The Odyssey Literary Critique

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Brandon Long Mr. Nath AP English Literature December 22, 2011 The Odyssey Literary Critique In the prelude, The Iliad, one of Odysseus’s men rapes Princess Cassandra, the daughter of the king and queen of Troy which “enraged Athena and Zeus that Zeus scattered the fleet as they prepared to sail home” (Johnson 8). This act begins Odysseus’s ten year journey home and is the reason for the creation of The Odyssey. In The Odyssey, by Homer, Odysseus is proven a true archetype of a Greek Hero through the many pitfalls of his journey, such as the mistakes made by him and his men, the different archetypes of women shown throughout the book and his redemption through guidance from the gods. “Odysseus is … able to impose the form of his own will” (Greene 136) which allows him to be a great leader, but his men are easily swayed to into making bad decisions in which he must reap the consequences. On multiple occasions “The men do not take Odysseus’s advice” (Bloom 20) and must suffer the consequences of their action. The men successfully sack the Ciconians city on the island of Ismaros. Odysseus tries to help out his men, giving them insightful advice, but they choose to ignore it and some of the men lose their lives. While exploring the Lotus-Eaters Island, Odysseus’s men become entranced by the honey-sweet fruit and “[he] must forcibly remove them from the balmy island” (Bloom 20) in order to save them. They almost give in completely to their desires until Odysseus, who restrains himself, rescues them. The men get greedy, not trusting in Odysseus, and open the bag of winds when they were almost at Ithaca, thinking the bag contained treasure. The unleashed winds blow them far back away from their home. Also Odysseus puts him and his men into danger when “[they] begged [him] to let them first steal some cheeses, and make off with them to the ship… but [he] would not

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