Odysseus Character Analysis

1920 Words8 Pages
When Odysseus is about half way home in Homer’s The Odyssey, translated by Robert Fagles, he travels to the Kingdom of the Dead. Circe tells him to do this in order to hear from the blind Theban prophet Tiresias and get information about his return to Ithaca. Although Tiresias’ prophecy to Odysseus seems to be entirely about the tasks he must perform in order to regain his kingdom and home, the prophet actually attempts, with great cunning of his own, to teach Odysseus important moral lessons about how to behave. This is true throughout his long speech to Odysseus in Book 11, but particularly so when he speaks about the Island of Thrinacia, about the suitors awaiting Odysseus’ return, and about the task he must perform after he rids his home…show more content…
No doubt you will pay them back in blood when you come home!” (11;…show more content…
He does this by saying, “plant you're bladed, balanced oar in the earth”. He compares Odysseus to his oar in a way that it doesn't sound like hes saying his oar is better, but it's qualities are something Odysseus should examine. Tiresias then goes on to say, “to the lord god of the sea, Poseidon- a ram, a bull, and a ramping wild boar-”. Odysseus essentially must defeat his bad traits, and the ram, bull, and wild boar represent those traits. The ram represents two sides of Odysseus, he's daring but at the same time he goes too far in situations which makes him come off as if he's stupid, which he's not. The bull represents impulse, which Odysseus is a perfect example. Also, anger, while Odysseus usually isn't an angry person he’s also quick to kill a person when he has a problem. Finally, there's the ramping wild boar. This represents Odysseus being combative and inflexible. Odysseus is combative in situations when he often doesn't need to be. He’s inflexible when people give him advice he usually already has his mind made up and likes to do things his way. The prophet then says, “render noble offerings”, he's telling Odysseus that he almost has to surrender, let his ego go for the sake of his and his men's life. Tiresias decides to give Odysseus a reality check to show him that maybe compared to his men he is legendary, but compared to the gods, he's insignificant. Odysseus won't live

More about Odysseus Character Analysis

Open Document