Themes of Memory and Forgetting in "The Odyssey"

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Memory makes the world go There are many themes of memory and forgetting in the world of “The Odyssey”. Both play a huge part on the events that take place. To say which is more important in “The Odyssey” is debatable. Some of my arguments will show how in some cases one is better than the other, but even though there may be instances where forgetting may have been more beneficial, in the end I will show how memory is more valuable as it pertains to the main characters Odysseus, Penelope, and Telemachos. In the Greek world during the time period of “The Odyssey”, men who went into battle wanted to be glorified for their sacrifice and be remembered forever. This holds true to the main character Odysseus. While being trapped on the island of Ogygia by the goddess Calypso, he was not only safe from the wrath of Poseidon, but he was offered immortality and a beautiful woman (Calypso who by the way would never age) to have for all eternity. Most men would have accepted the offer from Calypso without second thought, but not Odysseus. His response to the offer was “what I want and all my days I pine for is to go back to my house and see my day of homecoming.”(OD 5. 219-220) Calypso was certain that the offer would make him forget all about Ithaca, but it did not. His yearning to leave was immense. Without a doubt forgetting would have made Odysseus’s life a whole lot easier. He would not have had to endure the tribulations on his journey back home. Not only did memories of his wife and son crossed his mind constantly, but also the idea of people not knowing what happened to him will not allow him to obtain true Kleos. Another factor where the importance of being remembered for Odysseus is more important than being

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