The Odyssey, an epic written by Homer, details the adventures of Odysseus, King of Ithaca. The Odyssey follows Odysseus after his involvement in the Trojan War. Ten years have passed since the Trojan War and Odysseus has still not returned home. The people of Greece, his parents, his wife Penelope and son Telemachus all believe Odysseus is dead. Suitors courting his wife plague the house and feast on his wealth but unknown to everyone, Odysseus is still alive. He has been drifting from island to island battling man-eating creatures like the Cyclops and seductive immortals like the Sirens and Calypso, trying to return home to Ithaca. Even after going through countless trials and obstacles, Odysseus does not learn any lessons. This shows Odysseus unchanging attitude; he is still the glory-seeker that he started as. The odyssey is a fruitless journey for Odysseus.
Odysseus' taunting leaving Cyclops' island show his desire for glory and fame. On his ship leaving Cyclops' cave, Odysseus turns back, taunting and revealing his identity to the Cyclops. " 'Cyclops---if any man on the face of the earth should ask you who blinded you, shame you so--say Odysseus, raider of cities, he gouged out you eye, Laertes' son who makes his home in Ithaca!'" (227). Odysseus shows his hunger for glory by instructing the Cyclops to reveal his identity to those who ask and by providing his own epithet, "raider of cities". The fact that the word "he", referring to Odysseus is italicized, further emphasizes Odysseus' desire to be known as "raider of cities" and not "coward". This is evidenced by when Odysseus remarked, " 'So, Cyclops, no weak coward it was whose crew you bent to devour there in your vaulted cave---" (226). Odysseus shows his discontent when being called a "coward" and "weak" because it spoils the image of a hero that he strives to attain.