Why does Odysseus leave his home Ithaka in The Odyssey?

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bullgatortail eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Odysseus' history of involvement in the Trojan War can best be found in Homer's Iliad, the predecessor to The Odyssey. The clever Odysseus had once been considered a suitor for Helen, the daughter of Zeus and the most beautiful woman in the world. Knowing that he had little chance to marry Helen, Odysseus married Penelope instead; it was he who suggested that all of Helen's suitors sign an oath of allegiance to support and protect her in case she met with danger. Helen eventually marries Menelaus, the King of Sparta. When Paris, the son of King Priam of Troy, abducts Helen, Odysseus--like the other Greeks who gave their oath to protect Helen--gathered his forces together and sailed from Ithaca to Troy. Little did Odysseus suspect that the war would last so long and that his journey home would be further extended.