Is The Epic Hero Of The Homeric Age - As Represented In The Odyssey - Still Relevant In The 21st Century?

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The story of the Odyssey written by Homer, highlights the heroic qualities of Odysseus. In the 21st century we can gather information to create an understanding about the ancient world and in precent society. An example of this is his growth of knowledge from his observation on the voyage, during Odysseus’ encounters on the voyage, this can be significant to a real life scenario, to observe and develop and understanding rather than thinking you know the answer.

Even though the Odyssey comes from the 8th Century BC much of the information has stayed the same. During this era the ancient people were similar as todays society. The odyssey written by homer talks about Odysseus’ heroics personality and his sympathy. Throughout the book the most iconic traits are of faith, loyalty, vengeance through the experiences along the way of death and grief, during his course of travel. These experience are still similar in modern would and related too.In this case they are displayed through the main protagonist Odysseu. Being written in the 8th dynasty BC the information of his travels has traveled a long way and we as humans have remained connected in what we do and have similar same experiences, making this relevant in todays world. The battles are not as intense and brutal as today, though we still share similarities across each century. The lessons we can learn today from the Odyssey, the main protagonist being Odysseus are the experiences he overcomes during his adventures, he learns the importance of listening to elders. Being demon-straighted when Odysseus’ opens Aeolus’ bag of winds, and later on when the crew kill the sun gods cattle, both after being told not to. Decide to go agonist this and instead of listening to the all mighty Odysseus. In modern terms we see this as our parents or idles in society. The importance of loyalty and family is Odysseus’ ultimate value. Death and grief are seen in the Oddesy, after Odysseus has finished in the trojan war for ten years, he then adventures on a voyage to return to Ethica. During which he evolves from adventuring and learning only his emance journey at sea and his encounters, learning patients and persistence after not seeing his family in 20 years. Along his voyage Odysseus adapts from a worrier to a leader. Hardship is displayed, when he enters the underworld and sees his family, causing him to tears up. Thus showing his struggles and grief he induces in order to be reunite with his family. We see this today, as we value family over everything. Heroism is shown through Odysseus, with not just strength and enormous amounts of courage, but through his mind and his ability to stay strong and move forward. The monster that he encounters on his journey home to Ethica, can be recognised in modern terminology as the problems we overcome during our life time. Odyssey means “A long, difficult journey” this can be seen as the book of someones life journey and the problems like every human to do overcomes, whether it's big or small, we all undergo this.

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The importance of family has stayed the same for thousands of years. Throughout the duration of Odysseus adventure. Homers ability to give the reader a visual of each and every scene give the story its huge significance to the modern era. The story shows the tales of courage, defeat, friendship and love. Odysseus’ values are put before anything and throughout the Oddssey he shows these traits. During the time that Odysseus lived in, wealth was measured in livestock, land, and precious articles. Today however is not so different, as wealth is still similar in many ways, for example instead of livestock there are cars; but land is till of importance, as are precious thing, and money is the most important of all.

The odyssey teaches virtues and values to approach in modern society. An example of this, is the determination, hard work, and perseverance, he has to succeed in even during the most dangerous of challenges. Teaching the reader and audience that what ever you strive for is possible if you work hard enough. Religion can be seen in the Odyssey, as keeping faith and believing kept him strong (the Greek goods), we can incorporate this as an underlining messages of this heroic story, with no one being perfect.

Despite the time period, the different themes that appear across the Odyssey are relatable to the readers from whatever century. This is shown when Odysseus fights the monsters he encounters. We can corporate this into modern time with monsters deprecating the struggles of every day life. The overall moral of the story is that no matter how mean battles a person faces, is to keep fight for what they believe in.


  1. Lloyd, M. (2019). The modern Odysseus. [online] Ancient World Magazine. Available at: [Accessed 31 Jul. 2019].
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  3. Anon, (2019). [online] Available at: [Accessed 31 Jul. 2019].
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Is The Epic Hero Of The Homeric Age – As Represented In The Odyssey – Still Relevant In The 21st Century? (2022, Jun 09). Edubirdie. Retrieved May 29, 2024, from
“Is The Epic Hero Of The Homeric Age – As Represented In The Odyssey – Still Relevant In The 21st Century?” Edubirdie, 09 Jun. 2022,
Is The Epic Hero Of The Homeric Age – As Represented In The Odyssey – Still Relevant In The 21st Century? [online]. Available at: <> [Accessed 29 May 2024].
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