Odyssey Criticism

Douglas Steward is a very highly regarded writer. In his works that focused on, “The Disguised Guest,” he explains his views of Odysseus’ self struggles that appear when he arrives back home. His point of views toward the mental and physical struggles that Odysseus goes through are hard to disagree with. He puts a strong emphasis on the effect that others are going to have on him, when he reveals himself. I strongly believe that is something every individual has a struggle with, whether it is coming out of a disguise or just something that is not usual to others. A shock on the people who you are surrounded by daily, causes you to think about the best way to approach any kind of changes. Coming up with the best way to do things, Odysseus is quite keen at and Douglas is sure to make a point of. In Steward’s first passage he gets to the point immediately. He quotes, “Coming home then will not be the simple act Odysseus had thought. It is he himself who complicates the matters.” In this statement he is referring to act that Odysseus had made before coming home. So in the truth, Odysseus is not really in disguise, he is just not known in some of the islands that he stops at. Although Odysseus does hide his identity to use toward his advantage. At times Odysseus is frustrated and uses means of cruelty to relieve his anger. For instance, when he visits the kyklops he is put into a situation with Cyclops and states his name as, “nobody,” so that he can kill Cyclops. This shows quite a bit about Odysseus’ personality. One it shows how keen he is, as well as how deceitful he is. This is one of the acts that complicates Odysseus’ return, such as steward was stating. This makes matters a little more difficult toward Athena to help Odysseus. Although this does not take place in his hometown, it reflects his actions he uses when he gets home.

As you have previously read, Odysseus does grow in wisdom and judgment throughout his adventures of the islands. He soon arrives home and yet runs straight into another predicament. The main point that hits the target is when steward makes the statement, “The real struggle, the most intense adventure, is to come: the struggle with himself to tear away the guise of cunning otherness, of alien strangerhood, of programmatic deceit with others, and to realize in his innards that he really is home, that this is his place.” On incident that falls in ties with this statement is one that he faces in the very beginning. On the way to town Odysseus is accompanied by his swineherd and crosses paths with melanthius, and is assaulted verbally, and kicked in the leg by him as well. As much as Odysseus wants to rip his head off, he has to hold back because of the beggar disguise. Also Eumaeus steps in front of Odysseus as defense of an old beggar. This also shows the courage of Eumaeus knowing he is facing a suitor. Although it goes through Odysseus’s mind to get rid of him he waits to revenge. As all have heard the saying, “A man’s best friend, is his dog,” Odysseus is confronted with this problem. Argos is Odysseus’s dog, an old dog at that. As Odysseus arrives to the front doors of the castle, he can see Argos sitting in a pile of crap with mange all over his body, looking totally neglected, with those horrible puppy dog eyes, and his tail between his legs. As much as this hurts Odysseus, he turns his head as a tear drips down his cheek. Now this really shows how well Odysseus can hold back. This is a perfect example for the phrase, ” the struggle with himself,” that Steward stated. I do not know about you but if he can resist that then he has all of my attention of a disguised hero. One other example that shows his exemplary attitude occurs when he is inside of the castle during the suitors and Penelope’s dinner. As the suitors are feasting on food that is provided by Odysseus’ live stock, he makes a round around the table, asking for handouts. One of the suitors, Antinous, is remembering the incident on the road and gets offended, as well as pissed off and gripes at Eumaeus for bringing him in here and disturbing his peaceful and delicious dinner. As the Eumaeus talks back he chances his life, nut Telemachus intercedes and brings the argument toward him. Odysseus standing right in the middle of the whole scene still can not do anything about the argument. Although he still ask Antinous, in double meaning, for a piece of crust. He also stands and makes a remark toward Antinous, “You look like a King to me,” this pisses Antinous off. He gets so irate that he hurls a footstool at Odysseus and striking him directly in the back. This situation falls directly in line with the statement, “of programmatic deceit with others,”. With all of the previous examples that have been critiqued, you would have to believe that Odysseus does not feel like this is his true home. Odysseus has been absent for twenty years. You have to expect some type of changes, but not as drastic as the ones he has encountered in his first day home. This becoming a large shock toward Odysseus, begins a new thought process for him. How could you believe this is your home town if it has changed drastically over the twenty years of your absence. This has thrown Odysseus way off of track, but not quite completely off of the track. Felling a little out of place he coincides with himself and rethinks the process of revealing himself. Knowing he will have a perfect chance to reveal himself at the games, he calmly waits for the next day.

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As the day arrives, Odysseus prepares. As some of the suitors attempt to win Penelope’s love, all fail. As Odysseus watches, in his beggar attire, all of the suitors fail one after another, he can see his chance now. He takes the challenge and completes with no problem. He kills all of the suitors while revealing himself. He also wins Penelopes love.

We find Odysseus to be a very triumphed king. Experiencing every diversity that human can come across, Odysseus reveals himself time and time again. Proving to every reader how sympathetic he is when it comes to reality. He is never to simplistic. He is always keeping you on your toes with every challenge that he is faced with.Words/ Pages : 1,119 / 24

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Odyssey Criticism. (2019, Jan 25). Retrieved from https://graduateway.com/odyssey-criticism/