Odysseus: An Effective Leader

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Odysseus: An Effective Leader



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When he suspects that there is danger, he stays behind and lets the others explore the island where the meet Circe who turns them into pigs. Eurylochus was a character in the Odyssey. In these adventures, how does Odysseus show himself to be an effective leader? Having to chose between two evils. Why does Odysseus blind Polyphemus rather than kill him? To ensure that the man is really Odysseus because he is the only one who knows everything about their bed. He is so confident and arrogant about his triumph over the Cyclops that he makes a terrible mistake. He decides not to kill Polyphemus because there was no way they could get out. There was a giant slab blocking the door. After Odysseus and his men trick and then blind the Cyclops Polyphemus, he prays to his father, Poseidon, the god of the sea and earthquakes, and asks him to put a curse on Odysseus and his men.

After pleading in vain with Aeolus to help them again, they re-embark and encounter the cannibalistic Laestrygonians. Odysseus' ship is the only one to escape. He sails on and visits the witch-goddess Circe. She turns half of his men into swine after feeding them cheese and wine. Hermes warns Odysseus about Circe and gives him a drug called moly , which resists Circe's magic. Circe, being attracted to Odysseus' resistance, falls in love with him and releases his men. Odysseus and his crew remain with her on the island for one year, while they feast and drink. Finally, Odysseus' men convince him to leave for Ithaca. Guided by Circe's instructions, Odysseus and his crew cross the ocean and reach a harbor at the western edge of the world, where Odysseus sacrifices to the dead and summons the spirit of the old prophet Tiresias for advice.

Next Odysseus meets the spirit of his own mother, who had died of grief during his long absence. From her, he learns for the first time news of his own household, threatened by the greed of Penelope 's suitors. Odysseus also talks to his fallen war comrades and the mortal shade of Heracles. Odysseus and his men return to Circe's island, and she advises them on the remaining stages of the journey. They skirt the land of the Sirens , pass between the six-headed monster Scylla and the whirlpool Charybdis , where they row directly between the two. However, Scylla drags the boat towards her by grabbing the oars and eats six men. They land on the island of Thrinacia. There, Odysseus' men ignore the warnings of Tiresias and Circe and hunt down the sacred cattle of the sun god Helios.

Helios tells Zeus what happened and demands Odysseus' men be punished or else he will take the sun and shine it in the Underworld. Zeus fulfills Helios' demands by causing a shipwreck during a thunderstorm in which all but Odysseus drown. He washes ashore on the island of Ogygia , where Calypso compels him to remain as her lover for seven years. He finally escapes when Hermes tells Calypso to release Odysseus. Odysseus is shipwrecked and befriended by the Phaeacians. After he tells them his story, the Phaeacians, led by King Alcinous , agree to help Odysseus get home. They deliver him at night, while he is fast asleep, to a hidden harbor on Ithaca. He finds his way to the hut of one of his own former slaves, the swineherd Eumaeus , and also meets up with Telemachus returning from Sparta.

Athena disguises Odysseus as a wandering beggar to learn how things stand in his household. When the disguised Odysseus returns after 20 years, he is recognized only by his faithful dog, Argos. Penelope announces in her long interview with the disguised hero that whoever can string Odysseus' rigid bow and shoot an arrow through twelve axe shafts may have her hand. According to Bernard Knox , "For the plot of the Odyssey , of course, her decision is the turning point, the move that makes possible the long-predicted triumph of the returning hero". Odysseus swears her to secrecy, threatening to kill her if she tells anyone. When the contest of the bow begins, none of the suitors is able to string the bow.

After all the suitors have given up, the disguised Odysseus asks to participate. Though the suitors refuse at first, Penelope intervenes and allows the "stranger" the disguised Odysseus to participate. Odysseus easily strings his bow and wins the contest. Having done so, he proceeds to slaughter the suitors beginning with Antinous whom he finds drinking from Odysseus' cup with help from Telemachus and two of Odysseus' servants, Eumaeus the swineherd and Philoetius the cowherd. Odysseus tells the serving women who slept with the suitors to clean up the mess of corpses and then has those women hanged in terror. He tells Telemachus that he will replenish his stocks by raiding nearby islands.

Odysseus has now revealed himself in all his glory with a little makeover by Athena ; yet Penelope cannot believe that her husband has really returned—she fears that it is perhaps some god in disguise, as in the story of Alcmene mother of Heracles —and tests him by ordering her servant Euryclea to move the bed in their wedding-chamber. Odysseus protests that this cannot be done since he made the bed himself and knows that one of its legs is a living olive tree. The citizens of Ithaca follow Odysseus on the road, planning to avenge the killing of the Suitors, their sons.

The goddess Athena intervenes and persuades both sides to make peace. Odysseus is one of the most recurrent characters in Western culture. According to some late sources, most of them purely genealogical, Odysseus had many other children besides Telemachus. Most such genealogies aimed to link Odysseus with the foundation of many Italic cities. The most famous being:. He figures in the end of the story of King Telephus of Mysia. The supposed last poem in the Epic Cycle is called the Telegony and is thought to tell the story of Odysseus' last voyage, and of his death at the hands of Telegonus , his son with Circe. The poem, like the others of the cycle, is "lost" in that no authentic version has been discovered.

Odysseus figures centrally or indirectly in a number of the extant plays by Aeschylus , Sophocles Ajax , Philoctetes and Euripides Hecuba , Rhesus , Cyclops and figured in still more that have not survived. In his Ajax , Sophocles portrays Odysseus as a modern voice of reasoning compared to the title character's rigid antiquity. Plato in his dialogue Hippias Minor examines a literary question about whom Homer intended to portray as the better man, Achilles or Odysseus. He found them on that site in Pheneus.

The people of Pheneus also pointed out to him writing, purporting to be instructions of Odysseus to those tending his mares. As Ulysses, he is mentioned regularly in Virgil 's Aeneid written between 29 and 19 BC, and the poem's hero, Aeneas , rescues one of Ulysses' crew members who was left behind on the island of the Cyclopes. He in turn offers a first-person account of some of the same events Homer relates, in which Ulysses appears directly. Virgil's Ulysses typifies his view of the Greeks: he is cunning but impious, and ultimately malicious and hedonistic. Ovid retells parts of Ulysses' journeys, focusing on his romantic involvements with Circe and Calypso, and recasts him as, in Harold Bloom 's phrase, "one of the great wandering womanizers".

Ovid also gives a detailed account of the contest between Ulysses and Ajax for the armour of Achilles. Greek legend tells of Ulysses as the founder of Lisbon , Portugal , calling it Ulisipo or Ulisseya , during his twenty-year errand on the Mediterranean and Atlantic seas. Olisipo was Lisbon's name in the Roman Empire. In a famous passage, Dante has Odysseus relate a different version of his voyage and death from the one told by Homer. He tells how he set out with his men from Circe's island for a journey of exploration to sail beyond the Pillars of Hercules and into the Western sea to find what adventures awaited them. Men, says Ulisse, are not made to live like brutes, but to follow virtue and knowledge.

After travelling west and south for five months, they see in the distance a great mountain rising from the sea this is Purgatory , in Dante's cosmology before a storm sinks them. Dante did not have access to the original Greek texts of the Homeric epics, so his knowledge of their subject-matter was based only on information from later sources, chiefly Virgil 's Aeneid but also Ovid ; hence the discrepancy between Dante and Homer. In her poem Site of the Castle of Ulysses. Alfred, Lord Tennyson 's poem " Ulysses " published in presents an aging king who has seen too much of the world to be happy sitting on a throne idling his days away. Leaving the task of civilizing his people to his son, he gathers together a band of old comrades "to sail beyond the sunset".

Frederick Rolfe 's The Weird of the Wanderer has the hero Nicholas Crabbe based on the author travelling back in time, discovering that he is the reincarnation of Odysseus, marrying Helen, being deified and ending up as one of the three Magi. James Joyce 's novel Ulysses first published — uses modern literary devices to narrate a single day in the life of a Dublin businessman named Leopold Bloom. Bloom's day turns out to bear many elaborate parallels to Odysseus' ten years of wandering. Nikos Kazantzakis ' The Odyssey: A Modern Sequel , a 33,line epic poem, begins with Odysseus cleansing his body of the blood of Penelope 's suitors.

Odysseus soon leaves Ithaca in search of new adventures. Before his death he abducts Helen, incites revolutions in Crete and Egypt , communes with God, and meets representatives of such famous historical and literary figures as Vladimir Lenin , Don Quixote and Jesus. Return to Ithaca by Eyvind Johnson is a more realistic retelling of the events that adds a deeper psychological study of the characters of Odysseus, Penelope, and Telemachus. Thematically, it uses Odysseus' backstory and struggle as a metaphor for dealing with the aftermath of war the novel being written immediately after the end of the Second World War. Stirling 's Island in the Sea of Time , first part to his Nantucket series of alternate history novels, Odikweos "Odysseus" in Mycenaean Greek is a "historical" figure who is every bit as cunning as his legendary self and is one of the few Bronze Age inhabitants who discerns the time-travellers' real background.

Odikweos first aids William Walker's rise to power in Achaea and later helps bring Walker down after seeing his homeland turn into a police state. The Penelopiad by Margaret Atwood retells his story from the point of view of his wife Penelope. Odysseus is also a character in David Gemmell 's Troy trilogy — , in which he is a good friend and mentor of Helikaon. He is known as the ugly king of Ithaka.

His marriage with Penelope was arranged, but they grew to love each other. He is also a famous storyteller, known to exaggerate his stories and heralded as the greatest storyteller of his age. This is used as a plot device to explain the origins of such myths as those of Circe and the Gorgons. In the series, he is fairly old and an unwilling ally of Agamemnon. In Madeline Miller 's The Song of Achilles a retelling of the Trojan War as well as the life of Patroclus and his romance with Achilles , Odysseus is a major character with much the same role he had in Homer 's Iliad , though it is expanded upon. Miller's Circe tells of Odysseus's visit to Circe's island from Circe's point of view, and includes the birth of their son Telegonus, and Odysseus' inadvertent death when Telegonus travels to Ithaca to meet him.

Ulysses 31 is a French-Japanese animated television series that updates the Greek mythology of Odysseus to the 31st century. However, the Coens have stated that they had never read the epic. George Clooney plays Ulysses Everett McGill, leading a group of escapees from a chain gang through an adventure in search of the proceeds of an armoured truck heist. On their voyage, the gang encounter—amongst other characters—a trio of Sirens and a one-eyed bible salesman.

The plot of their movie Inside Llewyn Davis includes elements of the epic, as the hero, a former seaman, embarks on a torrid journey with a cat named Ulysses. Suzanne Vega 's song "Calypso" from album Solitude Standing shows Odysseus from Calypso 's point of view, and tells the tale of him coming to the island and his leaving. Over time, comparisons between Odysseus and other heroes of different mythologies and religions have been made.

A similar story exists in Hindu mythology with Nala and Damayanti where Nala separates from Damayanti and is reunited with her. The Aeneid tells the story of Aeneas and his travels to what would become Rome. On his journey he also endures strife comparable to that of Odysseus. However, the motives for both of their journeys differ as Aeneas was driven by this sense of duty granted to him by the gods that he must abide by. He also kept in mind the future of his people, fitting for the future Father of Rome. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. This is the latest accepted revision , reviewed on 6 October Legendary Greek king of Ithaca. For other uses, see Odysseus disambiguation. Head of Odysseus from a Roman period Hellenistic marble group representing Odysseus blinding Polyphemus , found at the villa of Tiberius at Sperlonga , Italy.

Main article: Iliad. Further information: Homer's Ithaca. Lexico UK Dictionary. Oxford University Press. Retrieved 24 April Fragments on Telegony , 2 as cited in Eustathias , Perseus Project. Archived from the original on 4 September Retrieved 18 April The Ulysses theme. A Study in the Adaptability of a Traditional Hero. New York: Spring Publications. Homers Odysseen.

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