An analysis of themes in the odyssey by homer

Spiritual Growth One of the questions often asked about a work of literature is whether the principal characters grow or develop as the story progresses. According to the most aggressive of the suitors, Antinous, Penelope has persevered against the invaders for about four years 2.

Athena has protected him and he has shown great restraint and discretion in his dealings with Nausikaa and in his approach to the court. Folly leads men to reckless behavior; temptation leads them to lose sight of their goal homecoming ; the visit to Hades teaches Odysseus about what he still needs to do and monsters force them to triumph over the uncivilized in order to reach civilization.

The Odyssey Themes

He demonstrates impressive tolerance as he endures, in disguise, the insults and assaults of the suitor Antinous, the goatherd Melanthius, and the maidservant Melantho, for example. Zeus himself, king of the gods, is known as the greatest advocate of hospitality and the suppliants who request it; yet even he allows the sea god Poseidon to punish the Phaeacians for their generous tradition of returning wayfarers to their homelands.

He faces various barriers, falters temporarily, but eventually prevails. Human Condition "What does it mean to be human? The reader learns about the characters through the themes. Melanthius has become friendly with the suitors and insults Odysseus while the king is still in disguise.

It should be no surprise, then, to discover that Odysseus is beloved of Athena, who is the goddess of creativity and imagination. Deception, illusion, lying and trickery often are thought to be admirable traits in The Odyssey.

Penelope is expected to An analysis of themes in the odyssey by homer absolutely faithful to her husband. This issue, however, can be complicated because many of the people from whom Odysseus expects loyalty are actually his property.

Vengeance Poseidon and Odysseus are the most noticeable representatives of the theme of vengeance. However, she most famously appears to Telemachus as Mentor, an Ithacan adviser who helps to protect the prince from the murderous suitors and to guide him through his coming of age. In one of the more controversial sections of the epic, Poseidon takes his frustration out on the Phaeacians whose only offense is following their tradition of hospitality by sailing Odysseus home There the suitors abuse the protocol for hospitality and also slay cattle for no sacred purpose, day after day.

As abhorrent as that may seem to a modern reader, possession is part of the justification for a double standard when it comes to sexual fidelity. Love and Loyalty Love and loyalty are two very important parts of the human condition, and also two important themes running through the Odyssey.

Therefore, the most complicated character, Odysseus, appropriately embodies each of the themes to one degree or another.

This brings Odysseus, and the Phaeacians, serious problems later. The poem gives us every kind of example of humanity—good, bad, young, old, individuals and groups, the living and even the dead.

Melanthius and Melantho die more slowly after the slaughter of the suitors. He was already quite a man when he left for the Trojan War 20 years before.

Lineage family Not only does Odysseus need to reconnect to his family for his own identity, he needs to reconnect for their sake and the sake of the people of Ithaka. The meeting between Odysseus and his father, Laertes, Book 24 is also somewhat controversial. Penelope and Odysseus especially embody the theme of perseverance.

Early on, Odysseus feels compelled to taunt Polyphemus the Cyclops as he escapes from the one-eyed monster.

Some critics argue that Odysseus, in maintaining his disguise, is needlessly cruel to the old man; others conclude that he helps to restore his father to dignity.

Hospitality, or the lack of it, affects Odysseus throughout the epic, and the reader can judge civility by the degree of hospitality offered. The more complicated a character is, the more he or she engages these major themes.

It was through visitors that the Homeric Greeks learned about and kept abreast of what was happening in the world beyond their local areas. Odysseus, on the other hand, is not bound by the same expectation of fidelity.

His trials have more to do with refinement of spirit; his growth is in the kind of wisdom and judgment that will make him a better king. This allows her to encourage the prince and lead him into an expository discussion of the problems in the palace.

In his wanderings, Odysseus receives impressive help from the Phaeacians and, initially, from Aeolus. None of the heroes in the Iliad, for example, would likely have endured the kind of insults and abuses that Odysseus takes from the suitors, or even have considered concealing his identity, even to further a noble goal such as the destruction of those very suitors.

The Odyssey

When the epic opens, Telemachus is at a loss as to how to deal with the suitors who have taken over his home and seek the hand of his mother in marriage for primarily political reasons. When Odysseus returns to Ithaca in Book 13 of The Odyssey, Athena disguises him as an old beggar, even going so far as to shrivel his skin, remove the "russet curls" In fact, two scholars from ancient Alexandria claimed that the "ending" of the Odyssey came in line Tough-o-Meter For the first-time reader, probably the hardest.

homer the odysseyhelp!!! wat is the main point of homer the odyssey The main point: the desire to get home and the difficulty in getting there. See the eNotes study guide for help with themes. The major themes in The Odyssey are especially significant because they serve to form the moral and ethical constitution of most of the characters.

The reader learns about the characters through the themes. Struggling with the themes of Homer's The Odyssey? We've got the quick and easy lowdown on them here.

A summary of Themes in Homer's The Odyssey. Learn exactly what happened in this chapter, scene, or section of The Odyssey and what it means.

Perfect for acing essays, tests, and quizzes, as well as for writing lesson plans. The Odyssey is a Greek epic poem attributed to the Greek poet Homer during the late eighth century BCE.

The work follows hero and protagonist Odysseus as he journeys home to his wife Penelope and his son Telemachus from the Trojan War, encountering many obstacles along the way.

An analysis of themes in the odyssey by homer
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