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Odyssey Translation Essay: Analysis of the Translations Made by Emily Wilson, Alexander Pope, and Robert Fagles

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E.V Reiu’s translation of The Odyssey is more effective than the other known translation by Emily Wilson, Alexander Pope, and Robert Fagles. The analysis of Odysseus’ actions, thoughts and emotions were best translated through Rieu’s passage. E.V Reiu’s translation of The Odyssey, E.V Reiu takes a better approach to the sentence structure.

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Having the translation of the poem in prose, it creates a better understanding of the plot, and draws the reader into the story, when compared to Emily Wilson, Alexander Pope, and Robert Fagles who take on more of a poetic of writing style to describe the scene. Their translations can tend to lose some of the detailed factors that are included in the real story. In the three translations, Odysseus battles Polyphemus, Poseidon’s son. E.V Reiu exhibits a clear interpretation of Odysseus’ actions. These actions show a clear exemplification of Odysseus’ character as a whole. E.V Reiu states, “But on second thoughts I refrained , realizing that we should have perished these as surely as the Cyclops, for we should have found it impossible with our unaided hands to push the rock which he had closed the great mouth of the cave”. This indicates the intelligence that Odysseus portrays for example in book 12 when Odysseus had to face the challenge of voyaging into two negative situations, Scylla and Charybdis. He chooses the face Scylla instead of Charybdis. Odysseus knew that if he faced Charybdis that he would lose his whole crew. So, instead he decided to face Scylla to preserve his men. This event is very similar to the situation with the cyclops. Odysseus was cunning enough to think about his men’s survival against the Cyclops. However, in Emily Wilson’s interpretation of the epic, it states “then thinking like a military man, I thought I should get out my sword, and go up to him and thrust right through his torso, that would’ve doomed us all. On second thoughts, I realized we were too weak.” Even though this is the same scene in the epic, Wilson describes Odysseus as fearful and unsureness when making his decision regarding the survival of himself and his men. On the other hand, when looking at the actions Odysseus commits, he is really seen as more of a man who would make these logical decisions based of his cleverness and wisdom, rather than acting out of fear. Emily Wilson’s style is similar Robert Fagles, who states in his translation “And with my fighting heart, I thought at first to steal up to him, draw the sharp sword at my hip and stab his chest where the midriff packs the liver”. When reading this line, the reader can see the connection in which Odysseus is acting more out of indecisiveness and fear, than cleverness and wisdom. I believe that E.V Reiu’s translation of this event that occurred in the Odyssey has the best interpretation when compared to the other passages by Emily Wilson, Alexander Pope, and Robert Fagles.

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Odyssey Translation Essay: Analysis of the Translations Made by Emily Wilson, Alexander Pope, and Robert Fagles. (2022, September 27). Edubirdie. Retrieved February 8, 2023, from https://edubirdie.com/examples/odyssey-translation-essay-analysis-of-the-translations-made-by-emily-wilson-alexander-pope-and-robert-fagles/
“Odyssey Translation Essay: Analysis of the Translations Made by Emily Wilson, Alexander Pope, and Robert Fagles.” Edubirdie, 27 Sept. 2022, edubirdie.com/examples/odyssey-translation-essay-analysis-of-the-translations-made-by-emily-wilson-alexander-pope-and-robert-fagles/
Odyssey Translation Essay: Analysis of the Translations Made by Emily Wilson, Alexander Pope, and Robert Fagles. [online]. Available at: <https://edubirdie.com/examples/odyssey-translation-essay-analysis-of-the-translations-made-by-emily-wilson-alexander-pope-and-robert-fagles/> [Accessed 8 Feb. 2023].
Odyssey Translation Essay: Analysis of the Translations Made by Emily Wilson, Alexander Pope, and Robert Fagles [Internet]. Edubirdie. 2022 Sept 27 [cited 2023 Feb 8]. Available from: https://edubirdie.com/examples/odyssey-translation-essay-analysis-of-the-translations-made-by-emily-wilson-alexander-pope-and-robert-fagles/
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