Why was Odysseus killed?

Answered by Robert Flynn

Odysseus, the legendary hero of ancient Greek mythology, met an unfortunate end at the hands of his own son, Telegonus. However, it is essential to understand the circumstances that led to this tragic event.

After completing his arduous journey back to Ithaca from the Trojan War, Odysseus faced numerous challenges and obstacles. He had been away from his homeland for twenty years, and during his absence, many suitors had invaded his palace, hoping to win the hand of his faithful wife, Penelope. Odysseus, disguised as a beggar, planned to reclaim his throne and rid his palace of these unwanted suitors.

In his quest for retribution, Odysseus enlisted the help of his son, Telemachus, who had grown up without a father figure. The father and son devised a plan to eliminate the suitors and restore order in their kingdom. Little did they know that their actions would ultimately lead to Odysseus’ demise.

Unknown to Odysseus, during his time spent on the island of Aeaea, he had fathered a son with the enchantress Circe. This son, Telegonus, had grown up without any knowledge of his true parentage. Seeking to find his father, Telegonus embarked on a journey, eventually arriving at Ithaca.

Upon his arrival, Telegonus encountered Odysseus’ palace and mistook it for an enemy stronghold. In an attempt to defend himself, he engaged in a battle with the guards, unknowingly killing some of his father’s loyal servants. Meanwhile, Odysseus, still in disguise, joined the fray to protect his home and family.

During the chaos of the battle, Telegonus managed to wound Odysseus with a poisoned spear. It was only after mortally injuring his father that Telegonus realized the truth of their relationship. Overwhelmed with guilt and remorse, Telegonus rushed to find a way to save his father’s life.

Telegonus sought the guidance of the goddess Athena, who advised him to bring Odysseus back to Aeaea, the island of his birth. There, Circe, Telegonus’ mother, could potentially find a cure for the poisoned wound. With regret and hope in his heart, Telegonus transported Odysseus back to Aeaea.

Sadly, despite their best efforts, Odysseus succumbed to his injuries and passed away on the island of Aeaea. The hero who had endured countless trials and tribulations throughout his life met his end at the hands of his own son, albeit unintentionally.

The story of Odysseus’ death serves as a reminder of the complexities and consequences that can arise from the choices we make in life. It highlights the unforeseen consequences that can arise from actions taken in ignorance and the weight of guilt that accompanies such events.

Odysseus was killed by his son Telegonus, whom he had unknowingly fathered with the witch Circe. The circumstances surrounding his death were shrouded in misunderstanding and tragedy, ultimately leading to the downfall of the great hero of Greek mythology.