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Odyssey Essay Examples

Essays on Odyssey

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Foils for Odysseus

The Odyssey is the epic that has been read time and time again, by varying ages, digging its way into our hearts, becoming an instant classic. Odysseus and the adventures of his homecoming create a much different tale than Homer’s other work, the Iliad, provided. The epic is not about bloodthirsty men trying to get their hands on kleos anymore; it is about the homecoming of a man who uses his wits, not his weapon. In the Odyssey, the characters…...

Nature vs. Culture in Odyssey

The imagery of nature and culture connects every scene from Book 9 to Book 12 in Odyssey. On the land of Cyclopes, Odysseus’s encounter with the one-eyed uncivilized giant unveils Odysseus’s cleverness as a civilized human being; Nevertheless, Odysseus eventually fails to overcome the flaw of human characteristic, as he tells Polyphemus about his real mortal identity when he is sailing away, which ultimately brings Poseidon's revenge to Achaeans. At one point human civilization teaches Odysseus the skill of using…...

Odyssey Review/Essay Questions

1.What aspects of social and political life in Homeric times are reflected in the “Odyssey”? =The aspects in the social and political life in Homeric times that are reflected in the Odyssey are the leadership and hierarchy. These are depicted by kings, warriors and peasants who sometimes live un-heroic simple life.Other than that it shows the culture of the Greeks wherein if you will court a lady,you should bring gifts. 2.What is the purpose of the many allusion to the…...

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"Life of Pi" vs "The Odyssey" Comparative Essay

Life standed on the sea is very grueling and risky. Only a few are able to face the challenging tasks of such a situation using their wits and persistence. In the book Life Of Pi and the film The Odyssey, the journeys of the main characters are surprisingly parallel, considering the works were written over 20 centuries apart. Both of their journeys contain stages similar to the archetypal hero journey, including the Separation/Departure, Initiation and The Return. Although both Pi…...

Epic Hero Analysis (Odyssey)

What does it take to be an epic hero? To be an epic hero you are required to have five specific qualities. These consist of being human-like, being a confident and courageous solider, nobility, and being in a poem containing supernatural beings that has setting is vast in scope. In the poem the Odyssey, the main character fits the criteria. Odysseus is an epic hero. An important trait to being an epic hero is that the character is involved in…...

10 most important events in the odyssey

1.) the lotus eaters-drugged Odysseus' men. 2.)Cyclopes-believed Odysseus that he was no body and gets hurt. 3.) Circe-Odysseus sends his men to find out what she is, turns men into pigs, Hermes gives Odysseus garlic so he doesn't turn into pig 4.)the sirens-singing 10 most important events in the odyssey 1.) the lotus eaters-drugged Odysseus' men. 2.)Cyclopes-believed Odysseus that he was no body and gets hurt. 3.) Circe-Odysseus sends his men to find out what she is, turns men into…...

Analysis of The Aeneid and The Odyssey

When comparing “The Aeneid” to “The Odyssey”, it is impossible not to notice the similarity between Homer and Virgil's poems. Both heroes leave Troy, granted one barely escapes and the other leaves victoriously, and both in one sense or the other are trying to reach their home, whether it is the old or future home. The adventures of the two heroes are incredibly similar on a number of accounts with the trip to the underworld being most intriguing. First of…...

Odyssey/Siren Song

Homer's epic poem Odyssey informs the story of Odysseus' encounter with the Sirens and their lethal tune which is displayed in Margaret Atwood's poem "Siren Tune." When comparing each text, it is found that the Sirens are portrayed as temptresses that trap you with their gorgeous, "honeyed voices." The tone in the epic poem is bright in the start when Homer composes "Helios' burning rays" and "the sun at midday." As the poem advances, it handles an ominous tone that…...

Allusion in a Poem Ithaca

Allusion is a reference to a historical or literary person, place or even with which the reader is assumed to be familiar. In the poem, "Ithaca", the author refers to Lestrygonians, Cyclopes, and the Poseidon. Lestrygonians are cannibals who destroy all of Odysseus' ships except his own and kill the crews. A Cyclops is a ficticious creature with one eye. A Poseidon is a fierce monster. "Ithaca" When you start on your journey to Ithaca, Then pray that the road…...

Leadership qualities of Odysseus throughout the book

Throughout the Odyssey, the lead character, Odysseus, is presented as the ideal Greek leader. He demonstrates this through the treatment of his men and how he deals with problems that are presented to him. Because the Odyssey was first a spoken myth, it took on the shape of the society in which it was told. Including that society's moral and ethical values, as well as its desires in the traits of a leader. A leader must first be defined, then…...

A Poem Helen by Hilda Doolittle

The first thought I come up with when reading Doolittle's Helen is the extreme difference between her poem, and Poe's poem, Helen. Doolittle and Poe both describe Helen using her face, eyes, legs, hands, and knees; however, Doolittle expresses the speaker's growing hatred of Helen while Poe adores her deeply. Doolittle makes an interesting choice when she says "all Greece" instead of "all Greeks." She appears to be referring to more than just the people of Greece, but instead the…...

The Odysseus (movie review)

The adventures of Odysseus are dramatic, exciting and interesting even to a contemporary audience. It is a story of a great warrior who is cursed by the gods and must wander the seas for years after the Trojan War. There is beautiful scenery in Turkey and of course you have ships at sea and goddesses and gods causing confusion with the humans. What they did with the special effects is pretty impressive. Some of the more complex scenes were filmed…...

Relationships between Gods and Mortals in The Odyssey

The Ancient Greeks were a race of very religious people who believed strongly in their gods and goddesses. Not only did they believe in the presence of their gods, they actually believed that the gods often intervened in their lives. Due to such a strong belief, the Greeks held their gods in the highest regard and had the utmost respect and reverence for them. Furthermore, they established certain types of relationships with their gods, usually not relationships in a physical…...

Similarities of Odysseus and Theseus Character Traits

In The Odyssey, the act of heroism and storytelling plays a significant role in portraying the story of Odysseus. According to the standards of the Greek society, The Odyssey depicts a different aspect of a hero in which an older, more established man already starts off as a hero, but must regain his dignity after falling into a crevice of turbulent times . When pieced together, each aspect that is told becomes part of a whole however, each with a…...

Criteria for Heroes

For individuals to be seen as heroes in ancient world they had to meet particular criteria. Above all, a guy required to be a knowledgeable warrior, who needed to respect authority, both governmental and religious. Heroes were provided no room for pride, they were to be modest, not just offering credit to their culture and the gods for any great deeds they had done, however likewise accepting whatever that took place as fate, not scenarios they had actually created for…...

"The Odyssey" as didactic literature

The Odysseus who leaves Troy changes into a totally different man before he comes to his home in Ithaca. The hero sustains lots of trials and adversities caused by the menis of Poseidon, however learns from his mistakes and matures much through his trek. Poseidon serves as a sign of the supernatural and the threatening. In a manner, he is the abusive, but pedagogic daddy. It is Poseidon who keeps Odysseus in the face of risk, and it is Poseidon…...

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…...

A Poem Ithaca Based on the Odyssey

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…...

"The Odyssey" - Telemachus' Journey

When does a boy end up being a male? This rite of passage is explored in Robert Fagles' translation of Homer's legendary poem, The Odyssey. Odysseus (king of Ithaca) combated in the Trojan War for 10 years and after the fall of Troy he invested the next ten years attempting to get house. He left an infant boy, Telemachus, and a dedicated wife, Penelope. Although they wished for Odysseus' return, Penelope and Telemachus were the ideal hosts to wayward complete…...

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…...

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…...

A reflection of Odysseus and Modern Day Heroes

Written about two thousand and seven hundred years earlier, the Odyssey is still influencing modern storytelling today. Odysseus, the legendary Greek king of Ithaca and protagonist of Homer's epic poem the Odyssey was recognized as a great hero of his time. He was known for his defining qualities of superior strength and athleticism, sharp intellect, sensual ness, and a thirst for glory. These character traits are still being used to attribute modern day fictional heroes such as Neo, Captain Jack…...

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…...

The ancient greek code of honor as demonstrated in Iliad and Odyssey

The Ancient Greeks are a proud people who placed a supreme importance to their accepted ideals of heroic honor. In some instances, fulfilling the duty of the code of honor was considered more important than saving their own lives (Perry 66). The Greek believed that an honorable man is able to keep or defend his woman. The Greek male are often portrayed as courageous and heroic and for him to lose a woman is a blight to his manhood (Perry…...

Achilles and Odysseus

It is not unknown that people look up to heroes and even try to emulate their actions; however, there is a relevant question that needs to be asked in order to facilitate a thorough understanding of what differentiates a hero—from someone who is merely fighting for himself. According to Aristotle's Politics (9), “[... ] he who is unable to live in society, or who has no need because he is sufficient for himself, must either be a beast or a…...

Epic of Gilgamesh and Hero

People have been attempting to define the word "hero" for as long has man has existed on this planet. To define a hero one must first appreciate that there are many different types of hero's. For example, a hero could be an epic hero such as King Gilgamesh, in The Epic of Gilgamesh, or a hero may a simple individual that serves his/her country or even a school teacher that devotes his/her life to the development of the youth. Hero's…...

Storytelling in Homer’s The Odyssey and Virgil’s The Aeneid

Storytelling was very essential to the history of man. For many years, storytelling was the crucial means which enabled man to record history. In the absence of written records, oral tradition became necessary in terms of documenting the experiences of man. Through the oral tradition, the history of man was passed on from one generation to another. While that kind of storytelling may reveal a different or exaggerated version of what actually transpired, the changes made do not undermine the…...

Odysseus in Greek Mythology

“Odysseus is too thoughtless, selfish and deceitful to be a real hero. ” How far do you agree with this view? Yes, I do agree that Odysseus was thoughtless, selfish and deceitful but these qualities were necessary for him to complete his journey and be seen as a hero on his return to Ithaca. Greek heroes like Odysseus were greater than the average man and achieved much notoriety and fame by being thoughtless, selfish and deceitful. Inevitability Odysseus, curiosity led…...

Odyssey- Odysseus's Behavior

Odysseus’s behavior was ironic when he deliberately concealed part of Circe’s prophecy from his men because when Odysseus and his men went through Scylla, all of the men were scared and some of the men were killed. In the Odyssey it said that: “My men all blanched against the gloom our eyes were fixed upon that yawning mouth in fear of being devoured” (Homer886) This quote showed that Odysseus’s behavior was ironic because since he did not tell his men…...

The Heroic Journey of Odysseus

In almost all of the stories that have been written, there is a journey that the character undertakes to become whole and balanced, also known as the heroic journey. In the first stage of the journey, the departure, the hero leaves their known world and begins their adventure. After the hero undergoes the departure, they then move on to the next stage, the initiation, where they are put through tests and venture into the world of hero or magic or…...

The Role of Women in The Odyssey

The Odyssey, by Homer, is an epic poem based on the story of an ancient Greek hero, Odysseus, and his twenty year journey—ten years spent fighting in the Trojan War and the other ten spent traveling home. In the poem, Homer presents the theme of the role and nature of women. Men were the dominant gender in ancient Greece, and women, who were inferior, were only valued for their beauty and their ability to reproduce. However, in this poem, Homer…...

The Odyssey Themes

Grief, Suffering, Sorrow, Misery, Distress, and Misery: According to Greek Folklore the act of being human needs that you need to suffer and there is no escape from pain, it is the cost you pay to be human. "By nights he would lie next to her, of requirement, in the hollow caerns, versus his will, by one who wanted, but all the days he would sit upon the rocks, at the beachfront, breaking his heart in tears and lamentation and…...

Comparison of Themes: Exercise of Free Will

The stories of Odyssey and Alchemist were brought into existence in two different periods of time and place; however, there are significant similarities that could be seen from the stories, in which one of these is the expression of the free will of the two main characters. In the story, both Odysseus and Alchemist were placed in a difficult situation that compelled them to act based on their philosophical view that guided them through the course of their journey. Free…...

Meaning of Underworld in the Odyssey and Aeneid

In both Odyssey and Aeneid the protagonists visit the Underworld and for both this is a turning point of their life and the turning point of the plot. For Odyssey the unusual travel marks his symbolic “cleansing” from blood he has shed at Troy and from anger of gods, making it possible for him to return to Ithaca. Before traveling to the Underworld Aeneas is an expellee, who strives “in vain against the seas and wind” (Aeneid, 5: 21). After…...

Parallel Motivations in the Iliad and the Odyssey

The Iliad and the Odyssey were poems written by Homer about events in Greek mythology. The Iliad detailed the final year of the Trojan war, which pitted the Greeks against the Trojans, and this poetic story described the outcome of the war. Homer’s Odyssey describes the adventures of Odysseus (Ulysses, as he was known in Roman mythology) as he tries to return home, to Ithaca, following the Trojan War. But there is one them that is present in both of…...

Odysseus: The Qualities of a Hero

“The Odyssey” by Homer is one of the most recognized epics in world literature. It traces the decade-long journey of Odysseus back to Ithaca after he fought in the Trojan War. He was able to survive the dangerous ten-year voyage which he experienced and safely arrive home. Indeed, Odysseus is a truly admirable character, but what what makes him especially laudable is his physical strength, courage, and cunning. One admirable quality which Odysseus possesses is his physical strength. Like all…...

Odysseus and Aeneus: Travels to the Dark Side

Ancient Greece’s Odysseus from Homer’s The Odyssey and ancient Troy’s Aeneus from Virgil’s The Aeneid are both heroes who struggle with identity and purpose, and these identities and purposes are tied up into the concepts and symbolism revolving around female versus male and pagan versus Christian-like influences. In comparing Odysseus’ travel to the underworld and Aeneus’ decent to the land of the dead, one can relate these journeys to the main philosophical plots of both works of ancient literature. Although…...

Complementing Texts: Homer’s The Odyssey and Dante’s Inferno

Ever since human beings started telling stories for entertainment or for edification, heroes have made incredible journeys against what seem like impossible odds. In the beginning, heroes often these journeys to reach a goal, often in defiance of the gods who, for whatever reason, had imposed limits upon the main character of the story. In Homer’s story, The Odyssey, this limitation is that the gods will block his way home until he speaks to the sage Tiresias. By contrast, Dante…...

Odysseus as a Leader

In the epic poem The Odyssey Homer, Odysseus has the ability to be a very good leader, but doesn’t always live up to it. Odysseus is a good leader because he thinks a lot of things through. Therefore, he knows what to do ahead of time. Another reason Odysseus is a good leader is that he knows when to trust his crew. Odysseus can be a bad leader because he doesn’t always tell his crew everything. Also, he doesn’t always…...

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