Why Does Odysseus Go to The Underworld?

The Odyssey, an ancient Greek epic poem by Homer, tells the story of Odysseus and his journey back home to Ithaca after the Trojan War. In his search for directions, Circe advises Odysseus to seek out the soothsayer Tiresias. However, instead of simply providing him with the information he needs, Homer sends Odysseus on a journey to the underworld to showcase his heroism.

As instructed by Circe, Odysseus travels to the edge of the world and makes a sacrifice to attract the spirits of Hades. Tiresias then provides him with specific details about his journey, including how to navigate dangerous obstacles such as the Sirens and Scylla. However, the oracle does not reveal how to avoid death from Poseidon, leaving Odysseus to face this challenge on his own.

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Despite the original purpose of his journey being to obtain directions, Odysseus’ travels to the underworld and his subsequent return serve as a testament to his heroic accomplishments. This event adds to his glory and further solidifies his reputation as a great hero, alongside his victory over the Cyclops and other challenges he faces throughout the poem.



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