Why Did Odysseus Seek Teiresias?

Updated 13 August, 2023
Odysseus seeks Tiresias to find out his' prediction about his future and what he needs to do to return home.
Detailed answer:

Odysseus, the cunning king of Ithaca, wants to return home to his loving wife. The goddess Circe told Odysseus that in order to reach his destination he must visit the house of Hades and contact Tiresias. Tiresias is a blind visionary from Thebes, whose spirit was tormented by Hades.
In the underworld, Tiresias describes to Odysseus a final journey he must take in order to 'have a gentle, painless death... with all his people there in blessed peace around him”. Tiresias says that Odysseus must walk inland with an oar until he gets to a place where people mistake it for a winnowing fan. Then, he must plant the oar and appease Poseidon with sacrifices.
Tiresias ends by explaining that Odysseus’ death 'will steal upon” him. By phrasing it this way, it is given a negative connotation and means that his death is going to sneak up on him when he is least expecting it. However, that is in direct contrast with the positive ending of the stanza, which describes how he will be a 'ripe old age' and will die with 'all his people in blessed peace around him'. Odysseus’ death will be “far from the sea” and away from his glorious pursuits and adventures. Despite facing many near-death experiences on the sea due to Poseidon's anger, his death is going to be peaceful. The idea of domestic glory is illustrated here because he will die after a long and satisfying life with his loved ones near him. Although he will not hear any songs sung about his heroic achievements, he will die knowing that his kingdom is free from strife.
Finally, the scene where Tiresias instructs Odysseus is an important passage within the epic because it illustrates how Odysseus must transition from a warrior striving for glory to a caring husband, father, and ruler.

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