In Book IX: In The One-Eyed Giant’s Cave, of The Odyssey, an epithet is immediately used in the introduction of Odysseus - a “great teller of tales,” who begins to recall his journey (Homer, 136). Already, he has been distinguished as the sole narrator of the remainder of his and his crew’s travels. In addition, the mention of Odysseus’ skill for storytelling is supported further in the next major epithet, in which ...
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...nd death. Polyphemus is a lawless brute.
In juxtaposition of the horror of the previous night, the following morning is brought on through two epithets:
“When young Dawn with her rose-red fingers shone once more
the monster re-lit his ﬁre and milked his handsome ewes,
each in order, putting a suckling underneath each dam,
and as soon as he’d briskly ﬁnished all his chores
he snatched up two more men and ﬁxed his meal.” (Homer, 146).
The arrival of young Dawn and, more pervasively, her rose-red fingers is a frequent epithet and symbol in The Odyssey. Dawn brings the potential for improvement, prosperity, and perhaps most importantly: the hope which fuels Odysseus and his crew’s desire to go home. In this instance, the arrival of morning allows Odysseus the opportunity to formulate a way of avenging not just two, but six men lost to the monstrosity of the Cyclops.
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