English Paper on Personality Traits in Homer-“The Odyssey”
Odysseus’ 10-year epic effort to get back home is captured in a series of heroic acts and clashes with supernatural creatures in addition to encountering the fury of deities. On the other hand, Penelope, his wife and Telemachus his son, starves off the men interested in Penelope’s hand in marriage and the throne of Ithaca. Through numerous successful battles, The Odyssey narration ends after Odyssey proves his real identity, killing the suitors, and taking over his throne. Throughout the 10 year struggle, “wily Odysseus” exhibits extraordinary admirable skills, in battle, witfully outsmarting his enemies and successfully evading dangerous circumstances. Homer’s epic of “The Odyssey”, highlights some of the most admirable personality traits that the people of ancient Greece admired and that put them at the helm of power and thrones. The personality traits in the Odyssey such as courage, intelligence, bravery, stands out as the most valued characters for leaders of ancient Greece. Courage, bravery, and intelligence highlights on the key personality traits of ancient Greek leaders, admired, revered and which defined the cultural fabric of the people of Greece.
Odysseus has the defining personality trait of a Homeric leading light. His most outstanding character trait admired and revered throughout Greek is his sharp intellect. His quick thinking ability helps him navigate through very challenging situations, for example, when he escapes from the caves and when takes his daughter to a hiding, away from the suitors. “Willy Odysseus” describes his wit “Earth sounds my wisdom, and high my fame”, a description that captures on his acumen (Book 9). He uses his “minstrel and tells them to strike a wedding tune” which enables him to take his daughter away from the suitors. Additionally, his sharp intellect puts him in a commanding position in articulating his speeches, conversations, and discussions enabling him to manipulate his audience without difficulty (Book 1). For example, while addressing Nausicca, he uses and applies a soft, comforting, and convincing approach thus winning her trust. Odysseus, exhibits a rare intellectual prowess that enables him to stand above the rest, thus giving him a due advantage over them. He uses his sharp intelligence to find his way in both challenging and dangerous situations, a rare feat during the time in Greek, “a rare gift, but oh, what gift do fools avail!”. (Book 10)
People looked up to him due to his ability to influence others by this are an attribute of acumen. His sharp acumen also enables him to endure as a beggar, he patiently goes through abuse and scorn, but holds on until he secures what he wants. He performs extraordinary accomplishments highlighting his bravery. He fights and wins the Trojan Wars making him win many accolades in life. HIs bravery enables him to stand before men and convince them to look up to him. Despite losing his men and nearly his life, Odysseus does not give up, his bravery enables him to find ways around the challenges surrounding him in spite of the many losses. He believes that despite everything, he will get back home. He is not daunted by the fact that the journey back home is full of dangerous escapades. His bravery earns him a heroic trait, for example, he kills the boar that caused him injury. Killing a boar requires a brave and courageous spirit that is well demonstrated by the Greek hero. His bravery enables him to disguise and plan on how to patiently time and round the suitors then killing them, as “behold, on wrong Swift vengeance waits; and art subdues the strong.” (Book, 8)
Odysseus nobility is rooted on patience, chastity, courage, and justice. He goes through a harrowing experience in the hands of his foes, enduring abuse, scorn, and painful ordeals from the suitors as a beggar as he cunningly sets a trap to ensnare them “with sweet, reluctant, amorous delay” (Book 1). His courage and patience enable him to win battles against witty opponents and in very challenging situations. Additionally, he patiently waits in the Polyphemus caves as he plans his escape. While enjoying his time with Calypso on an exotic island, his mind is constantly on how to get back home. He acknowledges that Phaeacians is beautiful and spends a good time without her without getting too close to her. His mind is constantly on getting back home as he marvels at the thought of his wife. His noble character is shown as he refrains at getting too intimate with the women he encounters along his journey. He exercises a modest behavior despite the attraction he has for the women and captures his famous quote, “a faultless body and a blameless min”. (Book 3)
Ancient Greek culture and tradition are deeply rooted in an evolved system that evolved over many years. Ancient Greek, established vital “systematic literary in history, democracy, and lyric” among many other forms of Western cultures practiced to date (Clogg, 10). Some of the character traits exhibited in Odyssey clearly demonstrates and helps in understanding Greek culture during Homer’s time. Greek history is full of episodes of warfare that defined the establishment of Greece as a historical country with great history. Bravery, acumen, and chastity formed the background behind the many wars that Greek engaged in during its turbulent for example, the “Greco-Punic Wars”, the “Greco-Persian Wars”, and “the First Peloponnesian War” fought in the 460BC, fought in ancient Greece and bravery was one character quality that was highly admired (Clogg, 12). The soldiers were expected to be brave, courageous, and of noble character. Leaders were expected to lead by example as exemplified in Odyssey’s confrontation during the Trojan Wars. Odyssey’s acumen helps understand the Greek culture as a community who up to highly intelligent men of noble character. The people appreciated the intelligence and offered the highly intelligent opportunities to lead and to offer guidance as exemplified by Odyssey as he leads his men against the enemy, uses cunning tricks to subdue his opponents and find his way as he tries to get home.
In Greek culture, Odyssey’s noble character helps understand the emphasis the people put on having and bearing honorable traits. Despite the culture based in ancient times, the character of Odyssey as a noble and chaste man, indicates and shows a person whose moral behavior was guided by reason and the need to maintain a clean character trait not only to show off but also as an honor to those he is intimately connected to. Therefore, Odysseys’ character trait helps understand and give a glimpse of how life was in the ancient Greece by emphasizing on traits that were most revered.
Clogg, Richard. A Concise History of Greece. Cambridge:Cambridge University Press, 2013.
“The Odyssey”. London: Penguin, 1997. Print.