Essay: Odysseus Gaining Independence

Sample Essay

Next, Odysseus gains independence through the hosts that help him on the way.  The first is King Alcinous’s palace (Homer and Worsley).  It is here that Odysseus is received well and not only finds freedom in enjoying mortal luxury again, but also in the retelling of his story as to how he had reached the Phaecian land.  This is a painful process for Odysseus, as he quotes, “you’re set on probing the bitter pains I’ve borne, so I’m to weep and grieve, it seems, still more… What pains – the gods have given me my share.

Let me start by telling you my name…”(211-12).  Yet, as most psychologists would agree, talking through painful times tends to eventually ease the heart and give man a greater sense of peace about his struggles, as it does for Odysseus, since once can note his strengthened moral as the story continues (Homer and Worsley). The evidence of this statement can be found in the fact that after almost every discourse with a woman, Odysseus is ready and willing to make a decision that calls for action. It is after he meets his female host that we find Odysseus bearing the strength to carry through on his diplomatic decisions. Another crucial host is in the Kingdom of the Dead.  When Odysseus confronts Achilles they both seem to envy each other’s lives, until Achilles quotes, “No winning words about death to me, shining Odysseus!  By god, I’d rather slave on earth for another man… than rule down here over the breathless dead”(265).  For Odysseus to hear such words from a man like Achilles is necessary to free him from his glory loving self and refocus on his goal to return home (Homer and Worsley).

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