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The Odssey: Better Men

            In The Odyssey, written by Homer, the main character Odysseus faced misfortune in his attempts to return home after the Trojan war. His son Telemakhos also faced hardships all the while Odysseus was away. From these misfortunes they both learned to become better men and together were able to regain control of their estate in their homeland of Ithaca. .
             During his journeys Odysseus often makes the mistake of staying to boast to his enemies but learns that doing so gives his opposition a chance to seek retribution against him. After leaving Troy, Odysseus attacks the land of the Kikones. Instead of leaving after his victory, he stays to celebrate until a force is rallied against him and he must flee with many casualties. Afterwards Odysseus and his crew land on the island of the Kyklopes. They are attacked and some of his men are eaten by Polyphemus. After intoxicating the great Kyklopes, Odysseus and his men blind the monster with a heated spear. The men could have made an escape without incident but Odysseus mocked Polyphemus and shouted out his true identity, when before Odysseus had told him that his name was "Nohbdy." With this new information Polyphemus prayed to his father Poseidon to have Odysseus and his men punished. Having angered Poseidon, Odysseus and his men are forced to wander throughout the sea as his men taste death one by one. Odysseus learns that bragging can have ill effects and uses this knowledge on the island of the Phaecians and Ithaca when he does not openly boast of his deeds and his journeys. Odysseus also learns to pay close attention to the instructions of the gods, or he might have to face a terrible price. When Odysseus and his crew landed at the island of Aeolus, they were given a parting gift that would have helped them greatly, if they would have paid heed to the warnings of Aeolus. He gave Odysseus a bag full of storm winds that would keep them from their home of Ithaca.

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