The Odyssey Three Symbols

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The Odyssey: Three Symbols 1. The Curse (page 161) When Cyclops set a curse on Odysseus, it set the course for the rest of the story. Cyclops asked his father, Poseidon, to make Odysseus’s journey home long and torturous, because Odysseus put out the Cyclops’s eye. The Cyclops prayed to his father, Poseidon, “He shall see his roof again among his family in his father land, far be that day, and dark the years between. Let him lose all companions, and return under strange sail to bitter days at home.” For the next six chapters, Odysseus fights the elements, losses all of the men in his company, and returns home to witness scores of suitors eating his food, living in his home, and attempting to marry his wife. The curse also shows the reader Odysseus’s unfortunate characteristic, hubris. Odysseus’s hubris made him tell the Cyclops his name and where he lives. The Cyclops could only put the curse on Odysseus because he knew his name and hometown. For the entirety of the story after this event, Odysseus fights his hubris and learns to keep his identity secret to everyone except people he completely trusts. 2. Laestrygonians (pages 168-169) Odysseus and his crew had a very harsh experience with the Laestrygonians. The Laestrygonians are man eating monsters who attack and kill Odysseus’s company. Fitzgerald describes the massacre as follows, “They gathered on the sky line to shoot great boulders down from slings; and hell’s own crashing rose, and crying from the ships, as planks and men were smashed to bits—poor gobbets the wildmen speared like fish and bore away.”(Fitzgerald 168-169). Odysseus lost eleven of his twelve ships and all the men on those ships to the Laestrygonians. The losses of the Laestrygonian ambush would not be as severe, if he and his crew were not totally caught off guard. Odysseus did not recognize this island the Laestrygonians lived on.
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