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