the

More about What qualities of character does Odysseus show in facing the dangers of Books Nine to Twelve of the Odyssey?

Open Document