The Development of Desire


The development of the male warrior, throughout literature, has a direct
relationship with the development of western civilization. The attributes a
warrior holds, fall respectively with the attributes that each society held as
valuable. These characteristics, started by societies ideals, become the
warrior\'s only reasons for continuing their heroics. The ideals however do
change with each warrior. At the beginning we have a warrior with one mission,
which later the warriors become more challenged and have to change ideas and
concepts to continue. The evolution of the warriors desires becomes the complex
ideals that western civilization develops over time. With this progression of
civilization, from simple to complex ideals, so will the evolution of the ideals
and desires of our heroes change from simple to complex.
Odysseus is a man who is both strong and smart, but most known not for
the brawn of his body, but the wits of his brain. A man who is loved in every
country, but Trojan, and could stay where ever he chooses, his sailors knew this
to be true as one bench mate to the next, “It never fails. He is welcome
everywhere: hail to the captain when he goes ashore!” (Homer 166). The irony
falls as Odysseus only desires his homeland. ”Begin when all the rest who left
behind them headlong death in battle or at sea had long ago returned, while he[
Odysseus] alone still hungered for home and wife” (Homer 1).
Odysseus has many opportunities to end his journeys and start a new life.
For instance, if he desired, Odysseus was able to stay with Kalypso who wanted
him forever, “Her ladyship Kalypso clung to him in her sea-hollowed caves- a
nymph, immortal and most beautiful, who craved him for her own” (Homer 1).
Kalypso knows even though she has Odysseus in her home, he is not hers to have. “
Son of Laertes, versatile Odysseus, after all these years with me, you still
desire your old home? Even so I wish you well”( Homer 87). To which Odysseus
replies, “...Yet, it is true, each day I long for home, long for the sight of
home...” (Homer 87). Another chance for Odysseus to start a new life is offered
by the king of the Phaecians to marry his daughter and live there; “...seeing
the man that you are, seeing your thoughts are my own thoughts-my daughter
should be yours and you my son-in-law, if you remained. “( Homer 120). In each
case, Odysseus, only wants to return to his wife Penelope, his son, and most of
all his homeland.
Odysseus, who endures many hardships throughout his journeys, always
seemed to be one step ahead of the reader in knowing what to do to get out of a
situation. The problems during the stories come not from Odysseus judgment, but
the judgment of his men. This became evident more than once when his men would
disobey his orders, which resulted in death or peril. To illustrate, the story
of the men taking the bag from Aiolos from under the deck right when they were
at the sight of their homeland:
Nine days and night we sailed without event, till the tenth we
raised our land. We neared it, and saw the men building fires along shore; but
now weary to the bone I [Odysseus] fell into deep slumber...but while I slept
the crew began to parley: silver and gold , they guessed, were in that
bag....[bench mates] \'Who has gifts from Aiolos? He has. I say we ought to crack
that bag, there\'s gold and silver, plenty, in that bag!\' (Homer 166), with
such greed, by opening the bag, the adverse winds are unleashed with full fury. “
Then every wind roared into a hurricane; the ships went pitching west with many
cries; our land lost”(Homer 166). With these trials of Odysseus, and throughout
the journey, we see Odysseus spares nothing on his return home. He loses men,
ships, and wealth from Troy and the gods. With all the losses he sustains over
the long journey he is unmoved, for his only passion is to return home.
Odysseus\'s biggest attribute is his personal control of emotions and events.
He has many emotions throughout the story, but always exhibits control in
thinking and actions. Look at the careful planning and patience when waiting for
the time to kill all his suitors. Another duration, Odysseus wants to punish his
men many times over for the greed and stupidity they show throughout their
journeys, “My men are mutinous