English 9 GATE
18 February 2011
Odysseus is faced with challenges from The Sirens, Scylla, and Charybdis which he must overcome in order to further his progression as a hero. These challenges contain lessons Odysseus must be aware of and learn. The Sirens lure men in with their bewitching song then they flay their victims and leave the remains to rot (Homer 661-9). Odysseus was faced with temptation when he confronted The Sirens and was forced to fight for sanity. The lesson learned was he must be content with what he already own and there must be strength to turn away from temptation. Homer describes Scylla as: “Her legs – and there are twelve - are like great tentacles, unjointed, and upon her serpent necks are borne six heads like nightmares of ferocity, with triple serried rows of fangs and deep gullets of black death,” indicating the many horrors of the creature and its ways in which it can wreak havoc (Homer 682-7). The counter part Charybdis is a whirling maelstrom who threatens to destroy the entire ship and its crew including Odysseus. Scylla and Charybdis are a duo who present Odysseus with the need to bargain and calculate risks while also using wits in a loss of control. The bargain for six men instead of the entire crew was a predicament Odysseus was caught in because the maelstrom Charybdis promoted a more hefty bounty. Homer describes the horrendous scenario as: “(I) happened to glance aft at chip and oarsmen and caught a sight of their arms and legs, dangling high overhead. Voices came down to me in anguish, calling my name for the last time,” indicated Odysseus choice the horror Scylla instead of complete destruction (Homer 818-21). Odysseus learns to bargain and use his wit to create the best situation possible for him and his men in the time of distress. By learning to overcome temptation, bargain, and use intellect instead of brute force, Odysseus progresses in his status as a hero and gains new skills to conquer...