The lessons in life are learned by choice or the experiences of others. In Homer’s epic poem, The Odyssey, life applications are implied through the different adventurous journeys of Odysseus, the protagonist. These adventures relay certain and different knowledge to every individual reader. Some of this knowledge includes the relation of numerous morals to everyday life experiences such as identity and boasting, surrogates, and enjoying life as a whole. In Homer’s The Odyssey, Odysseus models how identity can be related to modern day life through his experiences.
For example, after the Cyclops had been blinded, Odysseus states, “Cyclops, if ever mortal man asks you the story… say that Odysseus made you blind, the spoiler of cities… ”(Homer 115) This shows that the implications that nothing good comes out of boasting is perceived, as a poor reflection becomes of Odysseus. This also shows that just as today, people are characterized by their actions including boasting, just how Odysseus is distinguished.
In addition, Odysseus shows patience with his identity as it states, “… peaking in winged words he said, -yet uttered the truth, but turned his words awry, ever revolving in his breast some gainful purpose. ” (Homer 164) This shows that Odysseus’s character now has the willpower to keep him from revealing himself. This also shows that sometimes its not all about the “look at me” feeling, as Odysseus rubs off in a positive direction by being humble. In conclusion, the morals of identity found in this novel are applicable to modern day life through the lessons Odysseus learns. Due to the multiple stops durning Odysseus’s journey home, lessons of surrogates can be interpreted to modern day life.
For example, Odysseus had been visiting long-term with Circe, in which during this time stated, “… for a time I doubted in my mind and heart whether to go and search the matter… ” (Homer 120) This shows that temptation of surrogate loved ones, family, and friends can delay the final prize, or in this case Odysseus’s homecoming. This also shows that just as Odysseus loses focus on his true love, Penelope, many today can take their eyes off the prize, such as a loved one which will result in temptation to commit adultery.
In addition, Odysseus lands in Phaecia where Nausicaa states, “A husband he will be, her very own… and he will keep her forever. ” (Homer 77) This shows that once again Odysseus shows immaturity in his actions. This also shows that the encounter with Nausicaa could be another turning point of Odysseus’ homecoming, just as modern day people make everyday choices towards their homecoming. For the reasons above, not only can the lessons of Odysseus’s surrogate wives relate to modern day life, the lessons he learns can show the audience the poor outcome of his choices.
The morals found within this novel all have a focal point to life and how to live it, but the biggest moral of all is to enjoy life. For example in book eleven, where Achilles talks to Odysseus in the underworld, he says, “Better to… serve a man of mean estate whose living is but little, than be the ruler over all these dead and gone. ” (Homer 142) This shows that in life, its better to serve and be kind to others than be the best in everything that is done. This also shows that, although this book was written so long ago, Achilles tells Odysseus the same moral as people today tell each other.
In addition, Teiresias shares a saying to Odysseus: “Whomever among these… let approach the blood, he shall declare the truth. But whomsoever you refuse, he shall turn back again. ” (Homer 134) This shows that to live life to the fullest, staying loyal to friends, and being open-minded to others is the key to staying on the right path. This also shows that the people who surround themselves with in life shapes them just as Odysseus is shaped by the influential people he talks to in the Underworld.
In conclusion, enjoying life can be accomplished by anyone, and the Odyssey shows the basic examples of living life correctly. In the Odyssey, Odysseus encounters many trials than stated above. His decisions are what delayed him to his homecoming. Through the reader’s perspective, relations to morals of modern day life can be made such examples of identity and boasting, surrogates, and living life. What choices will you make to effect the outcome of you life?
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