In The Odyssey, how can it be proven that Odysseus' goal was NOT to get home, but instead continue on his quest for adventure?

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readerofbooks | College Teacher | (Level 2) Educator Emeritus

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This is a great question. From one perspective, we can rightly question whether Odysseus really wanted to go home. For example, he does seem to enjoy himself at times instead of being preoccupied with a desire to go home. We can argue that if Odysseus really wanted to go home, he would have done so at all costs, and more importantly his desire and passion to go home would have be evident. 

As we look at the data, it says that Odysseus and Calypso "lost themselves in love." This hardly looks like a man who wanted to go home. Also why did he stay with Circe for a year? He should have left immediately, but he has lured away by sexual temptation. The text also says that they "feasted and drank."  To say that the men needed a break is to make excuses. So, we can say that Odysseus wanted to go home, but it was not his main priority. His main priority, we can say, was to seek adventure. 

Also if we think about it, he does not really mention his wife or son in loving and longing ways. It is very much in the background.


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