He will gain wisdom and eventually come home to his wife only after he went through ten years of experiences that contributed to his formation.
Odysseus crew on the ship and the women kept prisoners at the Akropolis are equally blinded by their own desires and ready to give up their sense of duty or responsibility to those they made a commitment.
Another striking difference between the two plays when it comes to sense of duty compared to personal satisfaction or love comes from the fact that the characters in the Lysistrata have to fight only their own urges and they are led by someone who is above all temptation, while those who are fighting to return home in the Odyssey are fighting not only their own weaknesses but also all the obstacles thrown before them by the immortals. Moreover, their leader, the man they look up to is as weak as they are, up to a point.
Minervas characterization about Odysseus when encouraging his son, Telemachus, to embark on a journey to set his father free is also showing how good ends excuse the means. Although she is aware of the sense of duty to his own family and especially to his father, she also uses techniques of manipulation in order to get him convinced. The goddess is using Telemachus sense of pride to reinforce his sense of duty and set things in motion for god: “if you are made of the same stuff as your father you will be neither fool nor coward henceforward, for Ulysses never broke his word nor left his work half done. if, then, you take after him, your voyage will not be fruitless, but unless you have the blood of Ulysses and of Penelope in your veins I see no likelihood of your succeeding. Sons are seldom as good men as their fathers; they are generally worse, not better; still, as you are not going to be either fool or coward henceforward, and are not entirely without some share of your fathers wise discernment, I look with hope upon your undertaking” (Homer).
What appears to be the only thing equally motivating men and women to act in Lysistrata, the sexual need, is a symbol for the constant fight between personal satisfaction vs. sense of duty that goes on in the human mind. The victory of one ever another is what actually differentiates the human from the animal kind. The same urge to act in favor of getting a personal satisfaction is speculated in the Odyssey, but the comical accents are much scarce. The common message in both plays is the motif of restraint, control, the necessity to control ones urges in order to overcome ones nature and thus gain a place above the animal kingdom.
The thick humor and the triumph of wise manipulation of the human nature is completely felt in one of the last scenes described in Lysistrata, when the Spartans and the Athenians discuss how to divide Greece among the two people, using the bear body of the woman named Peace, under Lysistratas guidance.
Homers characters are not spared of going back and forth between duty and personal satisfaction that most often are not going hand in hand. Even Penelope, Odysseus wife plays with her suitors, even if she is just trying to distract them and delay the sentence of her remarrying any of them. They do not have a Lysistrata to guide them and help them be reasonable, but they have their own consciousness instead.
Aristophane and Homer have chosen two different means of describing the constant fight between the sense of duty and the wish to gain personal satisfaction, but the teaching of both their plays conveys toward the main idea that without control of ones urges, humanity would not stand a chance.
Homer. Odyssey. WW Norton & Co Inc. (Np); 2nd edition (July 2001)
Aristophane. Lysistrata. WW Norton & Co Inc. (Np);.