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Is the Odyssey a heroic or post-heroic poem Does it celebrate the virtues of the warriors who conquered Troy or does it raise the question of the adequacy to address the challenges of the postwar worldDuring the Trojan War in ancient Greece heroic poetry depicted someone who valued honor and glory above that of his own supremely important life There was a respect afforded to heroes even to ones opponents this is seen particularly in Homers Iliad In post-heroic poetry an emphasis was newly placed on how a person suffered through the torments of danger and death yet managed to charge out the other end stronger and more world-weary than before The Odyssey is a post-heroic poem and Odysseus is the primum exemplum of a post-heroic character as he fought for a way to live to return home from his wrathful and tempestuous past Odysseus did not seek an honorable way to die for self-preservation in the face of perilous dangers venerated him a hero to almost the Olympian Pantheon of gods outwardly mortal inwardly supernatural Odysseus is human fallible in every conceivable way yet he transcends those human boundariesones humans have been struggling against for eonsand strikes a chord in the post-heroic heart of man The name Odysseus derives from the ancient Greek meaning the one who is wrathful as when he and his family journeyed to Mt Parnassus to Autolycus the grandfather of Odysseus Autolycus spoke to Eurycleia give him the name I tell yousince I have come to this place distasteful to so manylet him be given the name Odysseus that is distastefulBook XIX 406-409 Wrath could also be translated as hate a word that may portend the future of his encounters with the gods For ten years he journeyed from Troy to Ithaka initially replete with men and supplies and eventually destitute with no living soul to speak with It confounds the human mind that a person could endure that
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