In The Odyssey, what will Odysseus sacrifice by returning to Penelope?  

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accessteacher eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Independence! Fun! Women! No, seriously, one gets the idea as we read this true archetypal classic that Odysseus, although he spends time pining over Penelope and Ithaca, is actually far happier wandering around and meeting various challenges and being desired by various beautiful women. He has no responsibilities and commitments and is able to wander as he wills, relying on his great reputation as a warrior in the Trojan War to gain him respect, adulation and praise (especially from women). I know that Homer didn't write the poem by Tennyson, "Odysseus," but I find that poem a really interesting insight into his character. It presents us with an Odysseus who is desperate to flee his responsibilities and start journeying again, and I think we can definitely see this element about his character in The Illiad.