Illustration of Odysseus tied to a ship's mast

The Odyssey

by Homer
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What are some examples of how Odysseus has demonstrated a thirst for home?

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Odysseus demonstrates his thirst for home in many ways.  Although he spends a full year enjoying himself at Circe's home, he eventually approaches her, asking her to "'fulfill the promise [she] made to send [him] home.'"  This shows that he would rather get home to his wife and family than to continue even in the house of a "heavenly goddess."  She sends him to the Land of the Dead to find the prophet Teiresias, a seer who can tell him how to get home.  Odysseus, then, is so anxious to return home that he is willing to call on Hades and dread Persephone and the shades of the dead to help him.

Further, when Odysseus later describes his time with both Circe and Calypso, another goddess who kept him for several years and would not let him leave, he says that "'they never beguiled the heart within [his] breast.  Nothing more sweet than home and parents can there be [...].'"  Therefore, even when he kept company with some of the most beguiling, the most beautiful of immortals, he still desires to return to Ithaca more.  It makes sense that Odysseus would long to escape terrible situations to return home, but he also desires to leave really amazing situations to get home as well.  These instances help to show just how much he thirsts for his home.

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