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Homer's Ulysses


Ulysses is a male character from two of the most important epic poems, the Iliad and the Odissey by Homer. In the first poem Ulysses is a warrior without other connotations among the crowd of greek heroes who keep under siege the city of Troy. In the second poem He is absolute protagonist of amazing adventures that happen to him all the way back home. Odysseus, better known under the latin name of Ulysses, is the king of a small rich island: Ithaca. He is not braver nor stronger than the other greek leaders but he distinguishes himself for his wits and good sense. This is particularly clear in the Odissey. For example he is the top advisor of Agamemnon and he is always charged with the most delicate missions which deserv e skill and care in talking. 

 His most important challenge is the trick of the wooden horse which took the conquest of Troy and to the end of the Trojan war. After ten years of conflicts no progress had been made. So Ulysses suggested building a great woode n horse, leave it on the shore and let the greek boats come back to Greece. The horse was obviously a decoy with several warriors concealed inside. At first, the Trojans did not know what to do with "the horse", but when they knew that that it had been made so big, so high by the greeks to prevent them for carrying it away, they decided to take inside the city of Troy.  Ulysses trap could not fail because he had foreseen that human pride is sometimes stronger than wisdom, so it can lead man to self-destruction. 

 The results of his actions and projects often represent death and destruction for someone else ( Priamus, Polyphemus, Aiace...). 

He often deceives and lies, even to his relatives. The greed for money and spoils never abandons him. His temper is the te mper of a modern man. Ulysses is patient, never gives up in the most desperate situations . He has a never-ending curiosity, his desire to come back home is strong but he does not hurry up, he is often seduced by danger and mystery, like when his ship app roaches the sirens or when he enters in Circe's palace.  Ulysses represent the endless human thirst for knowledge  and that may be teh reason why his figure has often been reprised by modern authors like we will see after.