Iliad and Odyssey: Switch in Ethos Essay

During The Iliad we see the warrior ethos as being the main ethos, but as we transfer to The Odyssey we see the transformation from warrior ethos to domestic ethos. Furthermore, the novel is based on domestic ethos and how home affects the warrior.

Throughout The Odyssey we see Odysseus trying to make his way home after the Trojan War. On his adventure home he goes through trials and challenges before he actually makes it home. He has to outsmart people to be able to get where he wants to with out dying. This task is not easy but eventually he makes it.Moreover, we realize that warrior ethos is not the major ethos represented in the novel. It is domestic ethos. Odysseus learns how to use the domestic ethos to his advantage to be able to make it back home and see his family. Odysseus lands on island called Ogygia where Calypso, a beautiful nymph, lives.

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She falls in love with Odysseus and keeps him prisoner on the island for seven years. Odysseus has been stuck on this island trying to figure out how to get home. Calypso tries to sleep with him but Odysseus refuses because he wants to get home and see his wife.Also, Calypso gives Odysseus food and takes care of him while he is on the island. She is not making him suffer pain except emotional pain but she wants him to be happy with her. Everyday she tries to impress him so that he will stay with her.

Athena, daughter of Zeus, talks to Zeus and asked if he could help free Odysseus from Calypso’s island. After some persuasion Zeus finally agrees and tells Hermes to go talk to Calypso. When Hermes gets to Calypso’s island, the first thing that they did was eat.The reason why they ate first is because it is a way of disarming someone and making them feel comfortable in your house and Calypso was trying to convince Hermes to let Odysseys stay. Hermes does not let that happen and tells her that Zeus sent him down.

Finally, after some persuasion Calypso agrees to let Odysseus go home. It is not that easy for him to leave because while Odysseus is making his boat to go home Calypso gets dressed up to show her body off to him and offers for him to stay so that he can be immortal forever. Calypso’s love was lust and Odysseus love was true love because he wanted to go home to his wife.

He did not fall into Calypso’s trap and stay on the island for the rest of his life. Odysseus has to journey to the underworld to figure out how to get home. The reason why he has to make a trip to the underworld is because someone in the underworld made the same trip. Also, the underworld is a sense of completion. While he is in the underworld he meets people that he knew from before they died.

Some of the people he meets are people that have died from the Trojan War. Moreover, he meets important people that give him advice and how they had suffered when they were living.He talks to Terrisius who tells him that he will get home but without his men.

Also, he warns Odysseus to not eat the cattle of the sun gods. Odysseus mother is in the underworld and tells him that he needs to get home to be with Penelope because suitors are trying to marry her. Furthermore, Agamemnon tells Odysseus to not tell women everything but you can tell Penelope because she is a good wife.

Achilles tells Odysseus that his glory brought him down and wishes that he would of never lived his life the way he did. Also, he tells Odysseus that he would rather work for a poor tenant.We see throughout the underworld trip how various people bring down the warrior ethos and how the domestic ethos is brought to light. Now we find Odysseus back home with his wife after he defeated the suitors. Penelope is hesitant in believing the nurse when the nurse says that it was Odysseus who killed the suitors. Odysseus loves his wife and understands that she is confused if it is actually him because it has been twenty years since she has seen him. They begin to talk to each other and both start to get mad at each other.Moreover, Penelope then says if you are Odysseus move the bed out of my room.

Odysseus replies angrily saying that the bed cannot be moved out of the room because it is mad out of an oak tree. After she tested Odysseus she then realizes that it was actually him. Furthermore, she tells him that the reason why she was hesitant in talking to him was because she did not want to get in bed with a stranger. She still loved Odysseus and waited for his return home so that she could be with him. Finally, Odysseus realizes that she is truly in love with him and that she waited for him to come back.If you truly love someone then you will wait for that person and that is what she did. All three of these episodes connect with each other. They all show how much Odysseus truly loved Penelope throughout the whole novel.

If that is not present then it would be a different story. Odysseus truly loved her and did what he could to get home to see her. Moreover, it also shows from each episode how Odysseus showed the domestic ethos for every situation he was in. The transformation from warrior ethos to domestic ethos is present throughout the whole novel.

In conclusion, we see how throughout the whole novel Odysseus is trying to get home to his wife. Even though warrior ethos was present throughout The Iliad we see how the warrior handles the domestic ethos in The Odyssey. At the end of the novel we see how true love waits for the right person even if it takes twenty years for that person to return home.

Penelope was a patient wife and Odysseus was struggling to get home. Even though it took long for him to get home it was worth the whole time. Lastly, we see how the warrior can handle domestic life while being a warrior and handling warrior ethos.


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