When reading The Odyssey, by Homer, I appreciated Homer’s use of minor characters used to build the identity of the major characters. He does this often in his books; and a time I could appreciate it was with Nausikaa. She is a very significant character to the story’s plot, but one of her main purposes is to show all the traits of Odysseus. We see his charm and wit as he wins her over, and then we see his planning and foresight as he uses her to make a plan to get himself home. This is just one of the ways that Homer uses his clever technique.
However, not everything in the Odyssey was as clever and interesting as that. For example, the first three books of the Odyssey include no such characters as well as being extremely boring in their content. The first three books are crucial to set up the whole ending of the story; but the same amount of content could have been written in two less books. This is unenjoyable because it sets a boring mood for the rest of the story. Which, for the first ten books I couldn’t get rid of as I was just expecting them to be boring. If Homer had written a shorter beginning to the story I would have enjoyed it significantly more.
On the other hand, I was surprised by how stupid Odysseus seemed to be for the ‘smartest mortal to ever live’ by a margin of two. When I say stupid I don’t mean dull, witless, or useless. What I mean is that Odysseus would often have his journey prolonged from things that wouldn’t make sense to someone whose only want was to make it home. Some of the things that prolonged Odysseus were his meaningless trips on to various islands that would often results in trouble. I think the reason Homer makes Odysseus like this is as a satirical joke at how stupid men can be. When I realized this I was less surprised and understood the joke more, however, it was still surprising.