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Odysseus The Son of Pain Essay


The role of Odysseus as a pain giver in the book Odyssey by Homer is a clear indication of the frustration and emptiness that afflicts its main character. This is because Odysseus has an internal turmoil that is not easy to cure and eradicate. Therefore, he resorts to ridicule, mockery and the murder of those that he does not love (Homer 104). This means his frustration only grows to higher levels until he is banished by his father, Poseidon who hates his antics.

There are several ways that Odysseus plays the role of a person who gives pain to the other characters. This is apparent during his hunt that entails the boar hunt that inflicted a scar upon the main character. In this case, it helps for east recognition by Eurycleia who is also a notable character in the book. However, Odysseus is promptly attacked by the boar; he kills it without any slight hesitation. He applies this using a form of cunning intelligence that is a manifestation of deceptive speech and a disgusting disguise “I didn’t lie! I just created fiction with my mouth! (Homer 123).” Additionally, through the ability to alter his physical appearance and verbal behaviors, the protagonists inflict mental pain through lies and trickery. For example, Cyclops Polyphemus feels offended and tormented after he learns that the name Odysseus has given him is the correct one.

In other words, there is a trail of misery for those he interacts with because of the ability to perpetuate dishonesty. However, that is not enough in terms of misery and the addiction to give pain. Odysseus also says he is called ‘Nobody’ or ‘nothing’ then initiates an escape that leaves Polyphemus blinded. This leads to further confusion when Cyclopes approaches the screaming Polyphemus and asks him the ensuing problem. Instead, he answers that ‘nobody’ has hurt him because earlier on, Odysseus had duped his senses. “If alone as you are [Polyphemus]…there is no avoiding the sickness sent by great Zeus… (Homer 156).”

Another element of the protagonist in being a giver of pain is the flaw of pride and arrogance. Odysseus does not respect other people and is full of airs on all occasions because he feels he is the greatest. For instance, when takes to sail on the island of Cyclopes, he yells at the top of his voice that nobody has the power to challenge his powers. Instead, he hails himself as the ‘Great Odysseus.’ However, such pride does not come without devastating ramifications that also include banishment and excommunication from the community. In that account, when a top half mountain is hurled at him by Cyclops because he is hurting the other people, Odysseus understands that things are not well (Homer 78). This is aggravated by the decision by Cyclops to supplicate to his father following the pain that his son has been inflicting upon other characters.

Alternatively, this leads Poseidon, the father of Odysseus, who is also terribly aggrieved by the negative behaviors of his son. Therefore, Poseidon decides to wreck the homecoming ceremony of his son for many years as an everlasting punishment for his misdeeds. Another critical aspect of Odysseus that depicts his ability to give piano is his naming of his grandfather called Autolycus who was a thief. This ensured that the lead character adopted the trait in order to increase his survival skills in the world of the other characters (Homer 145). In other words, the element of giving pain in the lives of other characters is a manifestation that is both ancestral and inherent in the genes of the main character.

Odysseus also kills the main suitors that intend to woo Heracles because they have infuriated him during the wooing venture. This takes place when there are other available options such as reconciliation and peaceful talk that could have saved the situation. Similarly, the main character inflicts mental pain upon his wife when there is a disconnect between their household and the land (Homer 167). This suddenly anguishes Odysseus that he barks angrily at his wife for contravening the marriage act that has a direct relation with the earth’s fertility. A new wave of rage builds up in the protagonist in the form of intimidation of other people from interfering with his life and those of his loved ones.

Therefore, it is essential for readers to understand the motives of the protagonist without passing judgment. This is because the desire for Odysseus to give pain upon other characters is deeper manifestation beyond his individual control (Homer 155).

Work Cited
Homer. Odyssey. New York, NY: SAGE. 2010. Print.

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