Throughout The Odyssey: Book Analysis

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While Sparta and Athens were both city-states they had different views on life and what valuable character traits were. Sparta was known as the most militaristic city-state. The people who lived in Sparta were tough and valued strength and war above everything else. It is evident that they valued strength by the way they train their men. Children aged 7 to 20 go to military school to train and prepare for the army. At military school, teachers would start fights to get rid of the weak. The boys were taught to have perfect obedience. Spartan kids were strictly controlled and disciplined. They cannot be finicky about their food, afraid of the dark, and peevish or tearful. However, Athenians valued education over strength and war. Intelligence is also a key characteristic among the Athenians. Democracy was created in Athens around the 5th century. The Athenians value freedom and individualism among the people. Both Sparta and Athens have character traits that they would view as valuable and significant. In the Odyssey, the most significant epithet is a planner which informs the reader that Odysseus and Athena are not only deliberate but also innovative.

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Throughout the epic, the author describes Odysseus's experiences, on his journey to return home, through those experiences it is evident that he is ultimately a planner. In the novel, Poseidon stirs up a storm and drags Odysseus out to sea. However, Athena comes to his rescue and helps him safely make it to the island of Scheria. When Odysseus finally reaches the bank of the river he is exhausted. Homes choose to show him on Calypso's island, alone on the bank only to fend for himself. While Odysseus is struggling he does not waste any time. He quickly devised a plan for where he would sleep. Odysseus weighed out the option of where he would sleep 'But what if I climbed that slope, went for the dark woods and laid down in the thick brush? '. He set out for the woods and found a grove with a clearing and continued his plan. Although the circumstances were not ideal he did not fail to find a place to rest. Therefore it is evident that Odysseus constantly is creating and devising plans for the current and difficult situations.

Between Athena and Odysseus, countless encounters throughout Homer's Odyssey is evident that Athena is a planner. In the Odyssey, Athena is constantly helping Odysseus to ultimately return home. In chapter 5, Athena is careful to ensure an audience for Odysseus's speech by spreading the word that the stranger has appeared on the island. Athena states,” Come this way, you Lords and captains of the Gina, come to the meeting grounds and learn about the stranger”. Athena is an exceptional makeover artist. When Odysseus is under her care and needs to appear powerful she is very careful and deliberate. It states,” Over Odysseus head and shoulders now Athena lavishly marvelous splendor, yes making him taller, more massive to All eyes'. Athena was very intentional in planning out how the physicians would see him. She made it so they would regard him with kindness, awe, and respect as well. 

While some might argue that his misery is more important, I would argue that Odysseus's planning and execution are more important. After Calypso finally agrees to let Odysseus go and listen to Zeus' directions. Calypso finds Odysseus weeping on the beach. It states 'wrenching his heart with sobs and groans and anguish, gazing out over the barren sea through blinding tears”. It is clear Odysseus wants to return home to Ithaca. Odysseus has lost everything including his home, his crew and his ship. Throughout the book, Odysseus is constantly weeping. After Odysseus is dragged out to sea by Poseidon and finally reaches the bank of the river he cries out “man of misery, what next? Is this the end?”This epithet is significant because Homer chooses to show him on Calypso's island, alone on the bank weeping.While he could be perceived as a man of misery. Even when Odysseus is struggling and filled with sadness he still focuses on finding a place to sleep. Oddessus prioritizes planning over sadness throughout The Odyssey and constantly devises a plan even when he is filled with misery, sadness and a longing for home.

Throughout The Odyssey, it is apparent that Odysseus's strongest epithet is being a planner. Throughout the book, Odysseus is constantly devising a plan in any situation. During the novel Athena is constantly looking out for Odysseus and as well as creating plans to help him with his journey home. Odysseus' core values are shown through his journey. Not only in this book but across different cultures and nations different ideas of what good core values and character traits are. This Is especially evident when comparing American values and Christian values, American values include self-sufficiency, having a strong work ethic, and determination. 

Most of these character traits are often driven by pleasure, money, power, and fame. Americans may, at times, perceive life as no purpose beyond taking care of themselves. Christian values are the fruits of the spirit and can often be the opposite of American values; respect and compassion for everyone rather than power; Instead of riches, generosity, and honesty; Instead of revenge, forgiveness. While ideal, these Christian character traits may be hard to achieve. Ultimately across different backgrounds, cultures, and individuals, there will be certain character traits that will be viewed as important and valuable. 

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