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From the books that you have read, what do you think is the most daunting obstacle facing Odysseus on his return back to his home land and whilst he is reclaiming his home land from rival hands?

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Introduction

From the books that you have read, what do you think is the most daunting obstacle facing Odysseus on his return back to his home land and whilst he is reclaiming his home land from rival hands? There are many obstacles in the Odyssey that Odysseus has to face on his way home; the Cyclops, Circe, the Suitors to name but a few. They all pose a different threat to Odysseus and his men. Some episodes cause Odysseus little trouble as he just loses some of his men, for example the Laestrygonians; during some events Odysseus' life is actually endangered, for example the Cyclops incident; and some of the other obstacles which face Odysseus are emotional as well as physical. An emotional obstacle could be described as an obstacle that hurts Odysseus in a way that will make him depressed or irritated, for example when his men open the bag of winds Odysseus wants to commit suicide. During the course of this essay I will touch on a number of different elements from the books of the Odyssey that I have read related to this title. I will comment on what obstacles hurt Odysseus most and whether they are emotional or physical obstacles. Firstly on his way home from Troy, Odysseus goes to the land of the Cicones. Here, he and his men sack the town and divide the women and plunder they took between them. Odysseus then told his men they needed to leave the island, but they didn't want to. They wanted to stay and celebrate the sacking of the town and the victory over Troy. The next morning the Cicones gathered a force and attacked the unaware Greeks. In this situation the Cicones were not really a very big obstacle to Odysseus as he managed to sack the town and could have left with out any losses. But it was Odysseus' men that were the biggest obstacle and caused some of the men to die: 'And then I said we must escape with all possible speed. ...read more.

Middle

In fact this was not the case. This is clearly an emotional obstacle for Odysseus as he considers suicide because he is so sad. The men had a lack of trust in Odysseus even though he gives them a fare share of treasure. If his men hadn't opened the bag then he could have returned home many years before he did. Odysseus then arrived at the land of the Laestrygonians. When they arrived Odysseus ships sailed into the cove, but Odysseus moored just outside. Odysseus then sent a party inland to explore the land; they came across giants who saw them. They then began to attack the ships: 'Standing on the top of the cliffs they began pelting my flotilla with lumps of rock such as an ordinary man could barely lift; and the din that no rose from the ships, where the groans of dying men could be heard above the splintering of timbers, was appalling.' This is another big obstacle for Odysseus, both emotional and physical. Odysseus lost all the ships in his fleet with the exception of his own. This was because the men sailed their ships into the cove and this made them sitting ducks. The fact that Odysseus moored outside the cove was most probably non intentional but it did save his life. This is both physical and emotional because the giants are physical, strong and a danger to Odysseus as he loses most of his men therefore this would hurt him. You can see that Odysseus is emotionally damaged: 'And when we had disembarked, we lay on our backs for two days and nights, utterly exhausted and eating our hearts out with grief.' This shows that Odysseus and his ever lessening number of companions were saddened by the events that happened. They then came to the island of Circe the witch. This is another big obstacle for Odysseus as his men get turned into animals and Odysseus manages to get them turned back but has to pay the price. ...read more.

Conclusion

This shows that Penelope doesn't believe that Odysseus is home as so many people had pretended to be Odysseus and that he had been away for a long time. Odysseus would have to prove to her in some way that it was him. Penelope then decided to test Odysseus. He passed the test and she knew that the man before her was Odysseus. Penelope now knew that it was Odysseus and they were reunited. Penelope is not a very hard obstacle for Odysseus to overcome she was just testing Odysseus it wasn't really an obstacle for him. There is one final obstacle, this is Poseidon. He curses Odysseus and his men and makes it almost impossible for Odysseus to get home on the sea all because of Odysseus stupidity when he told the Cyclops his real name. None of the difficultly in storms would have happened if he hadn't have told the Cyclops his name was Odysseus. From this brief breakdown I can see that the main obstacles that prevent Odysseus from returning home are Odysseus' men. As they always cause something to happen, they opened the bag of winds which meant that it took Odysseus at least another nine years to return home. This had a knock on effect on Odysseus and made him want to kill himself and not want to leave Circe's island, which then meant that Odysseus was also a major obstacle preventing them returning home to Ithaca. The other obstacle which I think prevented Odysseus from returning home the most is Poseidon as he was always there wherever Odysseus went to prevent him from getting home. He caused most of the ship wreaks and storms which caused Odysseus a lot of grief. But all in all I think the most daunting obstacle for Odysseus is his men as they are the centre of most problems that arise and most of the bad feelings that arise in Odysseus head. ?? ?? ?? ?? Miles Beardsley GCSE Course work ...read more.

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