A Hero Matures

995 words, 4 pages

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Odysseus, raider of cities, is a man who exhibits many changes throughout his 10 years of adventure out at sea. In the course of fighting the Trojan War, he begins to lose many of the positive character traits that have defined him. Through the course of Homer’s epic poem, The Odyssey we see Odysseus learn to be more patient, learn to put his trust in people, and overall become less arrogant.
At the beginning of the story we hear of Odysseus’ adventures after the Trojan War and his struggle in returning home to Ithaka. This is no easy task, for Odysseus makes it difficult for himself because of his many poor qualities as a leader. He has very little patience and rushes into situations due to his... View More »

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Later on, when Odysseus finally makes it home to Ithaka, he is often insulted or beaten on by suitors, yet he “controlled himself, and bore it quietly” so as to not give himself away as he keeps to his plan (317). The Odysseus we see at the beginning of the story would have wanted to charge in and fight right away, but this new Odysseus knows that if he wants to be successful in his task he has to be patient. He even keeps from killing the betraying maids with “his rage/held hard in leash, submitted to his mind” controlling himself so as to not give himself away (375). Even when getting into a fight with Iros, Odysseus does not look to kill Iros, instead he decides to deal “a gentle blow,/else he might give himself away” (338). This is a great example of Odysseus controlling his anger and emotions, and truly being patient, unlike the angrym impatient, and unrestrained Odysseus we see at the beginning of the story.
Along with becoming more patient, Odysseus also learns to be more honest and trusting. After leaving Kirkes’ island for the second time, Odysseus is upfront with his crewmates and tells them about the “Seirenes/weaving a haunting song over the sea/[that they] are to shun” (214). He puts wax in their ears to keep the Seirenes’ songs out and has his crew tie him to the mast, for he is still curious, yet he is controlling his curiosity and trusts his crew to keep him in check. Even upon landing on Ithaka, Odysseus puts his trust in Eumaios and the cowherd. He comes to tell the “two hands loyal to him” that he is truly Odysseus and he asks them to help ...

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