Nostos in the Odyssey

Essay by almendarezvUniversity, Bachelor'sB, November 2014

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Almendarez 1

Val Almendarez

Dr. Boyleston

Great Works I

Want to go home

In Homer's The Odyssey, both Odysseus and Athena portray nostos in similar and different ways. They are similar in that they are both longing for the same thing. Odysseus is longing to return home to his palace, while Athena is awaiting Odysseus' return. They both have conflicts in their own journeys, but they are able to overcome these conflicts to achieve their goal. However, they are different in that Odysseus is being selfish in that he wants to return home for his own desires, while Athena is willing to be unselfish in that she is willing to do whatever it takes to allow and help Odysseus arrive home safely. Nostos is portrayed throughout The Odyssey, by two of the main characters, Odysseus and Athena, both longing for the safe arrival home of Odysseus.

Odysseus portrays nostos throughout the entire poem of The Odyssey constantly. Odysseus has a desire to get home to his wife and son who he has not seen since the Trojan War ended. He first expresses nostos when "…he sat on a headland, weeping there as always, wrenching his heart with sobs and groans and anguish, gazing over the barren sea through blinding tears" (Book 5. 93-95). This quote portrays Odysseus is longing to be home so he can be with his wife and son, whom he misses dearly. Odysseus also portrayed nostos when he and his men raided Ismaus. "Out of each ship, six men-at-arms were killed; the rest of (them) rowed away from certain doom" (Book 9. 69-70). They raided them in order to get enough supplies so he and his men will have enough to make it home. Odysseus was so dedicated to having enough supplies so...