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Fighting Nostalgia and Facing the Present: The Power of Coming Home

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  1. Introduction
  2. Odysseus' criy for a more glorious death
  3. Odysseus' encounter with Telemakhos
  4. Homer's hints that Odysseus cries on the inside
  5. Conclusion
  6. Works cited

Home is where the heart is, especially in the case of Odysseus. Separated from home for twenty years, the military man yearns to set foot on the sand of Ithaka to reclaim his place as leader, husband, and father. However, unlike the portrayal of most tough guys, Odysseus does not hesitate to weep as he desperately searches to return to his position of status. Returning from Kalypso's island, Odysseus mourns over his seemingly fast-approaching fate at the bottom of the ocean rather than on the battlefield of glory. Later, upon meeting his Telemakhos, he sobs with his arms swung around his son as he embraces both child and his position as father. Finally, Odysseus weeps within, when he speaks with his wife for the first time in two decades.

[...] Salt tears Rose from the wells of longing in both men, And cries burst from both as keen and fluttering As those of the great taloned hawk (XVI:253-258) During their catharsis, tears flow freely; the two men hug each other in a bond between father and son, and they embrace a little piece of home. In this instance, Homer utilizes both characters, Odysseus and Telemakhos, to show the emotional appeal of home. Odysseus left for the Trojan War, before Telemakhos could appreciate his father's presence. [...]

[...] By facing the now, Odysseus understands that he can only reach home by living in and fighting for each moment. His wife, his entire reason behind returning to Ithaka, stands in front of him. Odysseus cries knowing that he has not only made it back to an island in the Mediterranean, but he has made it back to the single most important person in his life to reclaim his status as husband. Having maintained his glorious example for his people and reunited with his son, Odysseus knows home, when he can finally stare into the eyes of his wife. [...]

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