What do you think is the motivation of Odysseus' crew to stick through all the hardships and challenges?I have more of an understanding regarding Odysseus and the suitors, however I am unsure on...

What do you think is the motivation of Odysseus' crew to stick through all the hardships and challenges?

I have more of an understanding regarding Odysseus and the suitors, however I am unsure on his crew. Considering how many men died after each enemy they faced, you would think they would have walked out. I am wondering if it is partially due to their culture. I wonder if they wanted to die in glory, (such as the stories in the Iliad), or if it was more they wanted the fame and the wealth that came with working with Odysseus.

Asked on by ksaikens

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clane | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Educator

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Yes, it is partially due to their culture, these were men who defined who they were by the kind of warriors they had become so if they deserted Odysseus they would have been marked men, they would not have been able to go home with their head held high. Part of their motivation certainly had to do with glory, leaving a legacy behind that they were known to be great warriors. It was an honor to die fighting in battle. I think, based on their actions, that they were motivated mostly by the spoils that war brought to them. They got to raid whatever village was conquered and they became rich men fast. It was a risky business, but those who survived were wealthy and therefore prestigious men. When the men raided the Cicones it was purely because they were so heady from their victory over Troy. They got greedy. Odysseus pleaded with his men to go back to the ships, but as Odysseus tells us, "My men were mutinous fools, on stores of wine," Book 9.They kept taking and taking and by the time the Cicones army on horseback arrived they cleaned Odysseus fleet of six benches of men. The same greed drove them when they went to Circe and greedily drank her pramnian wine. Again, in Thrinakia when they slaughtered Helios' cattle. They were motivated more by what they could get than anything else, glory and wealth galore. The fewer men that returned the wider the wealth could be spread between the remaining men.

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