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Homer Essay Topics & Paper Examples

Mycenae and Agamemnon

Mycenae lies about 90 kilometres south-west of Athens. From around 1600BC-1100BC Mycenae was a highly wealthy and influential city, dominating much of southern Greece. The Mycenaean Era was named in reference to the city. THE DISCOVERY OF MYCENAE It was Heinrich Schliemann who first completely excavated the city of Mycenae. The controversial archaeologist was searching for evidence that Agamemnon, the king who led the Greeks to fight Troy in the Trojan War. Schliemann was determined to prove that the Trojan War was a real event; in fact his career was based around his desire for this. After failing to find any definitive evidence in his search for Troy, he turned to Mycenae. In 1841 another archaeologist had found and restored…

Tragic Heroes of Illiad

Although Achilles and Hector are both mighty warriors who share the same values, they have different backgrounds, personalities, and reasons for fighting. Homer presents Achilles, the son of Peleus, a mortal, and of Thetis, a sea nymph, as a hero with almost supernatural characteristics. Achilles’ statue is godlike, his strength is superior, and his powers with a spear unsurpassed. He wears immortal armor and has talking horses. While Achilles is superhuman, Hector is completely human surrounded by his wife and child. As the eldest son of Priam and Hekuba, king and queen of Troy, Hector is the commander of the Trojan army. Hector has strong feelings of responsibility for his community. Troy is a center of culture with elaborate palaces…

Trojan War

Trojan War, in Greek legend, famous war waged by the Greeks against the city of Troy. The tradition is believed to reflect a real war between the Greeks of the late Mycenaean period and the inhabitants of the Troad, or Troas, in Anatolia, part of present-day Turkey. Modern archaeological excavations have shown that Troy was destroyed by fire sometime between 1230 bc and 1180 bc, and that the war may have resulted from the desire either to plunder the wealthy city or to put an end to Troy’s commercial control of the Dardanelles. Legendary accounts of the war traced its origin to a golden apple, inscribed “for the fairest” and thrown by Eris, goddess of discord, among the heavenly guests…

Vendler’s Explication of Poetry

Additional Step-by-Step Method of Thoroughly Explicating a Poem In addition to the sections, which are mentioned in the basic explication de texte, please review these divisions to further assist you in the complex work of analysis. Meaning: can you paraphrase in prose the general outline of the poem? Do not simply answer yes or no; attempt a brief paraphrase. Antecedent scenario: What has been happening before the poem begins? What has provoked the speaker? “Poets make certain stanza-forms their own. Dante wrote the whole of the Divine Comedy in three-line pentameter stanzas with interlaced rhyme, and ever since, anyone writing in this form or one of its modern adaptations—from Percy Bysshe Shelley in the nineteenth century through Wallace Stevens and…

The Iliad of Homer

In the epoch of Homer, the interference of gods in every action was considered to be usual, and it is perfectly demonstrated in one of his most important creations, The Iliad. In this work we see almost all of the Greek gods engaged in the Trojan War. On almost every page of the writing we can meet a name of a god, playing some role or just mentioned. The main peculiarity of Greek gods is that they are very close to humans in their behavior and habits. They are often showed in a very comical way reflecting people’s weaknesses and drawbacks. Speaking about the Iliad and Trojan War, Zeus, the main Greek god, is untypically passive during the war. Sitting…

Redemtive Vilonce in the Odyssey by Homer

The myth of redemptive violence is one that is told throughout history. It is one in which violence is the creator. Whether it be creation of the cosmos, peace, or some other result, in this myth violence results in redemption. This myth has been imbedded in our society to such a degree that it is naturalized and accepted as the way things are without much reflection. For example, many Christians probably don’t contemplate the ways redemptive violence is at the heart of their religion. A classic example of the myth of redemptive violence is found in the elaborate poem The Odyssey. Many elements of violence and how we associate with violence are explored within the multitude of pages of this…

Exile in the Odyssey

In antiquity, the civilized world was settled around the Mediterranean Basin – the foundations of Western society can be traced to Hellenic Greece, which bordered the Aegean Sea. For the Greeks, the sea was the realm of the gods. In The Odyssey by Homer, Odysseus and he crew face many trials and tribulations that isolate and ameliorate them to teach the reader that the consequences of temptation must be conquered with absolute perseverance. When Odysseus and his crew arrive on the island of the Lotus-eaters, every man eats the Lotus fruit and is tempted to remain exiled on the isle in a deep sleep forever; it is only that after Odysseus removes his crew that they are able to continue…

Greek Mythology

Odysseus was considered to be the epitome of what a Greek man should strive to be. He was a courageous and clever warrior who earned arete through his feats during the Trojan War. The ancient Achaean male modeled themselves after great men like Odysseus, but the real question is who do Greek woman model themselves after. Clytemnestra’s plight and eventual death is a perfect example of how married women were expected act compared to married men. Also, women like Penelope in The Odyssey were criticized for being untruthful, but men like Odysseus were praised for exceptional cunning in the same epic poem. Calypso is a goddess who is aware of these double standards and makes an eloquent plea to the…

The Illiad: Thematic Essay

As quoted in www. novelguide. com, “In Homer’s The Iliad, war is depicted as horrible, bloody, and fruitless. There are no clear winners. Many mortal people die in vain because of arrogant and emotional decisions made by men. ” The violence of war is a major theme. The Iliad is an epic poem about the war between the Trojans and the Greeks. The violence of war is shown with three examples: the battlefield being completely covered with corpses, Achilles dragging Hectors’ dead body around the city three times, and Paris and Menelaus’ dual. The violence of war greatly affects mortality. When you have war, many people die; and when people die, they are left on the battlefield. A consequence of…

The Odyssey

Hunger, whether a literal hunger or a hunger for power has always been a downfall for humankind. In the Odyssey hunger destroys the lives of many men. Even though the Odyssey is just an epic it reflects in many ways how hunger can ruin and sometimes even destroy someone’s life. In history, hunger has shown itself in many different and unique ways. For example Hitler’s hunger for power destroyed millions of lives. It forced millions of people to move their homes and change their lives or to even lose their lives. Hunger has caused people and even entire nations to be decimated. If people could control there hunger the world and its people would be a safer and happier place….

Hector and Helen

The characters in homer’s Iliad have from time to time afforded a first class battleground for scholars and students alike. Through parallels, contrasts, and counter positioning of characters and actions, the principle characters have been analyzed and objectified as embodiments of certain ideals permeating the Greek society. Helen, like Klytaimestra, Pandora, Medea and Phaedra; has been portrayed as the exemplar of the females sub-ordination to the irrational – particularly sex (Thorton. 84). In her, the destructive specter of a mind dominated by passion and compulsive pleasure endangers men: the defenders of the ideals of the polis. Here, the threat posed by Helen is two pronged, that is: the irresistible allure of her beauty and the mind confusing fire of sexual…

Joseph Campbell’s Monomyth

1. Hero introduced in his ordinary world Odysseus is a strong ruler of Ithaca (Greek city-state), however lacks experience in war. He is also the son of Läertes 2. The call to adventure He wins the Trojan war through his guile nature. As his fleet left for Ithaca, strong winds sweep them off course 3. Hero is reluctant at first Odysseus and his men get a little afraid after realizing that they had no idea where they were heading for 4. Encouraged by the wise old man/woman Along the way, Odysseus obtains lots of advice of how he should carry on with his expedition from Circe the Enchantress 5. Hero passes the first threshold The first issue that Odysseus faces would…

Mock-heroic features of Pope’s “The Rape of the Lock”

Mock-epic, also known as mock-heroic poetry is a juxtaposition of trivial subject matter and grandeur epic style. From the fundamental point of view, mock-epic is nothing but the most popular neo-classical burlesque used as a double-edged satirical weapon. Batrachomyomachia, an anonymous parody, attributed to Homer, is most probably the earliest example of mock-epic genre. Alexander Pope was the central figure of Augustan Age, for his best mock-heroic poetry The Rape of the Lock, written based on a contemporary scandal. It deals with the journey from an insignificant event of cutting hair lock of a belle, to a Trojan war. Pope’s The Rape of the Lock, published in 1712(revised version in 1714 with five cantos), is like a literary heterogeneous architecture…

Women in “The Odyssey”

In Homer’s The Odyssey, women are looked at in two ways; as being the evils in the world and hindering on Odysseus’s homecoming or as being loving and faithful. On his journey home, Odysseus weaves his way through many hardships and temptations that are created by the women he meets on his voyage back to Ithaca. Calypso and Nausikaa play a large role in representing temptation while Penelope represents loyalty for she was the only good and loyal woman who waited for Odysseus to return home unlike Clytemnestra who found a new lover. Calypso, a nymph from the island of Ogygia, took in Odysseus who had been shipwrecked after the Trojan War. After falling in love with him and wishing…

The Relationship Between Telemachus and Odysseus

Telemachus is often overshadowed by Odysseus many heroic deeds and conquests; while Telemachus attempts to be just like his father, he never earns the full respect of those close to him and is never seen as a true figure of power or authority in others eyes or even in his own. In Book 2, the suitors mock Telemachus for his weakness and indecisiveness. Eurymachus writes off the omen of the fighting eagles, voicing his belief that Telemachus (whom he refers to as the boy [l. 212]) cannot follow through with his tiresome threats because he lacks the power to challenge the suitors. Later, Leocritus states that despite encouragement from the elders, Telemachus will never make the journey to uncover information…

Recklessness in the Odyssey

Odysseus’ overdeveloped pride and arrogance led him to act recklessly in Book Nine of the Odyssey. This caused unfortunate scenarios for both Odysseus and his men. Odysseus had a lot of pride. This is shown when he states that he is “known to the world” and that his fame “has reached the skies” – book 9 line 21-22This is the pride that he has of his name, which leads to his questionable judgment. He regarded as a great hero and that makes him believe that his decisions cannot be wrong. It is very interesting that in the Greek culture where reputation is so significant, it is the very thing that leads to his damaging behavior. Odysseus shows recklessness throughout the…

The Odyssey vs The movie “O Brother Where Art Thou”

The Odyssey, is a legendary tale written by David Adams Leeming. This epic tells the story of a wise man named Odysseus who struggled to return back to his homeland, Ithaca, after the fall of Troy. In comparison to the text, the movie “O Brother Where Art Thou,” has a similar plot and is based on The Odyssey. In the movie, Ulysses Everett McGill is the main character played by George Clooney. Everett and Odysseus both encounter different struggles in their journeys throughout the movie and the book; however, both characters’ main goal was to be reunited with their families back home. The first and most obvious similarity between the movie and the text are the main character’s names. In…

The Odyssey: Odysseus’ heroic/frail qualities

A hero might typically be described as a courageous person who has the strength of a warrior and a leader to triumph in battles. However, a hero may also be someone who uses his brain just as much as he uses his brawn. In ‘The Odyssey’ by Homer, Odysseus embodies the ideal human qualities that Homer’s Greek society respect: bravery, nobility and intelligence. Despite these attributes, he has a tragic flaw that brings demise and destruction over his journey and his men. Although at times his actions bring suffering to others, the courageous and assiduous Odysseus displays many admirable traits. The one and only tragic flaw of the eminent epic hero is that he possesses an excessive amount of pride….

Helen of Troy Fact vs. Fiction

Together, in the spur of the moment, they ran. The walls they enclosed themselves in, along with all of Troy, protected them as the ships launched and war erupted. Helen of Troy’s story of love and deceit inspired authors, such as Homer and Tisias, to write about the war caused by one woman and her act of betrayal towards her husband. As history goes and passes, questions arise as to whom exactly was Helen of Troy, and was she even real. Is the story true about the women who had “the face that launched a thousand ships” or is the mythological legend narrated as a make-believe tale expressed by the authors of past millennia? The epic tale of Helen of…

Duality in “The Odyssey”

Odysseus exhibits a certain duality in his nature that defines his persona and controls his actions. In Book Nine of The Odyssey, both oppositional sides of Odysseus are poignantly illustrated: the tactful, crafty leader who uses reason, and the rash warrior in search of home and glory who acts impulsively. From the opening scene, Odysseus uses his cunning and charm to win the respect and honor of the Phaeacians and their king, Alcinous. This is shown when he states, What a fine thing this is, to listen to such a bard/as we have here—the man sings like a god./The crown of life, Id say” Clearly, Odysseus is trying to flatter and win the favor of his hosts in order to…

Relationship between Father and Son

Father and son relationships in The Iliad are not like you would see in America or in our culture today, but there is still a developed love for one another. Priam and Hector had a very strong and admirable relationship, yet it didn’t come from seeing each other every day. Fatherly affection is not touchy-feely, nor is it necessarily given unconditionally or freely. Rather, a son must earn his father’s respect and admiration, and it is by leaving home and fighting his own battles that the son is able to get this. They spent more time apart then they did together. The distance they spent from each other only made their admiration grow stronger. This relationship is unique, and plays…

Odysseus- Character Comparison to the movie

In comparing the blockbuster movie TROY to secondary sources found o the internet and in various texts, there are many significant differences in the portrayal of Odysseus and his involvement in Trojan War. In the movie, the first we see of Odysseus is when he’s sent by the Mycenaean King and conqueror of Greece, Agamemnon, to persuade Achilles to join the Greek war effort because, I quote, “Odysseus is the only man he’ll listen to”. The respect and belief placed in Odysseus further proves the amount of admiration Greeks hold in his ability as an eloquent speaker. In many of the texts, there is more to the pre-war story of Odysseus then mentioned in TROY. One commonly held belief is…

“Ithaca” by C.P. Cavafy

Everyone is given the opportunity to take the odyssey that is “life, however it is important to make the journey as memorable as one possibly can. The poem “Ithaca” by C.P. Cavafy suggests that what is most important in life is the experience that is incorporated with the journey, not necessarily just reaching the ultimate goal. It is the quest, not the destination which matters most. This message is conveyed through the poem through the use of allusion, myth and symbolism. The poem, “Ithaca”, is based loosely around the great epic the Odyssey by ancient Greek poet Homer. In the Odyssey the character Odysseus trying to make his way home to his kingdom, Ithaca. The character faces many vicious creatures…

Hospitality and Destiny in the Odyssey and Sundiata

Princeton’s Wordnet defines hospitality as “[the act of] cordial reception: [or] kindness in welcoming guests or strangers.” Since the start of this semester, we have read about two different journeys in which hospitality plays an important role in fulfilling the destiny of the main character. In Homer’s Odyssey, many examples of this are apparent, whether they are for the benefit or the downfall of the protagonist Odysseus. However, Odysseus is not the only one whom hospitality rules. His son Telemachus also is affected by his hospitality towards others. In Niane’s Sundiata: An Epic of Old Mali, the theme of hospitality runs thick throughout the narrative, as Sundiata is greatly affected by how the other characters receive him. If it were…

“The Odyssey” as didactic literature

The Odysseus who leaves Troy changes into a completely different man before he arrives at his home in Ithaca. The hero endures many trials and tribulations induced by the menis of Poseidon, but learns from his mistakes and matures much through his trek. Poseidon serves as a symbol of the supernatural and the threatening. In a way, he is the abusive, but pedagogic father. It is Poseidon who keeps Odysseus in the face of danger, and it is Poseidon who keeps him suffering. Until the seventh year of Calypso, Athena does nothing and observes patiently. She is the gentle and guiding mother. She stops the father from killing the son, but lets the son gain wisdom through his suffering. It…

Homer’s epic poem “The Odyssey”

In Homer’s epic poem, “The Odyssey,” the protagonist, Odysseus, has spent ten years fighting in the Trojan War. Due to the gods’ anger against Odysseus, he is destined to have a very long and difficult journey home. Odysseus proves to be brave because he overcomes both external and internal conflicts on this long journey home. The external conflicts that Odysseus overcomes show that he is highly courageous. For example, the episode with the Cyclops proves he is clever because he tricked Polyphemus into thinking that his men were sheep. Another example of Odysseus’ braveness was his encounter with the suitors. He was very strong and confident which caused him to fight the hundreds of suitors and win even though it…

Homer – “The Odyssey

It is surprising that Odysseus, ‘a master of stratagems,’ can also be reckless and impulsive? Throughout the Epic, The Odyssey, Odysseus is determined to be a survivor and return to Ithaca with a status appropriate to his own sense of excellence. Odysseus is not going to make any suicidal heroic stands on the battle field and refuses to compromise a very narrow sense of integrity. On the contrary, he is ready to use any stratagem to get home. Odysseus lies, accepts insults, disguises himself, represses his emotions and even conceals his true identity in order to get through his journey. Odysseus is impulsive and reckless. The Epic, is only the story it is due to Odysseus being a character of…

Criticism of Homer’s “The Iliad”

Homer’s Iliad would have been severely criticized by Socrates, as depicted by Plato in The Republic. Plato is critical of Greek literature and mythology and even went so far as to propose a system of censorship in the ideal city. Plato believed myths to be lies and thus the propagation of these lies should be halted in society. In The Republic he wrote, “Whenever they tell a tale that plays false with the true nature of gods and heroes…they are like painters whose portraits bear no resemblance to their models.” In this excerpt, Plato is saying that when literature “plays false with the true nature of gods and heroes”-which means depicts false information-it paints a false impression of reality. Therefore…

Explication of “Siren Song” by Margaret Atwood

Margaret Atwood’s “Siren Song” is a lyric that consists of nine three-lined stanzas that neither possess any recognizable rhyme scheme nor rhythm. The speaker of this poem is a mythical creature, a Siren, who addresses us, the audience, when she speaks of the victims whom she lured through the enticing song she sings. The overall tone of this poem is sarcastic and quite sinister. The title itself immediately depicts the theme and speaker of the poem. The whole poem is an example of classical allusion, referring to Homer’s Odyssey. The Sirens within the Odyssey are said to be captivating women who sit on an island and lure men with their tantalizing song and beautiful voices, causing them to jump out…

Achilles as the Anti-Hero in Homer’s “Iliad”

From beginning to end of Homer’s The Iliad, Achilles is portrayed as a man stagnant in his ways. He is arrogant, impatient, unforgiving, vengeful, and extremely stubborn, and these awful attributes never cease. Achilles’ lack of compassion perplexes the present situation involving the Achaens and the Trojans by making it difficult to figure out which side is truly good and evil–both sides have good reason to fight. Even though Achilles is set in his ignorant ways, he does manage to do some good at the end of the story. However, even though he displays this act of unselfishness, the fury within Achilles causes him to remain the unchanging, selfish man that he truly is. Agamemnon has just insulted Achilles in…