A splendid essay by Bruce Thornton on the ways in which Homer’s Odyssey reflects the human struggle and the highest goals to which human beings can aspire. I confess that when I read Lattimore’s Odyssey, I found that I liked it less than I liked the Iliad, in large part because I found Odysseus to be such a whiner at times. But Thornton makes an excellent case for why the Odyssey may outstrip the Iliad as a story of the human condition. Odysseus’s struggle required the employment of intelligence, stamina, tenacity, self-control, and the “second thought,” all of which he used to brilliant effect. In his story lies an example and lesson for all of us.
No excerpts of Thornton’s piece. Read it all–it deserves your attention.