The complexity of human natureThe power of love has the ability to transform or destroy an individual. Love for oneself or love for another acts as the catalyst behind an individual’s self-motives. Thus, love has the strength to influence an individual’s state of mind, revealing the complexity of human nature. The complex relationship between characters are influenced by various agendas, whereby a portrayal of reality and meaning are developed. Deception and virtue, portrayed in Penelope’s test of loyalty further highlights the complex nature of humanity, influencing Odysseus’ and Penelope’s love for each other.
Odysseus’ attitude, caused by hubris is revealed through his actions, illustrating the power of love. The complexity of human nature is represented through Odysseus’ relationship with the characters as they are influenced by their own agendas. The differing agendas of each individual is the driving force behind their behaviour towards each other, skillfully illustrating the complex nature of humanity. This is revealed through Odysseus’ relationship with Penelope as it is strengthened by affection, whereas Odysseus’ relationship with Melantho alters his perception toward her.
Melantho’s true nature is revealed when she questions Odysseus, Stranger, do you mean to plague us here still, roaming about the house all night and spying on us women? Melantho’s insult contributes to Odysseus’ own agenda as he planned to meet Penelope. This reveals the complexity of humanity as Odysseus uses this opportunity to attain Penelope’s attention. Hence, Odysseus’ agenda captures the essence of humanity due to his longing to be in Penelope’s presence, emphasising the desperation of Odysseus as a result of his love and affection for Penelope. Furthermore, the permanence of love between Odysseus and Penelope is exemplified through visual imagery, her tears flowed and her cheeks grew wet. It was as when the snow melts on lofty mountains; the west wind brought it, the east wind melts it, and at its melting the rivers swell up to overflowing. (Book XIX, p.233). Homer’s use of visual imagery is a portrayal of human emotions, highlighting the complications and happiness that comes with love. Odysseus’ love for Penelope is eternal and is a representation of the strength of love. Similarly, the relationship between Melantho and Odysseus is a portrayal of the complexity of human nature as Odysseus’s agendas are driven by his feelings, revealing that love is transformative. Thus, love acts as a powerful weapon that can be used to transform individuals or offer a renewed perception on individual’s, depicted through Odysseus’ relationship with Penelope and Melantho. Human nature is represented through the complexities of relationships and holds the ability to transform an individual. Deception and virtue, portrayed in Penelope’s test of loyalty further highlights the complex nature of humanity, influencing Odysseus’ and Penelope’s love for each other. The complexities of human nature is portrayed through the deception and virtue of Odysseus, exposing the traits of human beings as being flawed. Odysseus’ disguise as a beggar reveals the complexity of human nature as it demonstrates the capabilities of decisions influenced by self-love in order to protect himself from potential deceit from Penelope. However, if Odysseus truly loves Penelope, why does he decide test her loyalty? Thus, the test for loyalty skillfully illustrates the complexities of love and the ability of love to transform an individual as loyalty is established. However, love has the power to deteriorate an individual’s feelings, signified through, I only sit longing for Odysseus and fretting my heart away. Penelope’s confession conveys the power of love and its ability to destroy an individual as Penelope continues to worry for Odysseus. Penelope’s emotional expression accentuates her genuine affection for Odysseus. Hence, Odysseus’ deception toward Penelope signifies the need for validation of their relationship. This leads to the discovery of each other’s virtues, exemplifying the complexities of love as it is multi-faceted. Love has the potential to be eternal, however the strength of love can deteriorate an individual’s emotions. Furthermore, self-love causes individuals to question the permanence of love in their relationships as a sense of security is needed for one’s self. This is reflected in He moulded all these falsehoods of his to resemble truth. (Book XIX, p.232), emphasising the strength of love for one’s self as a measure of reassurance. Deception allows individuals to discover the truth about love, reflecting the complexity of human nature through testing an individual’s loyalty. Odysseus’ attitude, caused by hubris is portrayed through his actions, illustrating the power of love. Ultimately, human nature is revealed through Odysseus’ behaviour and decision making. Odysseus’ decisions are heavily influenced by his love for Penelope, Telemachus, and his kingdom, demonstrating the transformative nature of love as it influences an individual. A hero possesses noble qualities and is identified as being determined and courageous. Is Odysseus a hero? Odysseus’ strong determination to restore justice in the kingdom and to re-unite with his family conveys his heroic trait as he goes through immeasurable lengths. As a result, Odysseus conceals his emotions toward Penelope, whereby he sacrifices his true emotions in order to protect his identity. This allows him to continue with his pursuit of restoring justice. This is further exemplified through the simile, beneath his eyelids his eyes kept as firm as horn or iron (Book XIX, p.233), symbolizing the power of love destroying an individual as he conceals his true emotions. The concealment of truth illustrates the importance of Odysseus restoring justice, reflecting heroism and determination. However, Odysseus’ hubris nature, cunning attitude and arrogance conflicts with his heroism. This is highlighted in his unforgiving characteristic as he is pondering how with Athene’s aid he should slay the suitors. (Book XIX,p.229). Odysseus’ unwillingness to forgive is as a result of his hubris qualities and displays his unheroic traits, including violence and stubbornness. Thus, the complexity of human nature is represented through the power of love as it can destroy an individual’s state of mind. Human nature is complex as it is ever changing based on situations that individual’s encounter in life. The complexity is represented through love as a powerful weapon for decision making. Odysseus’ interaction with characters influences his decisions and as a result, Odysseus uncovers the reality and truth of individual’s. Ultimately, the nature of humanity is unveiled through Odysseus’ heroism, strongly reflecting his hubristic personality. Odysseus’ characteristics reflect upon the power of love as it holds the ultimate power to alter perspectives and it causes individual’s to reassess their relationships with people. Hence, the strength of love can transform or destroy an individual’s sense of humanity. Bibliography Homer, Odyssey, trans. W.Shrewing (Oxford, 1980), Book XIX