The Wandering In Homer's Odyssey

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Throughout history, great leaders and heroes lost sight of their main goals momentarily and managed to return to their intended journeys to serve a greater good. The literal definition of a digression is “a wandering from the main path or journey” (Webster 1999). Wandering may be seen as an essential part of a person’s goal since it makes the goal more challenging to attain. Therefore, a regression back to the main purpose of the original journey must be prevalent in order for the wandering to be tolerated. Homer’s Odyssey, Virgil’s Aeneid and Goethe’s Faust all encompass characters which embody how wanderings may eventually lead to an intended place. A digression is made by Odysseus, Aeneas and Gretchen,…show more content…
Juno learns that Aeneas, a Trojan, is going to destroy Carthage, her patron city. Already upset at the Trojans after Paris, a Trojan, did not deem her the fairest of the goddesses, Juno wants to distract Aeneas and steer him off course. In a scheme to marry Aeneas and Dido, the Queen of Carthage, Juno has the two stay sheltered in a cave together during a horrendous storm, leading Aeneas and Dido to have sexual relations. The gods, however, are upset at this digression of Aeneas because he has a destiny to fulfill. “He was to be the ruler of Italy, potential empire, armorer of war; to father men from Teucer’s noble blood and bring the whole world under laws dominion” (Virgil 1092). The city of Rome and the fate of Aeneas’ son, Ascanius, lay on the question of whether Aeneas will continue his digression. Dido, however, makes Aeneas’ goal extremely difficult to pursue. “The temptation came in the most specious form. A beautiful woman, worthy to be his consort, throws herself upon him. He is aiming to found a city, and she offers him one that is well begun. She is surrounded by warlike neighbors; he is a trained and practiced warrior” (De Witt 27). Dido offers Aeneas everything he could possibly want, therefore his digression is anticipated. As De Witt argues, although Aeneas did not formally marry Dido, he consented in act, and…show more content…
Before her contact with Faust and Mephistopheles, Gretchen is an upstanding Catholic woman who holds her faith and her values dear. She is following the path of God, which always leads to salvation and an afterlife in heaven. However, Mephistopheles causes Gretchen to digress from her path. Gretchen realizes that something about Mephistopheles is not right. “The man that goes around with you seems hateful to me through and through: in all my life there’s not a thing that gave my heart as sharp a sting as his repulsive eyes” (Goethe 753). Since it is believed that the eyes are the windows to the soul, Gretchen, whom is good natured, is able to see the evil soul of Mephistopheles. After being seduced by Faust with the help of Mephistopheles, Gretchen accidentally kills her mother, gets pregnant, witnesses her brother’s death at the hands of Faust and Mephistopheles and drowns her newborn baby. She is then imprisoned and sentenced to the death penalty. These digressions lead her away from the righteous path of God. Faust becomes angered at Mephistopheles because he realizes the evil he has brought to

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