The Odysseus: The Theme of Love


There are many essential emotions that form the building blocks of
our lives. These emotions help to shape the people that we are.
These feelings are emotional necessities to ultimately keep us
happy. Nothing makes these feelings more evident than the Odyssey
by Homer. Through out the course of this book there is one major
emotional theme which is love.

Often times in life we search for a companion, someone to share
our love and life with. Odysseus and Penelope's lasting
relationship is an obvious representation of love in the Odyssey.
Although Odysseus is gone for twenty years he never forgets his
faithful wife in Ithaca. This love almost seems to help him
persevere through the many hardships that he encounters on his
journey home. On the other hand, Penelope also exemplifies this
same kind of love for Odysseus. At home in Ithaca, she stays
loyal to Odysseus by unraveling his shroud and delaying her
marriage to the suitors that are courting her. She always keeps
the hope that her love, Odysseus, will return. Odysseus and
Penelope's marriage clearly illustrates the theme of love.
There are also many other bonds formed in life that show great
love and guidance. One of the most emphasized in the Odyssey is
the father - son relationship. These relationships clearly
support the issue of love in the Odyssey.

The father - son relationship between Odysseus and Telemachos is a
little awkward because they both never really got to know each
other but they still care for each other's well being. When
Odysseus hears of all the suitors devouring Telemachos's future
fortune and mistreating him, he wants to return and revenge the
misuse of his family and property. Odysseus, like any parent,
also misses his only child while he is at war. Telemachos on the
contrary also displays a lot of love for his father. Telemachos
leaves Ithaca, inexperienced, to find any knowledge of his father
in hope that he is still alive. Telemachos through out most of
his life has lacked a father figure and desperately needs that
special help and guidance from Odysseus as he becomes a man.
Their relationship seems to show how love can give you the
strength to carry on.

The other important father - son relationship in the Odyssey that
exhibits love is the one between Odysseus and Laertes. Odysseus,
when he returns, wishes to go see his father. When he confronts
his father and tries to hide his identity, he is unable to finish
his story because of the great sorrow in his father's eyes. This
shows how much he loves his father and what great suffering he
caused him. This anguish that Laertes exhibits also shows how much
love he has for his son. Since Odysseus was assumed to be dead,
it almost sent Laertes into a kind of depression. When Odysseus
returned it gave Laetes an overwhelming happiness. This is a case
where love seems to be the cure for pain and grief.
Love is major emotional theme and it is seen often in the
Odyssey. Even though love comes and goes it still plays and
important role in everyone's lives. It is not hard to see how
happiness relies on love. It definitely shapes who we are and
what we do with our lives.