The excerpt analyzed is a conversation over dining, between Ulysses and aristocratic monarch Alcinous. Ulysses is a warrior of much acknowledgement, revered by the masses and loved by his king. He goes on to recite the tales of his return from the war of Troy, where king Alcinous serves as the lug to a spirited illustration. Ulysses, while describing near death instances, army raids and encounters with mythical beings, manages to appear level headed with traits often ascribed to accomplished veterans.
Over the dining table, Ulysses notably speaks of two encounters, one on the island of the Cicons and the other with Cyclopes.
On the island of the Cicons, Ulysses and his crew raid an island and gather what little is left of the rampage, where Ulysses makes mention of his generosity in dividing the spoils among his men. His eye for detail is both immersive and explained with much vigor. It becomes clear that when the tides toss their ship around, the only concern lies in seeking more to restore their appetite. Ulysses gives an account on the number of sheep, goat and even oxen that his crew looted. However, the sea doesn’t seem to forgive them at all. The roaring waves often shove them to a land unknown, where their battle begins yet again. Often at times, during the recital of battle cries, Ulysses blames the Gods and their vengeance for a tough hand in the life of a warrior. And in turn, attributes victories to his own leadership. The clever portrayal of Ulysses’ crew as the motivation for surviving past calamities persists throughout Homer's exquisite poem.
During the voyage, their plunder serves as a source of comfort, especially when beached at an island where the crew eat goats and have a merry time. Stocked up on the finest wine from the victory at Cicons, Ulysses sets away into the sea, with intervals to rest on an island, an act that constantly stresses on his leadership qualities. He explains the fun they’ve had hunting, eating and drinking voraciously. Ulysses is very adamant about his strategic skills, where each venture into the unknown is backed by brilliance that is of the war master himself. Then conquered by the insatiable thirst for victory, Ulysses has the ability to sense danger as he roams into the land of the Cyclopes, with only 12 of his finest men, while leaving the rest aboard the ship.
A recital where Ulysses invokes a sense of compassion is with the story of an encounter with a Cyclops, Polyphemus the son of God Neptune. With the buildup of much tension at sea, the crew ends up on an excluded island of the Cyclopes where they go offering peace but are taken captive at the first instance. Ulysses meeting the Cyclops is a powerful mention of his character as the monstrosity of this beast is reflected in their introduction. Through Ulysses’ description of the encounter, it is made clear that the monstrous nature of the Cyclops unveils cynically, shunning the very existence of mankind.
The author Homer seems to be prepping the entire excerpt for this encounter, where the unstable nature of sea, the merry vacations of hunting and the raids come into a single picture where a more powerful entity now holds control over the crew’s destiny. Ulysses narrates heart breaking instances, where the Cyclops take intervals in eating members of his crew while making the others watch the gory sight. Their helpless nature is shown by the way the crew is stuck in the Cyclops’s lair, barricaded by a giant stone that all twelve men together couldn’t move. Patiently but benignly, Ulysses contains the infuriating maltreatment of this experience. Eventually, Ulysses gets the Cyclops drunk on the wine from Cicons and uses this time to craft a weapon within the means of their captivity, to blind the one eyed creature. This satirical instance is the perfect response to the arrogance of Polyphemus when he promises Ulysses a favor for the fine wine by eating him only after he’d finished all the other of his crew. The crew then escapes to their ship and are about to leave as a grieving, vengeful Polyphemus is called on by Ulysses from aboard the ship. Ulysses has been waiting for this moment all the while in captivity. He celebrates his freedom by digging at the creature from aboard his ship. He challenges the beast at every wave, dissing the very existence of the cruel creature. After all that Polyphemus put his crew through, Ulysses takes this moment of victory to witness Polyphemus cry for his father God Neptune in vain. The vengeance for his lost men and sheer cruelty under Polyphemus’s trap is correlated to the roaring seas that now seem like the only entourage to freedom.
The author turns the tides around in this twisted plot with a sense of fulfillment for the heroic strategist and warrior Ulysses. He might have lost loyal crew member, but he managed to escape from the grip of a giant monster with the remaining men.
Homer exquisitely contains so many elements of heroism in his poem Odysseus, that the instances take readers through an entire chapter of one central character’s core traits. Every depiction in Ulysses's recital is a show of his pride, valor & courage in expressing the victories of battle & survival.
Eventually, Ulysses escapes with the remaining men and ends up telling these tales to his king. Homer ensures that the central figure Ulysses narrates the realities of a mythical world of angles and demons, with adventure and charisma. Even when the Gods are against them, Ulysses steers his fleet of warriors out of every obstacle and into the unforgiving seas, successfully reaching favor of the Gods. His bravery, his strategy and the very manner of narration places this piece by Homer a route to stardom in any world. So deeply personal, sensual and almost reverent, this tale of Odysseus is a classic example of how Greek literature has shaped most of modern philosophical approaches.
Within describing two instances of a lifetime at war, Ulysses sways an audience with grit and glamour unmatched. This is an analysis of an excerpt from Odysseus, the mind of a genius and the spirit of a warrior.
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