Responsibility Essay Prompts For The Odyssey - Essay for you

Essay for you

Responsibility Essay Prompts For The Odyssey

Rating: 4.0/5.0 (10 Votes)

Category: Essay


Odyssey Essay

Odyssey Essay | Essay Spiritual Growth of Telemachus in The Odyssey

Summary: The spiritual growth and development of Telemachus in Homer's The Odyssey is traced and explored. He changes from a small child raised in difficult circumstances to a grown man of courage and responsibility. He becomes a brave warrior and finds his true self.

Odysseus' son Telemachus was a small child when his father left for the Trojan War. At the beginning of The Odyssey Telemachus is an inexperienced, unhappy, and helpless young man. We see this in Book One when he says to Athena "Mother says I am his son; I know not surely. I wish at least I had some happy man as father. " (p. 8) Telemachus has grown immature because he has been raised without a father figure. His travels in search of his father will help him to mature, as we will see throughout his journey.

Telemachus also grew up in very tough situation because he was raised without a father. His mother had to raise him with only the "help" of selfish and arrogant suitors. As we know the suitors were not a good influence on Telemachus because to them, Odysseus was only a fictional hero. There are.

This section contains 980 words
(approx. 4 pages at 300 words per page)

Other articles

The Odyssey 4 Essay Research Paper A

The Odyssey 4 Essay Research Paper A

The Odyssey 4 Essay, Research Paper

A Comparison of Kings-Odysseus vs. Dusyanta

Even though Homer’s The Odyssey (eighth century B.C.) and Kalidasa’s Sakuntala (fourth century A.D.) were written more than twelve centuries a part, many similarities can be found in the roles that the rulers in each play. The stories not only reflect the values of the cultures and times, but they also give a glimpse into the public and private lives of the nobility. Based on the vivid descriptions of their interactions with others and private thoughts, insight is gained into the responsibilities and obligations of each. These responsibilities are most apparent in the main ‘rulers’ of each story–Odysseus from The Odyssey and Dusyanta from Sakuntala. Although the men are put into extremely different circumstances in their respective stories, several similarities in their roles as leaders are apparent. These include helping and protecting others, being just and delivering justice, and ensuring the future of the ruling family.

Both men are portrayed as protectors in times of crises. They are looked upon for protection and help when others are in need. This is seen in Book X when Odysseus and his men land on Aiaia. They had just escaped destruction by the Laistrygonians when they made landfall here and are “worn out and sick at heart, tasting [their] grief” (153). Odysseus knows that he must take care of his men, so he decides to leave the ship and find food. It is interesting here that the crew sits on the beach for two days and none of the men make an effort to find food themselves. Instead, they wait helplessly for their captain to bring food to them. Shortly after replenishing their morale and sending a platoon to explore, Eurylokhos comes running in terror to explain that Kirke had captured the men. At this point Odysseus transitions from being a passive leader to an active one. Feeling responsible for his men, he immediately arms himself and says to Eurylokhos, “Let me go, / as I see nothing for it but to go” (290-1). When he returns to the ship after defeating Kirke, his men begin crying as if they have in sight what they want most-their homeland. They are so pitiful that they are compared in a simile to “calves in tumult, / breaking through to cluster about mothers” (446-7). In this comparison the vulnerability and dependence of the men on Odysseus is quite evident. It seems that without their protector and leader they are helpless.

Dusyanta is also called upon for protection in several instances when others are threatened. Three times he is called to ward off demons and spirits, and at least twice he is referred to as the protector of people and the land. Whereas Odysseus is seen more as a warrior-provider while at sea, Dusyanta’s condition is that of a warrior-religious leader. When there is a threat of evil, he is expected to intervene and ensure peace. This role is evident in Act II when the two boys bring the news that “Demons are taking advantage of Sage Kanva’s absence” (207), and tell him that he must go and protect the hermitage for a few days. Since the hermitage is under his protection, as is pointed out by Priyamvada and Anasuya, he obliges willingly. Apparently, the absence of good-Sage Kanva-is like a door open to the forces of evil. Since Dusyanta is king and is seen as the most god-like (good) human, a request for his service and not another sage’s is appropriate.

The Buffoon and Indra request Dusyanta’s help in similar situations. Although Dusyanta is only having a joke played on him by Matali, Marica’s charioteer, he acts as though he is being threatened himself. When the Buffoon calls desperately for his help, the king comes quickly armed with his bow. The fact that the Doorkeeper and the Buffoon both rely on Dusyanta for help reinforces his role as being the protector of others. After the Buffoon is released, Matali reveals himself and surprisingly bears the message that Indra, king of the gods, also requests Dasyunta’s protection. He says that “There is an army of demons descended from one-hundred- / headed Kalanemi, known to be invincible ” (491-2). Seemingly impossible, even the demons, which are invulnerable to Indra, can be defeated by Dusyanta. For a mortal such as the king, being asked by the gods for help is the greatest confirmation of one’s role as protector.

As with any authority figure or person who is in charge of affairs, protection is only one responsibility of many. Another important job of the ruler is to be just and deliver justice to those who do wrong. For Odysseus, the suitors wreaking havoc in his home and his female servants betraying him are the ultimate wrongs. Undoubtedly, many would not have questioned him if he killed them all on his homecoming day. Instead, in both cases-with the female servants and the suitors-he makes an effort to be just and deliver punishment only to those who deserve it.

In Book XVII of the Odyssey, Athena suggests to Odysseus a way to find out who is good and bad among the suitors. She says, “Yes, try the suitors. / You may collect a few more loaves, and learn / who are the decent lads, and who are vicious- / although not one can be excused from death” (417-20). Although he had a choice as do this or to take revenge on all, he decides in his own heart to give each a chance. He takes similar action with the female servants when he says to Eurykleia, “tell me of the women, / those who dishonored me, and the innocent” (435-6). Again he is justified in taking all of their lives, but instead decides to punish only the women who “respected no one, good or bad” (333-4). In both cases, when the guilty suitors and servants have been found out, Odysseus, as the deliverer of justice, ensures in the final hour that they are slaughtered.

Dasyunta takes on a similar role in Sakuntala, only here the circumstances are different. Rather than dealing with people who betray him, Dasyunta is portrayed as a king who is responsible for justice and who, like Odysseus, wants to do the right thing. This is seen in his encounter with Sakuntala in Act V, and his dealings with the fisherman in Act VI.

When Sakuntala comes to the palace with her escorts, Dusyanta, doesn’t remember her and is not sure how to handle the situation. He is in awe of her beauty, yet he also sees that she is pregnant and does not want to show interest in another man’s wife. His hesitation spurs the doorkeeper to comment, “Our king has a strong sense of justice. Who else would / hesitate when beauty like this is handed to him” (180-1). In this situation, the king’s “sense of justice” is a reflection upon his morality and religious beliefs. Even though polygamy is accepted in the Indian culture at this time, it is a sin to be “tainted by another man’s [wife]” (294). Therefore, instead of rejecting Sakuntala outright, Dusyanta justly allows her to stay in his house until proof that the child is his can be found.

The visit by the policemen and the captured fisherman reflect on another side of Dusyanta’s role in justice. Until the visit, Dusyanta’s character has been limited to that of a lovesick ruler who takes hunting trips for leisure. At this point he becomes a man who must also deal with the criminals in society and decide their fate. Evidence for this is found when the Magistrate says to the policemen, “I’ll report / to the king how we found the ring, [and] get his orders” (28-29). In saying that they must get orders from the king, Dusyanta’s job as a ‘judge’ is confirmed to the reader. When they do get his orders, they are surprised to find that instead of punishing the fisherman, the king rewards him. Even though the reward is for helping the king to remember his lover, Sakuntala; the scene adequately conveys to the reader his part in the justice system.

A final point of comparison between the two men is that both must secure the future of the ruling family. In The Odyssey, the problem lies in the fact that although Odysseus has produced an able leader before leaving for Troy, it is uncertain whether or not Telemakhos will be his successor. In response to a comment from Eurymakhos about taking the throne, Telemakhos admits:

there are eligible men enough,

and one of them perhaps may come to power

after the death of King Odysseus.

All I insist on is that I rule our house

and rule the slaves my father won for me. (I, 433-8)

Telemakhos knows that his future in Ithaka is uncertain, and whether or not Odysseus expected this situation to arise is ambiguous. Regardless, to correct the situation and ensure that Telemakhos will follow him, it is necessary for Odysseus to reestablish order in his land by ousting the suitors-which he accomplishes in Book XXII.

Dusyanta’s dilemma is not that his title is being fought over, but that the continuance of the Puru Dynasty is in question if he does not bear an able son. He expresses his concern in Act VI when he sighs and says, “Families without offspring whose / lines of succession are cut off lose their wealth to strangers when / the last male heir dies. When I die, this will happen to the wealth / of the Puru Dynasty” (404-7). He is upset because he has already convinced himself that he has failed in his duty to produce the next king. Unbeknownst to him, Sakuntala was impregnated at their last meeting and will soon bear his child-a son to be named Sarvadamana. Dusyanta has achieved his goal and the future of the Puru Dynasty is assured when Marica announces that “[Sarvadamana] is destined to turn the wheel of [the] empire” (VII, 364).

Despite the great differences in the times and cultures of Sakuntala and The Odyssey, the ruling figures, Dusyanta and Odysseus, have similar responsibilities as leaders. Their responsibilities–to protect, to ensure justice, and to continue the ruling family-become evident in the stories as the men interact with others and share their own thoughts. Though the men rule under different circumstances and are occupied with their own struggles, they ultimately satisfy their responsibilities and obligations and prove to be able leaders.

Homer. The Odyssey. Trans. Robert Fitzgerald. 1961. Ed. Maynard Mack. New York:

W.W. Norton Company, 1995. 219-503.

Kalidasa. Sakuntala. Trans. Barbara Stoler Miller. 1984. Ed. Maynard Mack. New York:

W.W. Norton Company, 1995. 1181-1242.

Responsibility essay prompts for the odyssey

Term One Timed Essay Exam

Session One Final Exam: Timed Essay

Writing Situation: It is the end of the term, and your teacher wants to see how well you have learned the content of the class as well as elevated writing techniques. You will choose ONE of the following prompts and respond thoroughly with ample evidence and analysis. Be sure to include a comprehensive thesis.

Writing Directions. Choose one of the following and respond in essay format.

1. Identify a common theme among at least three of the works we have read this session. Use specific evidence from each piece to support your choice of common theme. Discuss how your evidence is connected to your choice of common theme. Which piece supports the common theme best? How?

2. “Coming of Age” is a common motif in literature. Explain how three of the young protagonists from pieces we have read this session move from innocence to maturity. Which piece illustrates the “Coming of Age” motif best? How?

3. Much of modern literature alludes to The Odyssey. Discuss how at least three works we’ve read this term allude to components from The Odyssey. How are these allusions used? How are they modified from Homer’s original intention and why?

Create a free website

Personal Responsibility and the Gods Role in the Odyssey Essay - 1013 Words

Personal Responsibility and the Gods’ Role in the Odyssey

The gods play an important part in Odysseus’ journey home, bringing him closer and farther from his homeland. They constantly intervene in the lives of the many characters in The Odyssey. Though Odysseus is a hero, the gods control his life. It is as if he were the main character in a video game and the gods are fighting over who controls his life. Personal responsibility is overshadowed by the gods’ eagerness to grab the controller.

Homer disregards personal responsibility by showing how the gods take care of everything for Odysseus. It was ultimately Athena who begged Zeus to let Odysseus go home by saying

Father Zeus…..never let any sceptered king be kind and gentle now, not he ruled remembers Odysseus now, that godlike man, and kindly as a father to his children. Now, he’s left to pine on an island, racked with grief in the nymph Calypso’s house…. He has no way to voyage home to his own native land….

(Homer pages 152-153)

Odysseus was not the one who convinced the gods that he should go home. In fact, he would “…..sit on the rocks and beaches, wrenching his heart with sobs and groans and anguish, gazing out over the barren sea through blinding tears”(Homer page 157) or “….In the nights, true, he’d sleep with her [Calypso] in the arching cave….”(Homer page 157)]. However, he is not physically capable of getting himself home with all the powers of Poseidon against him for “…..every god took pity, all except Poseidon. He raged on, seething against the great Odysseus till he reached his native land. ”)(Homer page 78) and no crew or boat. So, with nothing to do, he is left to leave his fate to the gods, as personal responsibility is apparently out of the question.

Another example that supports Homer’s lack of regard for personal responsibility as the cause of what our future brings, not the gods, is when Odysseus is shrouded in mist by Athena to walk through the busy streets of Phaeacia to the king’s.

Please sign up to read full document.


in the role of the certain gods believed in has always been important. In three separate pieces we have read we have seen the importance of the gods . or God . play a key role in the development of the literature. In Homer’s epic poem The Odyssey . the gods are key in Odysseus’ return to Ithaca after twenty years. Whether it is helping Odysseus or delaying him, they play a major role in the development of the story. In Psalm 139, the scripture passage taken from the Bible, God is a very obvious factor. Even in the poem by William Owen “Dulce et Decorum Est” God again plays a major role once we dive deeper than the words are saying. The role of the gods . or singular God in Catholicism, plays a key role . sometimes unspoken, part. In The Odyssey we see in the first book three major gods that make an immediate impact on Odysseus’ journey home. Zeus, Athena, and Poseidon all are important in their own way in either helping Odysseus or trying to stop him. Zeus, king of the gods . is characterized as a mediator between Athena and Poseidon, the former helping Odysseus and the latter trying to stop him from reaching home. Athena does all she can to help out the mortal Odysseus, even appearing to him and his son Telemachus in disguise to.

1169 Words | 3 Pages

Throughout the epic of The Odyssey of Homer, Odysseus, the main protagonist, receives help, and is frowned upon by the gods . There are many gods . and goddesses who play significant roles in Odysseus’ journey back to his homeland of Ithaca. Athena, the gray-eyed goddess, or the daughter of Zeus, is the most predominant goddess in the epic. One of Athena’s roles is to act as a guardian towards Telemachus. In the beginning, Athena travels to Ithaca in the guise of Mentes, and states to Telemachus, Odysseus’ son, “I’m Mentes, son of wise Anchialus; the Taphian, tenacious oarsmen are the people I rule….For bright Odysseus has not died upon this Earth: he is alive somewhere, delayed upon an island set among vast waves, held by harsh savages against his will”, (Homer, and Mandelbaum, p.9-10). Athena is stating that Odysseus, Telemachus’ father is alive, and later on tells Telemachus to “asks the lord of Ithaca to gather here tomorrow; then speak to all, and let the gods be witnesses. Command the suitors to scatter, each on his own way…Find the fittest ship and, with a crew of twenty oarsmen, seek some word of your long-absent father- for a mortal may have heard word of him…” (Homer, and Mandelbaum, p.12-13). Athena is influencing Telemachus to demand that the suitors leave Odysseus’ halls and that he should set sail in search of word of his father. After Odysseus’ arrival back to Ithaca.

1174 Words | 3 Pages

The Role of the Gods The role of the Gods is very significant in the Odyssey . The ancient Greeks believed that the Gods were the source of all ideas, and everything that happened, good or bad, happened because of the Gods . However after the Trojan War, Odysseus claimed to the Gods that he did not need them, and he came up with the idea of the wooden horse on his own. This is the sin of hubris and arrogance, one of the sins that angers Gods the most. It is because of this that Poseidon vows to show Odysseus that he is nothing more than a mortal man, and men need the power of the Gods to survive. However according to Zeus, Poseidon cannot kill Odysseus, he can only hinder his journey. It is because of the Gods that Odysseus’ journey home was, in fact, an odyssey . The main Gods that play a part in Odysseus’ journey home are Zeus, Poseidon, Athena and Hermes, however there are also some minor Gods and Goddesses including Circe and Aeolus. Each of these plays their own crucial part in the journey of Odysseus. The role of Athena is to be a guardian to Odysseus, and to guide Telemachus. There are many ways in which Athena helps Odysseus: She is the one that persuades Zeus to free Odysseus from the island of Calypso, she also calms the stormy winds sent by Poseidon. Also.

608 Words | 2 Pages

Odysseus is a man. He is not a god . yet he seeks protection and assistance from the gods because he knows that it is crucial to the survival of himself and his men. In my opinion, there is a savior god who is Athena, Telemachus refers to her as a “Mentor” (37) and a tormentor god who is Poseidon, Lord of the Earthquake, “where they found the people of the seashore sacrificing jet-black bulls for the powerful Poseidon”(30). This quote demonstrates the amazing power Poseidon bestows. The power of the gods over Odysseus and the other characters in this ancient novel is very thorough. Throughout the story, we see of the gods helping and hurting the life of Odysseus. In the beginning of the story… while the Greek soldiers had returned home from Troy, Odysseus is living on the island of Calypso. Although, they are “lovers” he is being held there against his will because of the wrath of Poseidon. Many believe that Odysseus “leads Calypso on”; however, he will not become her husband. Although, Calypso and Odysseus are “lovers” he often longs for his beautiful wife Penelope. Calypso and Poseidon have kept him away from his family for years; therefore, Odysseus is presumed dead by his wife and the citizens of Ithaca. His absence draws many suitors to his home. These suitors look to win the hand of Penelope, Odysseus’ wife. These events are the overall cause of his son Telemachus’ departure. If not.

633 Words | 2 Pages

Marvin K. K. Humanities 11 Sam 3/5/2008 Θεία επέμβαση An analysis of divine intervention in The Odyssey reveals that survival and achievement of goals is impossible without help from the gods as they control everything that happens. Divine intervention is a very important aspect of the Odyssey seen right from the beginning to the end and all who have help from the gods survive while those who don't die. This is clearly shown in the conversation between Athena and her father Zeus on mount Olympus, in which Athena asks her father what should happen to the Ithacans. The will of the gods is supreme to all other powers, and the decision made at mount Olympus of bringing peace among the Ithacans is what actually happens.(XXIV, 496-506). Zeus decides that peace should reign and that's what exactly happens.

1390 Words | 4 Pages

David Mitchell January 16th 2013 World Civilization’s 1 Odyssey Essay When a character in the Odyssey chooses to go against the gods . he will face the wrath of the immortals following his decision. The power of the gods is shown through their ability to bring pain and suffering to mortals. Characters throughout the Odyssey go against the gods . but are punished to show their weakness in the face of the immortals. When Odysseus arrived on the island of the Phaeacians, they provided him with the typical xenia that was followed in ancient Greece. After telling the great Phaeacians about his journey from troy, they safely transported Odysseus back to Ithaca. The war hero’s homecoming was against Poseidon’s desires. Even a nation that was depicted in the Odyssey as exceedingly secure and powerful could not do anything to prepare for or prevent the punishment of the Earthquaker on the people of Phaeacia. “Their ocean-going ship he saw already near, heading for harbor; so up behind her swam the island-shaker and struck her into stone, rooted in stone at one blow of his palm, then took to the open sea.” (Page 234-235, line 201-206. (Robert Fitzgerald)) The god of the sea showed his power over the mortal Phaeacians by turning their ship into stone before the eyes of everyone as the vessel entered into the harbor after its voyage to and from Ithaca. This act of.

1242 Words | 3 Pages

PersonalResponsibility Essay Personalresponsibility . the idea that one is responsible for the outcomes of their actions and decisions is probably, without a doubt, one of the greatest if not the greatest builders of an individual’s character, morals, and ethics. This is something that we all project both on a conscious as well as subconscious level. Let’s start by looking at a few examples how individuals apply personalresponsibility in their lives and the accountability factor that goes along with it. Then I will focus on how personalresponsibility applies to college success and my “action plan” to help me become a successful student. Many individuals desire for good health, but, aren’t willing to make the necessary sacrifices to bring about such desired result. They continue with their old habits without making any type of modifications to things like their diet or incorporating perhaps a plan of action to include some modest exercise. So their lack of change is a direct reflection of their lack of responsibility to take action. Another example is the employee who is constantly late for work. Yes, this individual’s performance is stellar as he/she always exceeds company goals, however, is known to arrive to work late frequently. As they say time is money and the minutes from work this individual misses due to late arrivals could be.

848 Words | 2 Pages

Rasie Turner Ms. Neff English 1030 22 September 2010 The Odyssey Greek gods and goddesses are very important in the Greek culture. There are a few Greek gods and goddesses that play very important roles in The Odyssey . They are Athena, Zeus, Poseidon, and Circe, and Calypso. The relationship between the mortals and the gods are very interesting. Everything that happens in this poem, dealing with the mortals, is related to one of the gods . Without the gods . Greek culture and literature would be nothing. Zeus is the king of the gods . All of the other gods and mortals look up to him. If anybody needs approval of something, they go to Zeus for the answer. For example, when Odysseus was trapped on Calypso’s island, Athena went to Zeus to get him to help Odysseus off of the island. So Zeus sent Hermes, the messenger of the gods . to Calypso to tell her to release Odysseus form her island. Zeus is very important in Greek literature, and culture. This epic poem starts off with Odysseus trapped on a beautiful, nymph goddess’ island. Her name is Calypso. She held Odysseus on that island for seven years before she let him go. She had fallen in love with him and would not have let him go unless Hermes had not ordered her to. This shows some of the principles in Greek culture. Women were not as important as men. There were.

1147 Words | 3 Pages