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Odysseus- Character Analysis

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Hannah Olson

on 18 May 2011

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Transcript of Odysseus- Character Analysis

ODYSSEUS A Character Analysis By: Hannah Olson InitialCharacter Forces Of Change Resulting Character Introduction Odysseus is the main character in Homer's "The
Odyssey. Odysseus was the King of Ithaca, a loving father and a somewhat loyal husband. His wife, Penelope,was happily in love and longed for her husband to come home. Along with having a wife, Odysseus was the father of Telemachus. Telemachus aspired to be like Odysseus. In "The Odyssey", Odysseus had many different traits that made him a unique character. I believe Odysseus was an epic hero and throughout this Prezi, you will see all of the different things that made Odysseus who he is. Brave Physically and
Mentally Strong When "The Odyssey" opens, Odysseus appears to be a very brave, lion- hearted man who is devoted an will take any leap of faith necessary. Humble Was Odysseus an Epic Hero? What is An Epic Hero? usually male
larger than life
more intelligent
more resourceful
performs dangerous feat against tremendous odds
goes against supernatural forces
posses truth, compassion, loyalty, and devotion to family and Gods I believe Odysseus was an epic hero because he was a male, he was extremely inteligent, resourceful, and strong. He did perform a dangerous feat against tremendous odds because he returned home to Ithaca after 10 years of tortue by Poseidon and others. He was compassionate about getting home and he remained loyal to the Gods and also to his family because he returned home to them. Several different people describe Odysseus to be a very strong, powerful character. Odysseus was not only physically strong, but he was mentally strong as well. 'He seems very powerfull built; his thighs, calves, hands, and neck are of prodigious strength...' (91) 'I am a good hand at every kind of athletic sport known among mankind' (93) Odysseus never needs to be the center of attention. He asks for the help and guidance of others in order to perform heroic deeds. Odysseus never bragged about being a hero. He truly didn't accept the fact that he was powerful and praiseworthy. 'Then Odysseus said, "Pray Alcinous, do not take up any such notion into your head. I have nothing of the immortal about me neither in my body, nor mind, and most resemble those among you who are the most afflicted.'" Odysseus does not brag about having heroic qualities. He acts as though he is nothing more than an average person. '"Help me now as you did then, and I will fight three hundred men, if you, goddess, will be there with me'" (168) Odysseus acts as though he can't perform tasks on his own. He says he still needs the guidance of Athena and that he wouldn't have accomplished anything without her by his side. 'As for myself, I kept on puzzling to think how I could best save my own life and those of my companions. I schemed and schemed, as one who knows his life depends on it, for the danger was very great. In the end, I deemed that this plan would be the best' (113) Hannah Olson
Mrs. Farley
Honors English 9A On my honor, I have been academically honest. Homer. The Odyssey. Trans. Samuel Butler. New York City: Amsco School Publications, Inc, 1988. Print. Conclusion Brave--> Afraid
--> Brave This quote talks about Odysseus' great
athletic skills. While stuck in the cave with the Cyclops, Odysseus manages to keep his emotions in check while also creating a plan to escape. Strong--> Weak
--> Strong Poseidon caused much suffering to Odysseus. He was becoming tired and sad. He missed his family and Ithaca. Also, he was stuck on Calypso’s Isle for 7 years and longed to return home. He was excited when he received the bag of winds, and became weakened once again when his crew opened the bag of winds way to early and blew he and his men off course. Then, he regained his strength after he returns to Ithaca, and is able to defeat the suitors. Humble--> Arrogant Physically Strong Arrogant '"Cyclops, if anyone asks you who it was that put your eye out and spoiled your beauty, say it was the valiant warrior Odysseus, son of Laertes, who lives in Ithaca."' (Homer 115) This quote is a description of Odysseus, spoken to the Cyclops when Odysseus and his men were in the cave. It definately shows that Odysseus was a brave, well known man. 'What endurance too, and what courage he displayed within the wooden horse, wherein all the bravest of the Argives were lying in to wait to bring death and destruction upon the Trojans.' (44) This was a quote spoken by Menelaus about Odysseus. It is another great example of how people believed Odysseus was a BRAVE man. This is a physical description of Odysseus. At the end of the epic poem, Odysseus is definitely once again strong. These are all quotes from when Odysseus attacked and killed the suitors. They show that he was no longer weak, for he was strong and forceful. 'Odysseus instantly shot an arrow into his breast that caught him by the nipple and fixed itself in his liver' (273) 'Odysseus, as long as his arrows lasted, had been shooting the suitors one by one, and they fell thick on one another.' (274) '….even so did Odysseus and his men fall upon the suitors and smite them on every side. They made a horrible groaning as their brains were being battered in, and the ground seethed with their blood.' (278) “But Odysseus was not within; he was on the seashore as usual, looking out upon the barren ocean with tears in his eyes, groaning, and breaking his heart for sorrow” (60) This quote shows that Odysseus is very weak at this point in the epic poem. MANY different people and gods praised Odysseus for being a hero
People longed to be as great as him These quotes are examples of how people thought fondly of Odysseus. 'Is he not tall and good looking, and is he not clever?' (139) This was spoken by Arete. It is a quote that definately shows how much Odysseus was praised. 'There is not a man of us all who is such another as Odysseus' (262) This quote was spoken by Antinous and is another great example of how Odysseus was praised. Long period of seperation from Family
had many "life- risking" experiences
gains bravery after getting home It is in Book V that Odysseus definately appears to be afraid. He longs to go home. '...he said to himself in dismay, "'what ever will become of me? I am afraid Calypso was right when she said I should have trouble by sea before I got back home."' (65) This quote clearly shows that Odysseus was afraid of what was to come. At this point in the epic poem, Poseidon had caused much suffering by wind and waves. 'Odysseus' heart now began to fail him, and he said despairingly to himself: "Alas, Zeus has let me see land after swimming so far that I had given up all hope...."' Odysseus admits that he had given up hope, but says that Zeus has helped him. Brave Odysseus definately was not as humble as he was in the begging of "The Odyssey". These quotes are just a few examples of how he changed. '"I am Odysseus, son of Laertes, renowned among mankind for all manner of subtlety, so my fame ascends to heaven"' (104). This was a VERY cocky thing for Odysseus to say about himself. He constantly bragged, and thought of himself to be much better than everyone else. '"In battle, I am always the first to bring a man down with my arrow, no matter how many more are taking aim at him alongside of me."' (93) This is a good example of how Odysseus was conceited about his supreme athletic ability. One can be a good athlete, but they don't need to boast about it. Odysseus switched around a lot throughout "The Odyssey". At first, he was very brave, and when Poseidon was against him, he was afraid and became weak. When he met King Alcinoos, and he gave him a ship to sail home, he was once again brave. When he returned to Itacha, he killed the suitors, showing he was still brave. "Help me now as you did then, and I will fight three hundred men..." (168) This quote shows Odysseus regaining strength during a heart- to- heart discussion with Athene. 'Odysseus was left in the cloister, pondering on the means whereby with Athene's help he might be able to kill the suitors.' (235) This shows Odysseus' bravery because he is brave enough to fight off all of the suitors. He is not afraid as long as Athene is with him through it. Odysseus started off as a great, heroic man, and still ended up as a heroic man. All of the things that were against him made him stronger. He learned what it was like to suffer, which was not what the King of Ithaca was used too. Odysseus was definately an epic hero. Although he was concieded, he still was loyal, strong, powerful, and loving.
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