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The Children’s Homer

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  • Pages: 5
  • Word count: 1015
  • Category: Odysseus

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                        Different kinds of stories have influenced us over the years. Some even date back to the olden times. The book, “The Children’s Homer”, written by Padrak Colum was a simple explanation of the tales and adventures of the great Achilles and Odysseus.

He was a man of great strength and power, and was always helped by the gods. Both were to be considered as epitomes of greatness, that people would want to follow in the future.

            Part II of the book focused on the quests that Odysseus had endured before finally being home. One of these was to battle the giant cyclops. The one eyed-monster was powerful, and was known by many to be frightening. Odysseus found it nearly impossible to fight off the said monster, but then he used his mind to think clearly. He thought that the only way to defeat the cyclops was to get him drunk. He made a sharp stake, using wood, that would soon be used to injure the cyclops. Using olives, he heated this in the fire, and befriended the cyclops. When the cyclops was almost drunk Odysseus struck Noman, the cyclops, in the eye. Noman was then in pain, and his friend Polyphemus came running. Oddyseus was able to trick Polyphemus, and managed to escape. He placed one his companions for every three rams that passed. In this way, Polyphemus was not able to see them.

            The ailing giant then asked for the help of Poseidon, the god of the seas, so that Odysseus and his men would not be able to come back to their home. For a day, they struggled to get pass the angry sea, and were soon saved when they came across an island. This was the island where the Lord of the Winds resided, together with his children. They were treated well by the said lord, and was even guided through the West Wind, when they decided to leave. After nine days, they arrived in the land of Zolus, where they met the enchantress Circe. The said enchantress wanted to seduce Odysseus, but failed when he found out about the attempt. He threated to kill Circe, if she tried to lure him again. They agreed with each other, and soon became friends.

            Circe new that Odysseus was to be tested again before he reached his homeland. She instructed the fierce man not to be tempted with whatever beautiful sight that may behold him. Circe also said that the voice of the sirens was enchanting enough to lure the men into their home. Odysseus was then instructed to put wax into his ears so that he may not be able to hear the enchanting voices of the sirens. He was also briefed of the possible tragedy that may befall on them when faced with the great Scylla.

            Odysseus was determined to reach home, but was not that prepared to face the challenges that will come his way. Odysseus and his crew were able to get pass the luring sirens, but were soon caught in awe upon the presence of Scylla. All six of Odysseus’ men were devoured by each of Scylla’s six heads. Odysseus, on the other hand, managed to escape by clinging to a branch nearby. When the ship was almost completely devoured by Charybdis,  Odysseus was able to ride on a single plank that acted as his make-shift boat on the way to the island. Ten days after, he me the nymph, Calypso.

            The said nymph treated Odysseus with much care, feeing him and showing much acts of kindness. Soon after, Odysseus was back to his homeland, of  Ithaka. It was here that he went face to face with a young man. It turned out that it was Pallas Athena, the  goddess of War and Beauty, was always there to help him in times of need. Odysseus was informed of the things that happened while he was gone, and was advised not to come back as himself. The  goddess then helped Odysseus to hide his riches in the nearby cave. His appearance was then changed into that of a shabby, poor man. This marked the start of his new adventure.

            The quest, in general, was both a success and a failure. Although he was able to go back to his hometown, many lives were sacrificed, and his own life was put in danger. Looking back, readers would come to realize how one’s determination would eventually help him to move forward and achieve that goal. For Odysseus, he was able to overcome monsters, and different kinds of perils with the help of the people around him. Even the gods intervened. Unknowingly, Pallas Athena was guiding him all throughout his journey.

            The different trials and difficulties that Odysseus surpassed were to be credited for his growth as an individual. Although people were lost in his journey, he was able to overcome them, and eventually became a better man. His greatness was not only limited to strength, but much of his intellectual and emotional capabilities were also tested. Instincts were also put to the test, which he successfully did.

            One of the best parts that I have read was that of his encounter with the sirens and Scylla. Odysseus was not complacent with what would eventually happen, only relying on the words of the enchantress, Circe. When six of his men perished in the encounter with Scylla,  it was clearly described how sorrowful Odysseus was. Although strong and great in power,  we were given a glimpse of the beautiful heart that Odysseus had.

            The inclusion of the Gods and Goddesses in mythology have always entertained viewers. Regardless of power, they were always regarded as being humans, in some way or the other. The journeys Odysseus were very much entertaining, for we were opened to a world that even our imaginations failed to see.  Out of ten, I would say that I would rate this book with a nine..

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