In the ultimate story of love and hate one man was torn between two lives as he watched the shores of the mighty world get swept away in a swift act of fate. With only destiny on his side to return home, he pushed on and tried to leave the life he had lived for so long. In order to achieve his destiny Odysseus had to first achieve loyalty, overcome temptation, and take revenge upon his enemies. Plagued by constant attacks of self-doubt and reinforced by guile, Odysseus conquered what became to be known as a one of the greatest odyssey’s ever written.
Love is a strong bond that is shared between two people. In The Odyssey not even time and war could separate the bond that Odysseus and Penelope had created for themselves. Even though they were apart for 20 years they were still able to keep that bond alive. When suitors surrounded Penelope offering her gifts and asking for her hand in marriage she stayed faithful and when Odysseus was on his 20 year Odyssey he stayed faithful just the same. Odysseus’ faithfulness with Penelope is shown in this quotation when he is trapped on Calypso’s island,
“High-born son of Laerties, ready Odysseus, do you wish to go at once home to your native land? Farewell, then, even so! But if at heart you knew how many woes your heart must endure before you reach that native land, you would remain with me, become the guardian of my home, and be immortal, spite of your wish to see your wife, whom you are always longing for day after day. Yet not inferior to her I count myself, either in form or stature. Surely it is not likely that mortal women rival the immortals in form and beauty”(49).
Wherever Odysseus goes he is constantly surrounded by love….
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Works Cited and Consulted
Bloom, Harold , Homer’s Odyssey: Edited and with an Introduction, NY, Chelsea House 1988
Heubeck, Alfred, J.B. Hainsworth, et al. A commentary on Homer’s Odyssey. 3 Vols. Oxford PA4167 .H4813 1988
Jones, Peter V. Homer’s Odyssey : a companion to the translation of Richmond Lattimore.
Carbondale, IL : Southern Illinois University Press, c1988. PA4167 .J66 1988
Murnaghan, Sheila, Disguise and Recognition in the Odyssey, Princeton UP 1987
Peradotto, John , Man in the Middle Voice: Name and Narration in the Odyssey, Princeton UP 1990
Stanford, William Bedell. Homer’s Odyssey. 2 Vols. Macmillan
Thalmann, William G., The Odyssey : an epic of return. New York : Twayne Publishers. PA4167 .T45 1992
Tracy, Stephen V., The story of the Odyssey. Princeton, N.J. : Princeton University Press, c1990. PA4167 .T7 1990
A Comparison of Fierceness in Beowulf and in The Saga of King Hrolf Kraki
Fierceness in Beowulf and in The Saga of King Hrolf Kraki
Is fierceness mentioned only in Beowulf or is it an element common also to this famous Icelandic saga? Is fierceness described the same way as in Beowulf?
The Anglo-Saxons prior to 1000AD were as a race fierce. They possessed great courage. Beowulf reflects their fierceness and courage in a variety of ways. Beowulf complains to Unferth in the Danish court: “Grendel would never have done such horrors … if you were so fierce as you suppose.” The hero, who had earlier killed nine sea monsters, opted to face Grendel in mortal combat WITHOUT sword or shield or the assistance of others: “but I shall seize my enemy in my hand grip and fight.” Later when the hero’s sword failed against Grendel’s Mother, he remained “resolute” and seized her by the shoulder and fought till victory came. Thus “Beowulf, fierce in war, received the cup from Wealhtheow.” Later, the hero went up against and killed Daghrefin, the Huga champion, without weapons: “Nor was my sword his death, but my hand grasp broke his bone-house, tore out his surging heart.” After fifty years of kingship, when the fire dragon molested his people, Beowulf, the old man, did not lose his fierceness; he was “ready to die … life from body parted … I am brave in mind.” In the final battle brave Wiglaf showed his own fierceness and advanced to help his lord who was englulfed in flames: “With him I will embrace the fire … he doesn’t deserve to suffer alone.”
The Anglo-Saxons were also fierce in the sense that they delighted in slaughter. George Clark in Beowulf states regarding the epic: “Swords, shields, coats of ring-mail, helmets with sourmounted boar figures . . . all furnish the poem and are …
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… husband King Hjorvard to rebel against King Hrolf. With her magic King Hrolf was killed along with his forces. So the story ends on a sad note due to the fierceness of a diabolical queen.
In conclusion, the type of fierceness mentioned in Beowulf is common also to this famous Icelandic saga, The Saga of King Hrolf Kraki. Additionally, there are other types of fierceness in the latter associated with maiden-warriors and with the use of magic.
Alexander, Michael, translator. The Earliest English Poems. New York: Penguin Books, 1991.
Chickering, Howell D.. Beowulf A dual-Language Edition. New York: Anchor Books, 1977.
Clark, George. Beowulf. Boston: Twayne Publishers, 1990.
The Saga of King Hrolf Kraki, translated by Jesse L. Byock. New York: Penguin Books, 1998.