Friday, September 19, 2014
After reading books IX-XII I have written this short discussion on some of the issues I noted in "The Odyssey".
Odysseus’ lack of care for his wife has astonished and angered me throughout the Odyssey. He seems to barely even think of her and only mention her when it seems he should for the sake of being seen as an upright man. It is not that Odysseus does not miss his homeland, or his beloved family. It simply seems that he is a man born for adventure and that he obviously lacks the values of a man willing to stay true to his wife. This is shown numerous times by the fact that he shows no shame in sleeping with Kirke and even though he longed for home, he obviously enjoyed being with Kalypso and did not fight her to keep his covenant with Penelope. Meanwhile his poor wife is practically fighting off a whole host of suitors, being sure to stay true to her love.
Another reason Odysseus may have cared more about his father is because he was close to death and could die before he got back, while on the other hand he was probably sure of Penelope’s health and faithfulness. Also his mother had died without him being there. This certainly stirred up all types of emotions calling him to think only of his parents and possible making him feel guilty for not being there for them. It is ironic thought, that he did not feel guilt for his wife, who he is supposed to always be there for and provide for.
To conclude, Odysseus’ thoughtlessness towards Penelope is very strange. His lack of faithfulness towards her is also very disgraceful but how his heart ached for his parents can be understood and merited.