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Word Count: 872
65279 A Heros First Death David Blumenthal In two of the founding stories of our culture there seems to be a requirement that people who have experienced something horrible cannot establish a proper home In the Bible the Israelites wandered through the desert for 40 years to ensure that an entire generation passed and none of the people who were slaves in Egypt saw their homeland The same is true in Homers the Odyssey Odysseus and his men who spent many years at war must die off instead of going home However the difference between these two stories is that while Moses too had to die Odysseus was destined to see his homeland anyway Therefore to do this he also has to die and then be reborn When Odysseus is finally ready to die he dies and Athena allows him to be reborn Odysseus spends a long time fighting death According to the writer Odysseus fought only to save his life 19-10 When he was a prisoner of Kyklopes who feasts 9373 on men Odysseus drives a red hot bar 9421 into the man-eaters great eye socket 9419 He had to do this instead of killing the Cyclops because if he killed him Odysseus and his men perished there is well for they could never move his ponderous doorway slab aside 9328-330 He needs to be smart to really think if he is to save himself He cant just exact revenge which is what he would like to do When Odysseus passes the huge and monstrous 12105 Skylla eternal evil itself 12138-139 he takes up two heavy spears 12294-295 even though Kirke tells him there is no fighting 12141 Skylla He fights even when there can be no fight When Odysseus goes down into the underworld he still crouches with his drawn sword to keep the surging phantoms from the bloody pit 1151 Even
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