Illustration of Odysseus tied to a ship's mast

The Odyssey

by Homer

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How can I start an argumentative essay about Odysseus and his main goal in The Odyssey? I need help on the intro.

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Of Odysseus's many goals in Homer's The Odyssey, his primary goal is to return to his home to Ithaca to be reunited with his wife, Penelope, and their son, Telemachus.

At the start of the poem, the titular hero has been separated from his home and family for two decades. He spent the first decade fighting in the Trojan War, three years overcoming the many obstacles put in his way by Poseidon, and another seven years being held against his will by Calypso.

In the introductory paragraph of your essay, you may want to state Odysseus's main goal of returning to Ithaca and briefly discuss the reasons he has been away from home for so long. You could then go on to identify and discuss the main obstacles Odysseus faces on his journey home. You may want to mention how each of these challenges shapes, changes, and affects him.

Odysseus is famous for his wisdom and strategic thinking, so it is worth detailing the ways in which he uses his wits to outsmart his foes, overcome his obstacles, and accomplish his goal of returning home.

You may also want to mention the importance of the hero returning home. Penelope's many suitors have taken up residence in Odysseus's house and are competing for her hand in marriage. Telemachus has spent his entire life without a father present and he needs Odysseus to return home to teach him and guide him into manhood.

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