The Iliad Essay, Research Paper
From the beginning of time and continuously through the ages there has always been the struggle between good and evil. Through the Odyssey Homer presents a clear view of both good and evil. Odysseus, the hero and main character of the Odyssey, is portrayed by Homer as the unequivocal essence of goodness and all that is right. Penelope, being the heroes wife, is also depicted by Homer as being purely good. Through Telemachus, Homer once again illustrates a clear view of goodness and all its virtues. But, through the Suitors and Clytaemnestra, Homer is able to present a very clear view of evil.
Odysseus, being the hero of the Odyssey, is made to be the measuring stick of goodness by Homer. As it is with every hero figure, Odysseus must face obstacles and struggle to overcome them using his mind and also his strength but at the same time make sure all that he does is good and honourable.
Right from the beginning of the Odyssey Homer uses Zeus, the most powerful of the gods, to praise Odysseus by saying that he could never forget the admirable Odysseus because not only is Odysseus the wisest man alive but that he has also been the most generous in his offerings to the immortal gods. Through this Homer shows Odysseus is a good person and respected even by the almighty gods. Though Odysseus performs many courageous acts and generous deeds Homer clearly portrays goodness through Odysseus when he is on the island with the goddess Calypso. He is stuck on the island for seven years and is forced to make love to the goddess every night but every morning after, goes down to the beach and cries and wishes to be able to return home to his wife and family. When he leaves the island Calypso offers him a choice to stay with her forever and be immortal but Odysseus declines, choosing his mortal wife who will age and eventually lose her beauty over the forever beautiful and flawless goddess. Through that act of loyalty by Odysseus Homer presents a clear view of good in the Odyssey.
Penelope is the wife of the good Odysseus and Homer depicts a clear view of goodness through her loyalty to her husband. Odysseus has been gone for twenty years and Penelope has no idea if he is still alive or dead but she chooses to continue waiting for him and not marry anyone else. Homer illustrates a clear view of good in the Odyssey when Penelope has a total of a hundred and eight young and handsome men each courting her daily and she turns each and one of them down. Though she gives each one some hope she still remains faithful to Odysseus. Once again through Penelope\’s act of loyalty and love Homer is able to present a clear view of good in the Odyssey.
Through Telemachus Homer portrays a clear view of goodness in the Odyssey. Homer depicts Telemachus as a shy but respectful and honourable young man. When Telemachus goes to Nestor\’s kingdom he is worried about meeting Nestor because he feels it is embarrassing for a young man such as him to question someone who is his senior. Through this modest and respectful act by Telemachus Homer once again illustrates a clear view of good in the Odyssey.
Throughout the Odyssey Homer presents countless acts of goodness by many characters but Homer also presents a clear view of evil in the Odyssey. Through the Suitors and their actions Homer portrays a clear view of evil. A total of a hundred and eight of them have made Odysseus\’ Palace their own, choosing to live off of another mans fortune rather than their own. Through their actions of slaughtering and feasting off the livestock, drinking wine as if it were water and using the maids that worked at the palace for their own entertainment Homer clearly illustrates evil in the Odyssey. Homer further enhances the view of the Suitors being evil when they plan on killing Telemachus as he sails on his voyage to find out information about his lost father. Through the respect that Telemachus showed towards his elders Homer presented a clear view of good but he then also shows a clear view of evil through the Suitor\’s harsh and disrespectful treatment of Eurymachus.
In the Odyssey Homer presented a clear view of good through Penelope\’s love and loyalty for her husband Odysseus but he also illustrated a clear view of evil through Clytaemnestra\’s betrayal to her husband, Agamemnon. While Agamemnon was at war in Troy, Clytaemnestra betrayed her husband and made love to Aegisthus. When Agamemnon returned home Clytaemnestra had her lover, Aegisthus, murder her husband so that they could be together. Through Clytaemnestra\’s acts of betrayal Homer creates a vivid view of evil in the Odyssey.
Through the different characters in the Odyssey Homer presented a clear view of good and evil. Odysseus, Penelope and Telemachus were all characters that Homer used to present a clear view of good while the Suitors and Clytaemnestra were used by Homer to present a clear view of evil. Through Odysseus\’ courageous acts and generous deeds, Penelopes\’ loyalty and Telemachus\’ modesty and respect, Homer created a clear view of good in the Odyssey. But, through the Suitors\’ abuse of other peoples property, disrespect for elders and schemes for murder, and Clytaemnestras\’ betrayal of her husband, Homer illustrated a crystal clear view of evil.