Example research essay topic: The Challenges Of Odysseus And How He Overcame Them – 963 words

What were Odysseus greatest challenges, and how
did he overcome them? Odysseus greatest challenge
upon his return to Ithaca from Troy was himself.
On several occasions Odysseus ego, god-like
attitude and heroic characteristics dictated his
actions, and cost him dearly. It was during these
travels, other events that threatened his return
included a Cyclops named Polyphemus eating
Odysseus crew, the Sirens that beckoned to all
passers, promising that they would impart to them
the knowledge of all events and the mischievous
actions of Eurylochus. Odysseus first major threat
was the land of the Cyclopes. These people are
rustic, one-eyed barbarians who neither cultivate
crops nor have any body of laws. They have no
assemblies because they dont obey any decisions.
When the Cyclops returned to his cave, he demanded
to know who Odysseus and his men were. In answer
to this, the Cyclops, whose name was Polyphemus,
grabbed two members of the crew and ate them.
Odysseus dared not kill Polyphemus because they
would be stuck in the cave, unable to move the
boulder away from the entrance.

Eventually when
Odysseus blinded the Cyclops, the boulder was open
and they escaped. This event is a major threat to
Odysseus return to Ithaca due to his crew slowly
being eaten. If not for his intelligent approach
to the event, himself and his entire crew may have
been killed. The second major danger Odysseus
encounters is the Sirens. Those two women beckoned
to all passers, promising that they would impart
to them the knowledge of all events. In order to
prevent their seduction by the Sirens, the crew
plugged their ears with beeswax.

Odysseus left his
ears unplugged and was tied to the mast. This
event was a major threat to Odysseus, as the
sirens by their lovely voices lure sailors to
their deaths. Also if Sailors approach the Sirens
too closely in their attempt to learn the future
from these prophetesses, they will perish. Not
only would a few sailors have died if Circe had
not told Odysseus of this danger, but the whole
crew and all ships would have gone down. The third
major danger Odysseus encounters upon return to
Ithaca is himself. Odysseus ego, heroic
characteristics and sometimes god-like attitudes
threaten his return.

Gloating in his cleverness,
Odysseus could not resist shouting out his real
name to Polyphemus, who was staggering about on
the shore when he and his men escaped from the
cave. Now that Polyphemus knew who his enemy was,
he could pray to his father, Poseidon, asking him
to give Odysseus as much trouble as possible.
Poseidon did eventually cause Odysseus troubles,
which could have been avoided if he kept his mouth
shout. Once leaving Polyphemus, Aeolus presented
him with a leather bag that held captive all the
destructive winds. Summoning a breeze, Aeolus saw
them off on a trip which should have taken them
directly to Ithaca. Ten days of sailing, they were
in sight of their native land. At this point,
Odysseus made the error of falling asleep.

The
crew, who had been growing increasingly curious
about the leather bag Odysseus always kept at his
side, took this opportunity to see if they were
being cheated out of some gifts. As the bag
closed, the winds rushed out with a blast.
Odysseus woke in time to find Ithaca fading
rapidly out of sight as the ships were buffeted by
the winds. The ships managed to stay together and
were all blown back to Aeolus’ island. This event
could have been avoided if Odysseus trusted his
men. His love and determination to return to
Ithaca was so important to him, that he once again
placed himself in front of the journey, thus
posing the greatest threat of his journey.
Himself. Eurylochus, the companion of Odysseus was
a major threat upon his return to Ithaca.

When the
ships were beached on the sun god island and the
South Wind started to blow for an entire month
their supply of food ran out, and they were forced
to try fishing and catching birds. It was when
Odysseus went inland to pray for aid, did
Eurylochus take advantage of his absence. He
suggested to the crew that they slaughter some of
Helios’ cattle. He said they could pay him back in
the form of a temple. The men agreed to this plan
and proceeded to kill and roast some cows. When
Helios learned of what had happened, he complained
to Zeus and demanded that Odysseus should be
punished, Faced with this threat, Zeus granted
Helios’ wish.

When Odysseus set sail, Zeus had
them in open water, he set a hurricane upon them
that broke the boat and drowned all but Odysseus,
who managed to make a crude raft from the wreckage
of the boat and stay afloat. The storm blew him
back to the pass of Scylla and Charybdis. He
paddled away as quickly as he could to avoid
meeting Scylla. After nine days of paddling, he
came to Calypso’s island. It was the actions of
Eurylochus that caused Odysseus to eventually
arrive upon Calypsos island. Although Zeus
delivered the punishment upon Odysseus, it was the
mischievous actions of Eurylochus that posed a
threat to Odysseus.

In conclusion, Odysseus return
to Ithaca was threatened by some major events. The
encounter with the Cyclops, Polyphemus, who ate
some of his crew was a major threat, as were the
mischievous actions of Eurylochus. The Sirens by
their lovely voices lured sailors to their deaths
was another threat, but due Odysseus knowledge
this did not occur. Although these events posed a
physical threat to each and every individual
sailor, the greatest threat to Odysseus was
himself. Not only was Odysseus egotistically
strong, it was this characteristic that dictated
his actions, and cost him dearly..

Research essay sample on The Challenges Of Odysseus And How He Overcame Them