The Theme of Temptation in the Story of Odysseus


In Homer’s, The Odyssey, Odysseus is faced with temptation multiple times and has to resist as he is on his long journey to find home. From Ariel in the Little Mermaid, to princess Moana, they also had to face temptation in their stories. All Ariel wanted was to have feet and be able to walk on land, she was very tempted by the humans, in fact she was so tempted she was willing to give up her voice. Moana was a voyager, she was very tempted to travel beyond the reef, even though her father had instructed her not to do so. Odysseus was faced with temptation multiple times throughout the poem. In the episode “Aeolus and the Bag of Wind” and “The Cattle of the Sun God” Odysseus and his men were confronted with temptation. Giving into temptation can cause disastrous consequences, and will usually result in a frustrating setback.

In “Aeolus the Bag of Wind” and “The Cattle of the Sun God”, temptation can result in dire consequences. Homer expresses that Odysseus’ sailors were very curious, temptation could get the best of them. For example, “when the curious and suspicious sailors open the bag, thinking it contains treasure, the evil winds roar up in hurricanes.” (Pg. 673) The crew mates were curious and had the temptation to open the bag. They gave into temptation and their consequence was the storms they had to fight. Those dire consequences resulted in being sent back to where they started, this was very frustrating.  Also eating the cattle of Helios illustrates this, “when all the barley in the ship was gone, / hunger drove them to scour” (Ln 865-866) This illustrates how they were hungry and very tempted to eat the cattle that they were told to avoid. The men gave into temptation and ate the cattle. This is the perfect example of how sometimes your temptation can affect other people as well. Eurycolus was so tempted that he managed to convince the crewmates to eat that cattle of Helios. Their consequence was dying at sea from the wrath of the Gods, which according to Eurycolus was worth it and better than dying of starvation. 

In The Odyssey, temptation put Odysseus and his men in danger multiple times on their journey home back to Ithaca. Temptation isn’t only a part of Odysseus’ story, temptation is involved in many people's lives, including mine. In order to accomplish goals in life it is necessary to fight against temptation. For example, when I get home from school is it very tempting to just relax and scroll on my phone. I need to not give into temptation and make the better decision to do homework. In both my situation and for Odysseus and his crewmates, temptation is a sententious interference. By resisting temptation it will become easier for one to accomplish goals.

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