We use cookies to give you the best experience possible. By continuing we’ll assume you’re on board with our cookie policy

Obstacles in the Odyssey

The whole doc is available only for registered users

A limited time offer! Get a custom sample essay written according to your requirements urgent 3h delivery guaranteed

Order Now

The Odyssey, written by Homer, shows many triumphs and frustrations of human life. Odysseus, the hero, endures battles and obstacles on his twenty year journey home. There is tragedy and victory throughout. Inevitably, some of these obstacles are caused by his men and their desires while others are caused by Odysseus himself. From physical obstacles to emotional obstacles, many parts of The Odyssey represent the challenges in life, such as decision making, temptation, and self restraint.

In “Penelope”, Odysseus displays decision making. He meets his wife, Penelope, for the first time in twenty years. Even though he has had to wait so long to see her, Odysseus knows that in order for his plan to succeed for killing the suitors, he has to keep his identity a secret. Additionally, Odysseus also avoids telling Penelope about his home by lying and saying that it will cause him too much pain to talk about it. This episode illustrates triumph because Odysseus succeeds at killing all the suitors in the end. Hiding his true identity from Penelope allows Odysseus to have the element of surprise on his side when he attacks the suitors. He also learns of what has become of his kingdom and how Penelope feels about him

In “The Lotus-Eaters”, Odysseus’ men show temptation. They come upon an island with lotus plants and there are consequences for eating these plants. “. . . those who ate this honeyed plant, the Lotus, never cared to report, nor to return: they longed to stay forever, browsing on that native bloom, forgetful of their homeland.” Eating the lotus plants makes the men forget about all their troubles. Previous to this event, they endure ten years of searching for a way back to Ithaca. The sweet smell of the lotus, along with forgetting about their troubles, tempts Odysseus’ men into eating the plants. Odysseus eventually retrieves all his men, but this results in frustration because the men delay his journey home.

In “Cattle of the Sun God”, self-restraint is portrayed. By prophecy, Odysseus knows that he and his men cannot eat the sacred cattle because they belong to Helios, the sun god. However, the men are starving. At first, they try to restrain themselves, but once the food supply runs out, the men decide that dying of starvation is not a worthy death. They are desperate and feel hopeless. They cannot leave the island because of Zeus’ storms and see no other way to survive without eating the holy cattle. Their endurance wears out and the men end up eating the cattle, ultimately leading to their death. This is a frustration for Odysseus because he cannot control his men and again his journey home gets delayed.

The Odyssey is a test of the abilities of Odysseus and his men. In the episode, “Penelope”, Odysseus must make important decisions that will not jeopardize his plans to kill the suitors. “The Lotus-Eaters” shows Odysseus’ men facing temptation as they want to escape by eating the plants that make them forget all their troubles. Lastly, “The Cattle of the Sun God” portrays self-restraint as the men suffer from starvation. The epic story depicts these challenges in life using Odysseus and his men, through triumph and frustration.

Related Topics

We can write a custom essay

According to Your Specific Requirements

Order an essay
Materials Daily
100,000+ Subjects
2000+ Topics
Free Plagiarism
All Materials
are Cataloged Well

Sorry, but copying text is forbidden on this website. If you need this or any other sample, we can send it to you via email.

By clicking "SEND", you agree to our terms of service and privacy policy. We'll occasionally send you account related and promo emails.
Sorry, but only registered users have full access

How about getting this access

Your Answer Is Very Helpful For Us
Thank You A Lot!


Emma Taylor


Hi there!
Would you like to get such a paper?
How about getting a customized one?

Can't find What you were Looking for?

Get access to our huge, continuously updated knowledge base

The next update will be in:
14 : 59 : 59