Homer's View on 'Journey' Through 'The Odyssey'

Essay by SikosmHigh School, 11th gradeA, July 2006

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Although nothing is known about the ancient Greek poet Homer's life, his views on what a journey is is made clear throughout his works - namely The Odyssey. A journey for Homer is an expedition away from home through new terrains, both physical and metaphorical. In a journey, one is always learning and experiencing new cultures and foods. A journey always involves unexpected or unplanned circumstances. According to Homer, the destination is the most important part of a journey, and the return journey is more important than the departing journey. Homer's protagonist in The Odyssey is Odysseus, king of Ithaca. Odysseus set out on an epic journey from his island kingdom, to Troy. After being in Troy for ten years, he set out for a return journey home to his wife and son. This homeward-bound stretch lasted another ten years. This journey home was one in which Odysseus kept being led astray from his destination; but, with his persistence in getting through one obstacle after another, Odysseus was finally able to get home.

For Homer, a journey is about learning and experiencing new things and understanding new places. On Odysseus' journey, Odysseus encountered many different people, such as Aeolus, Circe, and Calypso. These meetings gave Odysseus a bigger understanding of the world around him, and put his kingdom into perspective of the 'Greater Scheme' of things. While suffering Poseidon's torment in the seas, Odysseus learnt that he was just a man, and would not be able to achieve anything without the approval of the gods. These examples in The Odyssey express Homer's view that going on a journey to different places enlightens us, and helps us to develop as human beings.

Homer's view on journeys is that when away from home's comforts, you can never plan for...