Homer’s The Odyssey

Nearly three thousand years ago, sometime between 800 and 600 BCE, the inhabitants of what is now known as Greece passed the time by relaying tales about a war of tremendous proportions. The individual credited for collecting all of these stories and sharing them as one unified collection was a man known only as Homer, … Read more

Key Facts About The Odyssey

Complete title: The Odyssey Written by: Homer (although some believe that there were multiple authors) Classification: Poetry Language of Origin: Ancient Greek Time and Place of Original Text: Presumed to be 700 BCE, Greece Point of View: Narrated in third person. The narrator regularly offers insights into the thoughts and emotions of minor characters, gods and mortals. Protagonist: Odysseus Rising Conflict: Odysseus has … Read more

The Odyssey Quotes and Analysis

Quotes and Analysis Sing to me of the man, Muse, the man of twists and turns driven time and again off course, once he had plundered the hallowed heights of Troy.Many cities of men he saw and learned their minds, many pains he suffered, heartsick on the open sea, fighting to save his life and … Read more

The Odyssey Summary

Summary It’s been ten years since the fall of Troy, and Odysseus the Greek hero has yet to return to his kingdom in Ithaca. An anxious crowd of suitors have swarmed his palace and destroyed his land, they attempt to court his wife, Penelope, who remains loyal to her absent husband. The son of Odysseus, … Read more

The Odyssey Characters and Analysis

Characters and Analysis Odysseus The hero of the Odyssey. Odysseus fought alongside the other Greek kings at Troy and now struggles to escape his imprisonment and return to his family in Ithaca. King Odysseus is married to Queen Penelope, the two have a son named Prince Telemachus.  Despite being strong and brave, he is most … Read more

The Underworld in The Aeneid Versus The Odyssey

The Aeneid clearly reflects the influence which Homer’s Odyssey had on Virgil’s writing. Among the several common aspects shared by these two epic poems, each author’s depiction of the Underworld provides an interesting basis for comparison. Although the resemblance appears extraordinary at first, several important differences can be discovered upon closer examination. These differences enable … Read more

Sleep and Death in Homer’s Odyssey

In the Odyssey, Homer uses the idea of sleep to represent the idea of death, which makes the struggle to remain conscious and the struggle to remain alive one in the same struggle. Odysseus is constantly fighting to remain alert, to avoid monotony. It is this metaphorical insomnia that enables Odysseus to return to his … Read more

Style and the Concept of ‘Epic’ in The Odyssey

Previous tradition held that Homer, the ancient, blind poet who sang of a heroic age that was long past even in his own day, composed this magnificent poem. Contemporary literary theory disputes not only Homer’s claim to complete authority over the poems, but even the poet’s historical existence. However, regardless of its authorship The Odyssey … Read more

"The Odyssey" Analysis

An epic poem over 400 pages long. Yep a poem. The plot line details the return journey of Odysseus, a Greek warrior, and his encounters with civilizations and Greek Gods through his travels.Composed in 700BC, it is one of the earliest poems to ever exist. So why would this text be worthy of appropriation? Well … Read more

Odysseus and Athena: Friends

The characters in Homer’s The Odyssey are forever at the mercy of the Gods, those immortals who live in the heights of Mount Olympus, and who, on occasion, walk the lands of earth. Throughout the epic poem the main characters are visited quite often at pivotal times in the storyline. No god visits these characters … Read more

Culture Clash

Generalizations and associations seem to permeate the culture of every human society. If this were not the case, there would be no need for the sociological study of ethnocentricity. The Odyssey of Homer strongly exhibits this quality of judging cultures and other peoples based on criteria defined by its own ancient Greek civilization. In this … Read more

How Heroism Originates: Telemachus in the Odyssey

The first four books of Homer’s The Odyssey depict Telemachus’ transformation from an immature, frightened child into an intelligent adult as he comes to encompass qualities that the ancient Greeks sought in heroes: an adherence to the rules of xenia, a loyalty to one’s family, and wisdom gained from travelling. First, the young prince offers … Read more

Guest-Host Relationships in Homer’s Odyssey

Odysseus’ disastrous encounter with the Laistrygones is a useful reference point for analyzing the nature of guest-host relationships in The Odyssey. When it is compared with his arrivals at the lands of the Phaiakians and the hands of the Cyclopes, a fuller picture of Odysseus and the customs of his time emerges; in addition, this … Read more

Effective Irony: The Sirens in Homer’s and Atwood’s Writings

Homer’s Odyssey and Margaret Atwood’s “Siren Song” each depict the great power of the Sirens of Greek mythology; on a deeper level, the two works explore the destructiveness of women through the archetype of the femme fatale. Both Homer and Atwood highlight the influence women have over men through the irresistible temptations of the Sirens. … Read more

Body Language: Injury and Identity in The Odyssey and Oedipus the King

In describing the characters of Odysseus and Oedipus, Homer and Sophocles both avoid defining these men by typical physical characteristics such as stature or distinctive facial features. Instead, these authors focus on detailing specific bodily wounds that function as embodiments of each character’s identity. Parallel plotlines in The Odyssey and Oedipus the King reveal the … Read more

Sparing Nothing: The Representation of Food in The Odyssey

Homer’s epic The Odyssey is superimposed on the backdrop of a typical ancient Greek society. As the main character, Odysseus, and his companions travel from place to place on their way to their hometown of Ithaka, various people welcome them in a show of hospitality highly valued in ancient Greece. In large part, such hospitality … Read more

The Role Of Women In The Odyssey

Homer’s Odyssey was set 10 years after the Trojan war which would mean the stories taking place in the epic are dated sometime around 1170 BC. This is a time that is arguably unrecognisable by today’s standards in many parts of the world in terms of the models adopted by society and the roles two … Read more

Who Is Called A Hero?

In Webster’s English Dictionary, a hero is described as a person of exceptional bravery or a person admired for superior qualities and achievements. A hero can be a person who saves lives, helps others, or a person who stands up to someone or something, who the person has no chance against. In Homers, “The Odyssey” … Read more

Cunning as a Defining Characteristic

At its core, The Odyssey is a story that centers around the cunning of its main characters. Throughout the epic poem, both Odysseus and his wife, Penelope, are known for their mental capabilities. Odysseus is constantly referred to as “godlike,” and Penelope is called “circumspect.” Circumspect, as defined by Dictionary.com, means “heedful of circumstances and … Read more

Eumaeus, The Odyssey’s Ideal Man

In The Odyssey, Homer conveys themes of loyalty, authority, and reverence to the gods as he tells the story of Odysseus’ journey back to his home in Ithaca. All of these themes are exemplified in the disguised Odysseus’ encounter with Eumaeus, the servant who tends pigs. Eumaeus, though he only appears in the last third … Read more

Classical Cannibalism: Personified Vice in Homer and Dante

Have you eaten today? If not, then perhaps it is best that you do, before continuing with this essay. The reason for caution lies in the overlying theme discussed from here on. Both Dante’s Divine Comedy and Homer’s epic poem The Odyssey are similar in that they concern themselves with the virtues and vices of … Read more

Birds of Prey in the Odyssey

The eagle’s eyes roam the landscape from its perch, searching for its quarry from above. Suddenly a rustle of movement captures its full attention: a dove, perching lightly on the branch of an olive tree. Immediately, the eagle rises from its own branch and dives below, wings folded back as it soars toward the oblivious … Read more

On Penelope’s Grief

In Act IV, Scene II of William Shakespeare’s King Richard II, King Richard II states, “my grief lies all within; / And these external manners of laments / Are merely shadows to the unseen grief / That swells with silence in the tortured soul; / There lies the substance.” In these lines, he explains that … Read more

Guest-Host Relationships in Homer’s Odyssey

Odysseus’ disastrous encounter with the Laistrygones is a useful reference point for analyzing the nature of guest-host relationships in The Odyssey. When it is compared with his arrivals at the lands of the Phaiakians and the hands of the Cyclopes, a fuller picture of Odysseus and the customs of his time emerges; in addition, this … Read more

Architecture in the Odyssey: A Map of Circe

In the Odyssey, Homer uses architecture and landscape as metaphors for the personalities of the people to which each respective architectural description relates. For this reason, a strong emphasis is placed on explicit details when depictions of homes, land, and interior design are mentioned. To further explore this notion, I will discuss the way in … Read more

The Subtle Temptation of Nausikaa

The character of Nausikaa is somewhat of an anomaly within The Odyssey. Among women, she is a wholly developed character. Though such depth initially engages Odysseus, it becomes the force that propels him to his ultimate homecoming. A remarkable aspect of Nausikaa is the completeness of her character. She leaves the impression of a young … Read more

Review Of Book The Odyssey By Homer

In book 6, in the evening, Nausicaa, the Phaeacian princess is visited by Athena in a dream and obliges her to clean her dress. Once Nausiacaa wakes up, she takes her maids and a mule-pushcart, and the maids clean her attire in the ponds by the river. They then clean themselves and performance a game … Read more

Violence and its Functions in The Odyssey and Antigone

In both Homer’s The Odyssey and Sophocles’ Antigone, violence and war seem to be considered honorable; great fighters such as Antilokhos, Akhilleus and Odysseus of The Odyssey and Eteocles of Antigone are glorified and celebrated as exemplary figures in their respective societies, courageous souls willing and capable of going into battle. Yet in both the … Read more

Odysseus is an epic hero

In mythology there are numerous epic hero’s including Perseus, Odysseus, and Theseus. Some of the qualities of epic hero’s are: values honor and glory, usually has a guide, sometimes makes rash decisions and takes unnecessary risks and more. Odysseus has all these Epic hero qualities. In the Myth the Odyssey, Odysseus is the epic hero … Read more

Women Portrayed in Homers The Odyssey

Women were very important to the Greeks, and they showed this value in many ways. In The Odyssey Homer shows us the different ways women were looked upon through female characters, such as Penelope, Naussica, and Anticlia. With Penelope, a faithful and loving wife to Odysseus, Homer reveals to us how the Greeks believed wives … Read more

Odysseus: A Mere Mortal, But Purely Moral

In Homer’s Odyssey, he uses the stories of Calypso and Circe to give a reader a glimpse at Greek values. Odysseus is a perfectly moral man by Greek standards. In the Calypso episode, Odysseus demonstrates the value of faithfulness, and in the Circe episode, he illustrates Greek values in general. While both goddesses seek Odysseus … Read more

Temptations of Odysseus

Odysseus: a hero in every way. He is a real man, skilled in the sports, handy with a sword and spear, and a master of war strategy. Most of the challenges and adventures in his return voyage from Troy show us this even if we had no idea of his great heroic stature and accomplishments … Read more

Penelopes Role In The Odyssey

The character of Penelope in Homer’s Odyssey reflects the faithful wife who waits twenty years for the arrival of her husband. Only a strong woman could sustain the stress, anxiety and confusion resulting from the chaos of a palace with a missing king whose fate is unknown. Her responsibilities and commitments toward the man she … Read more

Homer’s poem The Odyssey

Homer’s poem The Odyssey depicts the tendency of people to ignore the consequences of their actions. Odysseus punished Penelope’s suitors without thinking of consequences that he would have to endure. He did not acknowledge the consequences because that would prevent him from doing what he wants to do. Odysseus wanted to kill the suitors; they … Read more

Homer, the author of the Iliad and the Odyssey

Homer, name traditionally assigned to the author of the Iliad and the Odyssey, the two major epics of Greek antiquity. Nothing is known of Homer as an individual, and in fact the question of whether a single person can be said to be responsible for the creation of the two epics is highly controversial. Linguistic … Read more

The life of a God, forever bliss, complete happiness

The life of a God, forever bliss, complete happiness: Odysseus slights all of these things in order for him to return to his loving wife and son. The concept of true commitment was a very commendable quality for a Greek hero to possess. With this character trait, Odysseus models the ideal husband, father, and leader. … Read more