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The Odyssey, by Homer, flaw / weakness analysis

The Odyssey: The Path To Redemption

An epic is a poetic account of the deeds of an exulted and grand hero. In Homer's Odyssey, the great protagonist is Odysseus, a man who departed from his home to fight the Trojan War and who comes back after twenty years to find his household overtaken by lofty and contemptuous suitors courting his wife Penelope against her will. Throughout his journey, this rich and complex character battles life's temptations towards purification, since he must overcome his sins and flaws in order to obtain redemption from the gods, thus returning home to his throne on the island of Ithaca. However, this purification process and Odysseus' chances of returning home are compromised by his flaws and those of his crew, while enhanced by the many virtues and qualities he possesses. This voyage symbolizes man's road to salvation hoping to obtain God's forgiveness and entrance into his kingdom, and Odysseus incarnates man's soul, representing life and the return to God and faith.

In spite of his being an epic hero, and as such, superior to common men, Odysseus remains imperfect, with flaws and weaknesses like all other mortals. The consequences of these flaws are the wrath of certain gods, like Poseidon, who bears a grudge against Odysseus since the Trojan War, and the prolonging of his voyage back to Ithaca. Some of Odysseus' flaws are pride, curiosity, and lack of vigilance. The first flaw which Odysseus displays is pride. At the end of the Trojan War, he boldly defies the gods by loudly declaring that he was the sole artisan of his victory and that he didn't receive any help from the gods, when this isn't true since Poseidon sent a sea serpent to kill one of the enemies of Odysseus just before he was going to check the content of the Trojan Horse, which would have gotten him and all his men killed. This pride is a reoccurring element in the plot, since it is also what leads Odysseus to vociferate his invincibility and to reveal his real name as he leaves Polymachus the Cyclops' island, increasing Poseidon's anger at him, since the Cyclops' are his children.

Another flaw of Odysseus is curiosity. One episode where he displays this weakness is when he and his crew are sailing in the sea of the Sirens and, after sticking wax...

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Category:   Literature

Length:   6 pages (1,290 words)

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