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What events allow Odysseus to learn about himself?What events allow Odysseus to learn...

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deadbern | Student, Undergraduate | eNotes Newbie

Posted February 25, 2008 at 8:09 PM via web

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What events allow Odysseus to learn about himself?

What events allow Odysseus to learn about himself?

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clane | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Educator

Posted February 25, 2008 at 8:38 PM (Answer #2)

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This is a good one for the Discussion Board. :)

I think that each part of Odysseus' journey teaches him something about who he is. He is extremely arrogant, but there are points in his journey where the gods find a way to knock him down to size, Poseidon in particular. the problem is that Odysseus often blames his defeat on the gods and his triumphs on himself. He learns how much his desire for him, wife, and son are when his desire to leave Calypso, who offers him eternal youth and life, is so strong that he begs her to set him free. He learns that he might not be a great leader of warriors since most of his men do not listen to him and in not doing so they all die. He learns to trust the gods and they will deliver what they promise be it good or bad. He learns that his servants are loyal to him so he is a good ruler of his kingdom. Eumaeus proves his loyalty by speaking so highly of his master after so many years to the beggar, who he does not realize is Odysseus. He learns several things about the man he is and the man he has become as a result of his journey. At each obstacle in the road he learns something so this one will be interesting to open up to discussion.

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amy-lepore | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted February 26, 2008 at 5:27 PM (Answer #3)

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Every time Odysseus faces some problem or obstacle, he learns something about himself--how to overcome, how to adapt, and how he fits into the overall picture.  Even returning home teaches him about himself...he is greatly changed and only his dog recognizes him upon his return.

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grlucas | College Teacher | (Level 1) Adjunct Educator

Posted March 18, 2008 at 8:22 AM (Answer #4)

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A key event is staying with Circe for a year. Not only does his crew have to snap him out of it, but he leaves so quickly that he doesn't even realize that Elpinor is missing. Elpinor had climbed up on a roof, gotten drunk, and fell to his death. This speaks volumes about Odysseus shirking his responsibility to his men in favor of his own desires.

Odysseus' has reached his lowest point on his journey. He must now venture into Hell to encounter his other demons. 

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grlucas | College Teacher | (Level 1) Adjunct Educator

Posted March 18, 2008 at 9:34 AM (Answer #5)

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Every time Odysseus faces some problem or obstacle, he learns something about himself--how to overcome, how to adapt, and how he fits into the overall picture.  Even returning home teaches him about himself...he is greatly changed and only his dog recognizes him upon his return.

Well, his nurse does, too, but only after finding the scar.

Indeed, your point is well taken. In fact, that sets the tenor of O's reunion with Penelope: she calls him a "strange man." Indeed he is after 20 years. 

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