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Homer’s The Odyssey

analytical Essay
1262 words
1262 words
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In book eight of Homer’s The Odyssey, Odysseus is on the island of the Phaeacians and is waiting to return home to Ithaca. Meanwhile, Alcinous, the Phaeacian king, has arranged for a feast and celebration of games in honor of Odysseus, who has not yet revealed his true identity. During the feast, a blind bard named Demodocus sings about the quarrel between Odysseus and Achilles at Troy. The song causes Odysseus to start weeping, so Alcinous ends the feast and orders the games to begin. During dinner after the games, Odysseus asks Demodocus to sing about the Trojan horse and the sack of Troy. This song too causes Odysseus to break down and cry. Homer uses a dramatic simile to describe the pain and sorrow that Odysseus feels as he recalls the story of Troy.

The passage of the simile is the first verse paragraph following several prose paragraphs. The structure of the verse is loose in following rhythmic or syllabic patterns. Although the form does not have any specific significance to the content, perhaps it is written in verse to sound somewhat poetic. Because the scene is very descriptive and dramatic, it is fitting to write it in a poem-like structure rather than simple prose.

Homer compares the crying Odysseus to a woman who weeps for her husband who died in battle. The weeping woman is described in a very dramatic scene in order to reflect the intensity of the sorrow that Odysseus is experiencing. The “woman weeps, flinging herself across the fallen body of her dear husband.” As she is “clinging to him, [she] wails,” and then “the enemies behind her strike her back and shoulders, then they carry her away to slavery and trials and misery.” The woman goes through a great deal of hardship, which explains why “her cheeks are wasted with pain.” Not only does her husband die, but the enemies strike her with their spears and take her away to suffer more. By comparing Odysseus’s crying to the woman weeping in this intense scene of misery, Homer is able to show the reader the degree of sorrow that Odysseus is feeling.

The simile of the weeping woman also induces a feeling of sympathy for Odysseus in the mind of the reader. The image of a woman crying for her dead husband is more saddening than the heroic Odysseus crying. The scene is focused on family and love, describing the dead husband as “a man who tried to keep the day of doom far from his children and beloved home.

In this essay, the author

  • Analyzes how homer uses a dramatic simile to describe the pain and sorrow that odysseus feels as he recalls the story of troy.
  • Analyzes how the simile is the first verse paragraph following several prose paragraphs. the structure of the verse is loose in following rhythmic or syllabic patterns.
  • Analyzes how homer compares odysseus's crying to a woman who weeps for her husband who died in battle.
  • Analyzes how the simile of the weeping woman induces a feeling of sympathy for odysseus in the reader's mind.
  • Analyzes how homer's repetition and vivid description of odysseus' and the metaphorical widow’s body parts create powerful imagery in the mind of the reader.
  • Analyzes how the simile of the weeping woman reflects the sorrow that odysseus is going through. he is a hero who fought in the battle of troy.
  • Analyzes how odysseus can be compared to the widow, who weeps for her heroic husband, and the trojan war and his fellow comrades.
  • Analyzes how homer compares odysseus to a weeping woman. he wanted to show how broken down he was emotionally.
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