Adversity In The Odyssey

1487 Words6 Pages
Similar to an elaborate dish, a literary genre consists of multiple necessary “ingredients,” called epic conventions, which classify a text into a particular category. Homer follows an impeccable recipe in his magnificent work. Labeled as an epic, The Odyssey by Homer portrays the Greek hero Odysseus years after his victory in the Trojan War and his awaited journey back to Ithaca. As the plot develops it is evident it is no effortless feat for our hero to return home. The godly Odysseus encounters adversities in the forms of Cyclops, sea monsters, alluring flowers and formidable Greek gods with varying conceptions of him. These characteristics distinguish the Odyssey and its episodes as an epic and bestow Odysseus with the title of an epic…show more content…
Odysseus faces life-threatening adversities in the sea and the situation only continues to worsen from there. A reader can easily picture the “whole storms of all the winds and covered earth and ocean alike”(291-292). Once the unique sentence structure is deciphered vivid images form. Epics intend to portray the central hero in action. Calypso eloquently, but with peculiar language paints the image of the battle, in this case, our Greek king facing the raging storm. While Odysseus fares in the stormy sea in an unnerved state he fears the goddess is correct regarding her assumption of his journey home being filled with pain. Accurately the circumstances he finds himself in are specified with a reference to the Danaans. Odysseus tells himself, “Thrice and four times blessed are the Danaans who perished” (305). Danaans is a title Homer utilizes to label the expeditionary force of Troy, the Greeks. As the, now, solitary hero confronts the wrath of Poseidon believes himself to be more unfortunate than the miserable Greeks during a difficult time. The pain he is experiencing is apparent when such remark is made. Odysseus continues to reveal and provide insight on his hardship. Specifically, he comments the Danaans lost while “doing the pleasures of the sons of Atreus” (306). A better sense of the ruthless waves and circumstances Odysseus is in is…show more content…
Homer’s work, adopted epic conventions and captivates the audience by presenting majestic characters. All points considered an epic cannot solely be labeled as a poem. The omission of epic conventions does not allow for a plot such as The Odyssey’s to develop. Therefore, the existence of distinguishing elements is classified as indispensable. An epic calls for the reader to focus and appreciate the manner in which it is presented. The style is ideally formatted to expose heroism to the audience, whether it’s teenagers today or the ancient Greeks. The Odyssey defines heroism through Odysseus and the concept although modified is relevant and valuable to our society. Ultimately, the events of the series of cantos strengthen the regard in which we hold heroic
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