Odysseus as Everyman in Homer's Odyssey

Essay by antenagirl May 2004

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Odysseus symbolizes every person in the fact that he is so human, filled with faults, strengths and a real life.

Odysseus has a family, a son and a wife, a mother and father, whom he leaves when he goes off to fight in the Trojan War. He feels grief and home-sickness while he's away and yearns to return home to his loved ones. While he stranded in the ocean and on islands, he feels pain in his heart at the very thought of his beloved wife mourning his loss and his son growing up without a father.

Odysseus is also a proud man, with flaws. When he is leaving the island of the Cyclops, he makes a fatal mistake. He had gotten away scot-free and could have returned home but he felt the need to yell out to the Cyclops that it was, in fact, Odysseus who blinded him.

This cry to the Cyclops gains him the ire of Poseidon and adds years to his voyage. Another example of his weaknesses is his insatiable curiosity. When his boat is passing by the Sirens, he insists on hearing their seductive singing, lying to get his crew to tie him to the boat.

However, Odysseus is a kind man who is willing to do anything for his crew and family. When his crew is turned into pigs by Circe, Odysseus risks his life to save his men. When Odysseus returns home, his risks his life again to regain his home and save his wife and son from the torture that was involved with the suitors eating them out of house and home.

Odysseus is unlike many heroes who seem invincible. They have no life, no feelings, no weaknesses. Odysseus feels pain, frustration and grief but at the same time his...