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How does power and glory motivate Odysseus in the Odyssey  of Homer?

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runnybobbit45 | Student, Grade 9 | eNotes Newbie

Posted May 15, 2012 at 5:21 PM via web

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How does power and glory motivate Odysseus in the Odyssey  of Homer?

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readerofbooks | College Teacher | (Level 2) Educator Emeritus

Posted May 15, 2012 at 5:40 PM (Answer #1)

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Power and glory are two values that the Greeks prized. Therefore, it was part of their culture. In addition, they usually showed their power and obtained glory through various types of contest - war, athletics, and other bouts. This why many scholars callGreek society an agonistic one. 

In light of this, we can see that Odysseus is a person who seeks after glory and power. First of all, he wants to win the war against Troy. This shows a desire for power and glory. He also wants to make it known that his prowess is found not only in his strength, but also in his cunning. Therefore, he uses his mind and various stratagems to overcome all his obstacles such as Circe, Polyphemus, and the Sirens. These episodes also show his power and glory. We can even say that at times Odysseus shows off. 

Second, there is also a practical problem that Odysseus faces, as suitor have overrun his home. He desires to get the better of them. So, he plans for their demise, which shows his power as well. 

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