Teenagers lives throughout the "Odyssey"

June 8, 2017
By Anonymous

What would one believe if they were told that teenagers encounter the Cyclops, Sirens, Penelope, and the Lotus Eaters everyday of their lives? Though they do not encounter the literal and physical form of these characters, they endure the same experiences throughout their lives as though they are realistically there by their side. In his epic poem the Odyssey, Homer uses very similar representations throughout his poem that can be compared to typical teenage life.
Comparatively, Penelope’s strong suits of being an honest and faithful woman to Odysseus coincides with true relationships as a teenager. For example, when Penelope is being tested by Odysseus to see if she was faithful to him after the many years he had been gone, he discovers that she had armed herself,” long ago against the frauds of men, imposters who might come…”(1603-06). This excerpt describes how she knew that people could try to break his and her trust and honesty to one another by pretending to be someone they are not. This can be taken and compared to this brutal fact that teenagers face everyday. The fact of people trying to tear apart relationships by faking a feeling or emotion in an attempt to harm another's relationship in physical and mental ways. Also, consecutively after she exclaims that she has been faithful to Odysseus and proved that she was being honest, he realizes that,”...his dear wife clear and faithful…”(1615) was standing right before him. This quote not only demonstrates the love and trust they have for one another but the faithfulness they possess is impeccable. By being honest, faithful and trustworthy through their relationships, young adults experience these qualities and actions throughout the duration of their lives.
Although, the Cyclops is definitely opposite to Penelope in the aspect of positives and negatives, his resemblance is compared to the typical teenage bully. One example of when the Cyclops was unexplainably horrific was when Odysseus and his men were having a conversation with the Cyclops which took a quick turn and led to the Cyclops grabbing two of his men and he,”...beat their brain out, spattering the floor. Then dismembered them...gaping and crunching...everything: innards, flesh, and marrow bones”(235-38). This shows just how brutal he was and tortured the men more than what was necessary for what he was trying to accomplish just to make them more miserable. This is the representation of a bully through the unmentionable acts of unkindness and torture just to make the victim unhappy. Also, when the Cyclops was yelling at Odysseus from afar after he had been injured by Odysseus he yelled,”But this, but you- small, pitiful, and twiggy-”(470). This is a prime example of how a bully hurts others by their words. Teens see, hear, or even are called these names everyday of their life from the bullies they are surrounded by.
Yet, through both of these positive and negative representations, the Lotus Eaters and the Sirens resemble different callings that draw in adolescents with either beneficial or non-beneficial outcomes. When Odysseus had sent some of his men to the island where the Lotus Eaters stay they did not intend on eating the flower but did consume it so,” ...those who ate this...never cared to report, nor to return: they longed to stay forever”(97-100). The flower itself stands for the influences that teens are surrounded with concurrently including positive attractions that draw adolescents in or negative attractions. The pull of these can make your whole mindset change and once you are hooked in you may never want to draw away from the seducing item at hand. Also, on Odysseus’ journey home, there were Sirens which tried to lure him to their desirable call as they almost succeeded when he thought,”The lovely voices in ardor appealing over the water made me crave to listen, and I tried to say ‘Untie me!”(245-47). This shows just how appealing the Sirens were, and in these young adults lives their “sirens” consist more of harmful desirables rather than non-harmful desirables. This shows that teens do have certain things that call them which may not be beneficial for their own well-being.
It’s most certainly possible that the generality of individuals that prevail have come across beneficial or non-beneficial barriers in their lifetime. By displaying these resemblances, one may now understand the compatibility of the Odyssey to teenage life. Though advantages and disadvantages occur frequently, one must strive to overcome their own experiences and enjoy their own journey.

Similar Articles


This article has 0 comments.


MacMillan Books

Aspiring Writer? Take Our Online Course!