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Character and temperament in Homer's Odyssey and Sophocles' Oedipus the King - Essay Example

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Name Instructor Class Character and Temperament in Homer’s Odyssey and Sophocles’ Oedipus the King Odysseus and Oedipus are both leaders of great kingdoms, but they have trudged on different paths, with Odysseus reaching redemption through returning to his homeland and reclaiming his throne and wife, while Oedipus meets a tragic destiny because of fate and hubris…
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Character and temperament in Homers Odyssey and Sophocles Oedipus the King
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Download file to see previous pages Odysseus and Oedipus have perseverance, a strong sense of accountability, and pride that fires up their temperament; Odysseus, however, is a master of deceit and lies and submits fully to the gods, while Oedipus unwittingly defies the gods through his actions. Odysseus and Oedipus portray perseverance in their different missions in life. Odysseus depicts perseverance in his attitudes and actions during his many challenges in life. Bernhard Frank, English professor at Buffalo State University, explores the importance of Book 5 in introducing the hardships that Odysseus undergoes to return to his kingdom and family. He believes that Book 5 shows the “realistic” setting of Ithaca, a precursor to the subsequent “fantastic voyage” to the underworld (179). The voyage represents the moral development of Odysseus as he goes through unimaginable lengths to reclaim what is his. Furthermore, Odysseus inspires his people to remain patient and audacious after passing dangers in Skylla and Charybdis. He tells them: Dear friends, surely we are not unlearned in evils. This is no greater evil now than it was when the Cyclops had us cooped in his hollow cave by force and violence, but even there, by my courage and counsel and my intelligence, we escaped away. I think that all this will be remembered someday too. Then do as I say, let us all be won over.”’ (Homer 12.208-213). Odysseus reminds them of their triumphs, which will serve as their food of courage. He even mentions Cyclops, whom they have escaped through cunning and valor. He stresses that history will not forget their adventures, and it is important to win their struggles one at a time. As a leader, Odysseus urges his people to go beyond their limitations and attain vast opportunities because of perseverance. Like Odysseus, Oedipus has a persevering character, who wants to know the truth. He expresses his intense desire to know who killed Laius so that he can remove the curse on his kingdom: And on the murderer this curse I lay (On him and all the partners in his guilt):-- Wretch, may he pine in utter wretchedness! And for myself, if with my privity He gain admittance to my hearth, I pray The curse I laid on others fall on me. See that ye give effect to all my hest, For my sake and the god's and for our land, A desert blasted by the wrath of heaven. (Sophocles 244-253). He curses the killer who has brought disaster on his people. He even curses himself if the murder enters his kingdom without being punished. Such is his determination that Oedipus sacrifices his life to avenge his people. Odysseus and Oedipus exhibit strong desire to achieve their goals in life, without thinking of the challenges in their midst. Aside from perseverance, Odysseus and Oedipus have a strong sense of responsibility. Odysseus feels responsible for the welfare of his people. He protects his crew from the Sirens, when he instructs them to put wax in their ears. He does not want them to lose themselves to the Sirens. Moreover, Odysseus saves them from the Lotus Eaters. Mark Kremer, assistant professor of Political Science at Kennesaw State University, describes the tyranny that the Lotus Eaters and the Cyclops represent, which is despotism. He asserts that the “Lotus Eaters are an image of pleasure and of pacifism” (104). They have the strength of a dead spirit, an oxymoron. To eat ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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