Homer's epic poem The Odyssey was written after his Iliad which told the tales of the Trojan War. This Odyssey told of the wanderings of a prominent warrior and ruler, Odysseus. Odysseus fought in the Trojan War and, after the Greeks claimed their victory at Troy, began his prolonged journey home. During his travels Odysseus faced many obstacles which he had to overcome. Through his wanderings, Odysseus had to prove his valor, intellect, and determination. Incorporated into The Odyssey are many current-day characteristics of man including a constant dependence on others, the presence of a greater vision, or lack there of, and the essence of a sensitive side behind courage and pride.
At times throughout The Odyssey Odysseus didn't think about the consequences of his actions and depended on guidance from the gods to help lead him in the right direction. Odysseus was quick to take action and occasionally made poor decisions that were bound to harm him. Odysseus was eager to fight, even if he had little chance of survival. His impulsiveness resulted in Athena coming down from Mount Olympus to warn him saying "Foolhardy man! Still bent on war and struggle! Will you not even yield to immortal gods? This is no mortal being, but an immortal woe, -dire, hard, and fierce, and not to be fought down. Courage is nothing; flight is best" (116). Odysseus didn't know when to run and leave a situation and when to face and fight. He believed that his courage would pull him through to victory, even against a goddess. Without Athena's wisdom, Odysseus was sure to meet his doom because there was no way that he could defeat the goddess Charybdis.
Odysseus not only depended on immortals to get him out of a mess, but he also depended on them to boost his confidence when he struggled to overcome self-doubt. When Odysseus feared he would fail and began to doubt himself, the gods would come to his aid and encourage him.