Q:

Why did Odysseus leave Ithaca?

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Quick Answer

Odysseus originally left Ithaca to participate in the Trojan War, according to SparkNotes. The Greeks attacked the Trojans in order to return Helen of Troy to Menelaus, and as one of Helen's original suitors, Odysseus had sworn an oath to assist Menelaus. While he did try to get out of his obligation by pleading insanity, he eventually honored his promise and sailed off to war.

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Full Answer

During the Trojan War, Odysseus proved to be one of the most valuable strategists and leaders on the Greek side of the conflict. He led many victorious raids, and he was the creator of the famed Trojan horse that proved instrumental in allowing the Greeks into the city. While Troy eventually fell, Odysseus' actions during the long siege did not go unnoticed.

When Odysseus killed the son of the Trojan hero Hector, the boy's grandmother prayed to the gods for revenge, and the gods granted her wish. Odysseus was blown off course during his return from the Trojan War, and he spent 10 years traveling from island to island attempting to find his way home. The trials of this journey, along with what happened when he finally returned to his homeland, are chronicled in Homer's epic, "The Odyssey."

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Related Questions

  • Q:

    What is Odysseus's relationship with Athena and Zeus?

    A:

    In Homer's epic poem "The Odyssey," Odysseus' relationship with Athena is close, as she actively helps him find his way home from Troy to Ithaca, while Odysseus' relationship with Zeus is more remote. Zeus remains aloof from Odysseus' ordeals and only intervenes when Athena insists.

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  • Q:

    How did Odysseus die?

    A:

    Odysseus died when he was stabbed with a spear by Telegonus, the son of Odysseus and Circe. Telegonus did not know he was stabbing his father.

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    What does Teiresias tell Odysseus?

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    Teiresias tells Odysseus about the rest of his journey home to Ithaca, the suitors and their defilement of Odysseus' home, and how to placate the god Poseidon, who is still angry with the hero for blinding his son Polyphemus. He specifically warns Odysseus about certain perils, but he proclaims that Odysseus is fated to lose all his men who are doomed to be overtaken by greed.

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  • Q:

    What is the invocation of "The Odyssey"?

    A:

    The invocation is the first paragraph of "The Odyssey," where Homer is pleading with a Muse to help guide his words to tell the tale of Odysseus, the last Greek survivor of the Trojan War that has not made his way home or died trying. The invocation serves to give the reader some background on the story and the main character while also introducing the plot of the manuscript.

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