The Odyssey By Homer: The Obstacles While Making The Way Back Home
The Odyssey is a poem written in ancient Greece by poet, Homer. In this poem, we are captivated by the series of obstacles that happen during the main character’s lengthy and dangerous journey home. We are introduced to Odysseus who is the King of Ithaca as he prepares to lead his army as a general in the Trojan War. The war in Troy proves to be a long and difficult one. However, it is brought to an end. Odysseus and his men arrive on an island which is was homed by the Cyclops Polyphemus who is blinded by Odysseus after the Cyclops eats some of his men. Having made the Cyclops go blind Odysseus mimics Polyphemus after he tells him he is the son of Poseidon. This causes Poseidon’s wrath to grow who then curses Odysseus by making it so that he never reaches Ithaca, his home. The journey home to take back his throne as the king of Ithaca.
The purpose of why The Odyssey was written was to preserve everything that he faced during his journey so it can be told to younger generations afterward. This isn’t the first time Homer does this, and he has done this with his other poem “The Iliad.” In ancient times poems were written down, they were only being told orally, and this could’ve been or began to be the problem down the storytelling lane because someone could have easily misheard the information and then go on and tell the story wrong to younger generations. So the purpose why homer decided to write the Odyssey was to merely show what Odysseus went through during the journey and to preserve its roots.
In The Odyssey there are many main themes to choose from but, the one that stands out the most is loyalty. Even though Odysseus was not loyal to his wife Penelope, many characters were loyal to him. For example, his wife Penelope still decides to wait for her husband Odysseus even after many people had told her that her husband Odysseus was dead considering that he had not returned for many years. In the poem, it says “Every day she would weave at the great loom and every night she would unweave by torchlight.” (Homer 2.113.114) This sets the example of loyalty because while Odysseus was gone there were many suitors in Odysseus’ house in Ithaca trying to marry his wife because her husband was suspected of being dead. Penelope did not believe that her husband was dead. And she also didn’t want to marry any of the suitors until she knew that her husband was really dead and to stall the suitors she will weave a shroud for Odysseus’ father and until she finishes weaving that nobody can marry her. She would weave the shroud during the day and untie it at night so she can hold the suitors back for a while until her husband returned. Also, this is a brilliant and brave move because many people tried to discourage her from believing that her husband was dead and had many men at her feet trying to marry her, but she was able to keep them waiting so she could wait for her husband to return home. Penelope wasn’t only a strong character, but she was also loyal to Odysseus after many years of being gone.
Furthermore not only was his wife loyal but so was his nurse Eurycleia. She was not only loyal to Telemachus Odysseus, their son by keeping his secrets from his mother but also to Odysseus after many years she still kept her loyalty for him. When Odysseus goes into his house disguised as a visitor Penelope offers him to stay, and he accepts. Eurycleia then comes over and starts to wash his feet as she does she lifts Odysseus leg and recognizes him by the scar on his leg. Odysseus came forward and confessed that it is him but commands her to keep it a secret because he wants to get to know the suitors before he kills them and Eurycleia says “you know what I’m made of. You know I won’t break. I’ll be as steady as solid stone or iron.”(Homer 19.540.541) and this part is crucial because in the poem that she was the lady that helps raise Odysseus and after many years of not seeing him she was also very loyal to him compared to the other women who did not keep their loyalty for Odysseus while he was gone.
In the poem, The Odyssey Odysseus is seen facing many challenges while making his way back home. He was held captive by a Cyclops for many years, and after escaping he gets into trouble with the Greek god Poseidon and all Poseidon wants is for Odysseus to suffer for what he did the to the Cyclops but, he doesn’t give up and is determined to make it back home. When Odysseus is speaking to his men he says “Come on, men this isn’t the first we’ve run into trouble. This can’t be worse than… well, look back at this” (Homer 12.216.221) this shows that Odysseus stayed loyal to going home and was still determined despite all the obstacles he had to face to get there. This reminded me of my high school career even though I didn’t fight in the war or fight Cyclops I still had the obstacle of my own that I needed to face to get to where I am today. The obstacles were not as violent as Odysseus’, but mine consisted of academic and social obstacles. However, this doesn’t mean that just because someone is determined to do something they aren’t going to get discouraged While Odysseus is trying to get back he gets stuck in calypsos island, and Athena speaks to her father and says “Zeus, my father…to kill his son” (Homer 5.9.22) Athena is shown begging for the gods to help get Odysseus back home. Athena is shown throughout the book helping Odysseus. This can be related to my life because I also had a teacher like Athena because she would go the extra mile to help with my problems as well.
All literary stories have a theme. The theme is the main idea or message that the author wants the audience to take away from the story. My favorite stories read in this class were The Odyssey, Sundiata, and The Epic of Gilgamesh. I enjoyed these three epics, because I could relate to the main character’s experiences. All three of these epics contain a theme that is shown throughout the story. This theme is called The Journey. While reading these epics,...
The Odyssey contains more than 12,000 lines and is divided into 24 volumes. The poet USES flashbacks to describe Odysseus’s 10 years of sea adventures in the 40 days before his arrival at home. The thrilling experience of these 10 years contains many ancient myths, reflecting the fantasy-processed natural phenomena and the struggle and victory of the ancient greeks against nature. The story of Odysseus’ victory over Polyphemus, the giant, in volume 9, highlights his wit and bravery. This epic...
Few myths from the Greek canon have enjoyed as long a life as Homer’s Odyssey. Though written centuries before the contemporary era, retellings of the work continue to exist. Other poets, such as Keats and Pound, make reference to the poem in their own work, and James Joyce, in his Ulysses, uses its thematic and structural elements in his own modernist novel. A uniquely intriguing example, however, lies with the Coen Brothers film O Brother, Where Art Thou? Released in...
The Odyssey, a poem written by Homer, is a story about Odysseus’ journey home after the Trojan War. While he is away, his wife, Penelope is surrounded by these horrible suitors who eat all the food and destroy Odysseus’ home. While in the Inferno, written by Dante Alighieri, the poet and pilgrim Dante goes on a spiritual journey. Dante is guided by the spirit of a Roman poet called Virgil, and travels through the nine circles of Hell, witnessing the...
In mythology, heroes were considered to be any man who fights and defeats monsters. To become a hero, heroes in mythology had to go through a hero’s journey which would then make them a hero that everyone knows. In The Odyssey by Homer, a narration of The Odyssey reveals that Odysseus is a hero in this story. The definition of hero has changed throughout history but the meaning from the past and present are still very similar. The modern idea...
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...
Homer’s epic poem, The Iliad, depicts the prominent conflict between the Achaeans and the Trojans. The Iliad and The Odyssey have become staples in universal literature and the foundation of Greek culture to many. In both works, Homer implicitly celebrates the role he plays as a performer and conduit from the Gods “who have their homes on Olympos” (75,18), giving rise to a question I repeatedly asked myself: “Why does Homer invoke the assistance of Gods and Muses in The...
In a vast majority of ancient Greek epics, males tend to be the heroes of the stories. The Iliad and the Odyssey are perfect examples of male characters being the main heroes in each respectable epic. In Homer’s, The Odyssey Odysseus is proclaimed to be the main hero of this epic. Though the Odyssey is centralized around Odysseus’s character and his voyage of returning home thus making him the automatic hero of the story, is it possible that he isn’t...
An epic saint is characterized as the focal figure in a long story that mirrors the qualities and brave beliefs of a specific culture. The Odyssey, interpreted by Fitzgerald, is about an epic legend attempting to get to his home in the wake of twenty monotonous years. Beowulf, which is deciphered, by Burton wager, is about a warrior who executed beasts and spared a city. In both epic stories there are similitudes and contrasts; fundamentally these likenesses and contrasts center...
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