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Achilles and Odysseuses' Self-sufficiency - Essay Example

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he self sufficiency may be explained as reducing one's needs to the level of procuring all by self. Secondly, you may have many needs and fulfill these with the help of others. The most important attribute of Aristotle's self -sufficiency is happiness…
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Achilles and Odysseuses Self-sufficiency
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Download file to see previous pages A community is necessary to fulfill moral needs of a man (Gerson 73). The self sufficiency is fulfilled by (1) one has the abilities to procure needed resources; (2) one does not need resource so large as to require help from others; and (3) one does not need any amount whatsoever of those resources, like political power or friendship, which naturally require others. Because Aristotle associates the sufficiency of 2& 3 with the state or community, the self sufficiency through state may be called as 'political self-sufficiency' and that is the focus of Aristotle's discourse (Brown 5-6). The virtues and ultimate good are promoted by the state when man lives in the polis, the city. Human is a political animal and the man who lives away from polis or does not need the city is either the worst sort of animal or a super- human, the god. The power of speech indicates that human are not self sufficient since they can express pleasure or pain and concept of justice and injustice clearly shows that human are political animals (Marietta, 127). The present article intends to compare personalities of Achilles and Odysseus in the light of Aristotle's concept of self- sufficiency.
The portrayal of Achilles and Odysseus is a presentation of bie ( wild force) and metis (tact or cleverness). Homer, though pays honor to Achilles which is deserved by his greatness yet in the end the intelligence and endurance of Odysseus triumphs (Clay 96). When we first meet Odysseus, he is sitting on the seashore, desolately lamenting for his island home Ithaca and his wife Penelope. His longing is for society, his city and domesticity. However, after rejecting the public assembly and throwing the scepter on the floor, Achilles also sits by himself on the seashore with tears in his eyes and waiting for his mother Thetis. The goddess comes and promises to intervene with Zeus for him against Agamemnon. This scene shows Achilles' obsessive and lonely nature, self-imposed isolation from his society instead he seeks godly intervention through his mother. Such a contrast in the warriors' character is evident throughout the Homer's epics (Abad 3).
After the death of Patroclus, his dear friend, Achilles admits that despite his supremacy in war others are better than him. These 'others' certainly included Odysseus. He is less elegant and hungry for glory but at the same time more practical and less impetuous. In Iliad, Odysseus is entrusted with the task to return chrysies to her father; he saves the day when Agamemnon's catastrophic test of morals misfires. Besides, his good qualities, he also possesses great rhetoric skills (Homer and Rutherford 16). Just before the war the assembled Greeks were having a feast on Tenedos. But Achilles was invited last. An argument took place between Agamemnon and Achilles. Odysseus tried to shift his attention from quarrel but Achilles announced returning back to home (Clay 99). It shows ability of Odysseus to resolve issues through dialogue while Achilles was reluctant to make use of that exclusive gift to man, the speech. At this Odysseus accused him of cowardice and harsh words were exchanged between them. Achilles did not need either the society or the reason as a social human would do.
Achilles obsession with war and revenge is his most destructive side which is prominently depicted in Iliad. Odysseus urges Achilles to have breakfast and let the army eat too before seeking vengeance on ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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