Odyssey

Odyssey

Heraclitus said the “character is fate for humans.” * Take Odysseus or Telemachos from the Odyssey to illustrate this fragment. Write no more than 600 words. Make sure to cite texts and events from your reading thus far, viz., the first 18 scrolls.

*A note from our edition of the fragments: 120. Man’s character is his fate. [In Greek this is only a three word sentence, Heraclitus’s most famous: Ethos anthropoi daimon. Daimon is at the root of the English ‘demon’ but has no pejorative connotation in Greek. A daimon is a magical or divine spirit, a kind of guardian angel–and thus a fate. Anthropoi means ‘of humans’. This brings us back to ‘ethos’, which survives in the same form in English. Ethos–related to ethics–means, in English, the spirit of a place or time. But in ancient Greek it meant character or customs, usually of a person or family.]