The Role of Family in the Odyssey

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The role of family in the epic poem “The Odyssey” is greatly valued. Odysseus’ motive and main goal throughout the poem is to return home to his wife and son. Odysseus is given numerous opportunities to give up his expedition home and travel and stay elsewhere. He has resisted many temptations because he cannot wait to return home to his wife. He had risked a lot through the poem and it was all for his family. “[…] the sweet lifetime was draining out of him, as he wept for a way home, since the nymph was no longer pleasing to him. By nights he would lie beside her, of necessity, in the hollow caverns, against his will, by one who was willing, but all the days he would sit upon the rocks, at the seaside, breaking his heart in tears and lamentation and sorrow as weeping tears he looked out over the barren water”. (5.152-158) Even though Telemachus has never met Odysseus, his father, he is willing to do whatever it takes to bring him home. Odysseus would do anything to protect his son. He had been gone for twenty years but when he finally returned home he made sure he got rid of all that worried his son. Telemachus was being harmed and manipulated by the suitors who infested his home trying to take Odysseus’s place. ‘If only the gods would give me such strength as he has to take revenge on the suitors for their overbearing oppression. They force their way upon me and recklessly plot against me. No, the gods have spun out no such strand of prosperity for me and my father. Now we must even have to endure it.’ (3.205-209) Nestor’s son, Pisistratus, is a respectful and courteous man. His manners could be attributed to King Nestor’s values. When Telemachus arrives at Pylos, he feasts with King Nestor and his son, while also being prompted to pray to Poseidon by Pisistratus. Pisistratus’s respect for Poseidon could come from Nestor’s respect for Poseidon, which is only
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