Identity Odysseus not mentioning his name is related to the series of events in that he has to find his identity before he can reveal it. Even once he reached the hall of Alkinoos he had to try to remain hidden because his journey was not yet over. In each episode there was some kind of challenge he had to face before he could reveal who he was. In the Cyclops episode he reveals his name when they are sailing away. In the Circa episode, he reveals his identity after he overcomes the witch’s spell. In order for him to reveal his identity, he must first discover it for himself.
This shows that he is not worthy of being Odysseus, hero of Troy, unless he can first overcome the obstacles placed in his journey by the gods. For each challenge he faced, Odysseus found more of his identity than he had before, and when he finally reached the end of his journey, he discovered who he really was. This shows the Greeks that they cannot simply be; they have to accomplish something. If The Odyssey is supposed to be an example for the Greeks of the perfect man, they must strive to be like Odysseus.
In order to do that they must please the gods and overcome obstacles, and by doing so they will come into their own identity, just as Odysseus did. When Odysseus completes his long journey home to Ithaca he meets Telemachus in the hut of his slave. Homer used this setting to show that both Odysseus and Telemachus are still only human. The human part of Odysseus’ identity is important because it reminded the Greeks who are listening to this story that to be like Odysseus is not an unattainable goal. The Greeks are supposed to strive for the excellence of Odysseus, and in so doing they can discover their identity.
Before Odysseus can reclaim all that he lost during his absence he must kill the suitors who are threatening to take his throne. This is the most obvious obstacle that he must overcome before he can find his identity. If he does not defeat the suitors, they will kill him and take his wife, home, land, and even his son. By defeating the suitors he can rightfully reclaim what is his, including the right to be called a mighty captain. The last thing Odysseus had to do before he could finally return home and die in rich, old age was go to a certain city and make a special sacrifice to Poseidon.
Once he made this sacrifice he could return home and be the man he wanted to be. If he failed to complete this final task, the gods would be set against him forever and he never would have been truly free. Because he makes this sacrifice he is free of all further obstacles and can live and die in peace. This last challenge brings the story back to the gods. It reminds the people of the importance of obeying the gods and paying tribute to them. Because he followed the gods’ instructions, Odysseus could finally return home, his identity confirmed.