The Odyssey Analysis Essay
Many men fail to understand the destruction of selfishness and addiction. Not only do we see the corrupted hearts of these men in stories from long ago, but we also see this all around the world. This comes about in every which way we turn, surrounding us in our everyday lives.
The Odyssey’s displays of addiction and selfishness are not only used in this tale, but also relate to our world today. In the epic, as well as in real life, addiction is a big aspect that is related between both accounts. An example of this addiction can be found in Homer’s poem, describing the temptations of a mystical plant. It states, ” they longed to stay forever… ‘clear the beach and no one taste the Lotus, or you lose your hope of home'” (99-105). In “The Lotus Eaters,” the men were so overcome with the Lotus provided for them, they soon forgot about all that was important to their life, it was a form of addiction. Without Odysseus’s help, the men would have never broken the habit and would have died because of it.
In similarity, this also takes place in “The Sirens” story. The author writes, “The lovely voices ardor appealing over the water made me crave to listen, and I tried to say ‘Untie me!’ to the crew, jerking my brows” (745). Odysseus craved the Sirens voice and longed so greatly to be untied, though he knew it wasn’t something he should do. He had no control over his body when exposed the the Sirens addictive song. This is similar to drugs or harmful things people would crave in real life.
Just like there were struggles with the addiction aspect between stories, real people struggle with their different addictions today. It might not necessarily be a magical Lotus, but maybe other types of obsessions people use. Furthermore, Homer’s narrative also portrays the destruction of selfishness which can also be related in our own life. This selfishness is shown in “The Cattle of the Sun God”. It says, “‘They have killed your kine,’ And the Lord burst into angry speech amid the immortals” (905-07). Odysseus’s men were not supposed to kill, the sun god, Helios’s cattle.
It was because of the men’s selfishness and disobedience toward Odysseus, that Helios got angry and asked Zeus to punish them. This relates to our lives today because just like the men in the poem, men today can be greedy and selfish, only to be caring about themselves. In company, this exact selfishness can be seen in the “Sailing from Troy” excerpt. The poem states, “My men were mutinous fools, on stores of wine. Sheep after sheep they butured by the surf, and shambling cattle, feasting” (47-50).
The men, being their selfish selves, took more supplies than they needed. They just butchered animals and took wine, without even giving a thought about how much they really needed. Even Odysseus said it himself, his men were fools. All in all, selfishness plays a big part in stories like Odysseus’. Just like his experience, people in the present still care about themselves so much, they don’t realize the true cost of their greediness. In closing, no matter when or where the situation is, addiction and selfishness are not easy to get past.
In the word today, selfishness and addiction are two costly actions that are so pronounce, even stories such as The Odyssey fortale. We can see that selfishness and addiction dates back all the way from the Ancient times. Just like in the poem, people today still struggle with these actions. It’s a habit that has been hard to break since long ago. Perhaps we can learn from such actions and pursue a better today for a better future.