The Odyssey Literary Analysis Essay

The Odyssey Literary Analysis Essay

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“The Odyssey” is an epic poem that tells the story of Odysseus and the story of his many travels and adventures. The Odyssey tells the main character’s tale of his journey home to the island of Ithaca after spending ten years fighting in the Trojan War, and his adventures when he returns home and he is reunited with his family and close friends. This literary analysis will examine the story and its characters, relationships, major events, symbols and motifs, and literary devices.
There is a copious amount of major characters in the story. Some of them include Odysseus, the main character, who is a soldier and returns home after a twenty-year absence. Some of his family includes Laertes, his father, Penelope, his wife, and Telemachus, his son. There are many gods that Odysseus must battle on his journey home, including Zeus, who is said to be father of all gods, and Poseidon, the god of the ocean who punishes Odysseus and his crew by giving them a very difficult trip home after they blind his son, Polyphemus, or the Cyclops by blinding him after stabbing him in the eye. Another major character is Calypso, a sea goddess who is in love with Odysseus.
Some of the major relationships in the story are the relationship between Odysseus and his men, because they view as a hero and are willing to do anything for him. Odysseus also has a very close bond with Telemachus, his son, and his loyalty to his father can be seen when he travels to Sparta to look for his father when he has been absent for so long and near the end when he helps his father defeat the suitors. An important negative relationship that Odysseus has is his relationship with the suitor Antinous. When Odysseus returns, Antinous and his men are trying to take over his house, ...


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The tone in the story is very different in the 2 parts. In part 1, it could be said that the tone is one of excitement and danger, because it is following Odysseus on his endeavors against the ocean and the gods. In part 2, the tone could be one of sadness because Odysseus must disguise himself as a beggar, and he cannot reveal his identity to his family and they cannot be reunited. They tone was also kind of mysterious, because the readers wonder what will happen when he converses with his family in disguise, because the reader knows about the disguise but his family has no idea who it is.
In conclusion, the “Odyssey” is one of the greatest literary works ever known and this literary analysis should help the reader to understand the important components of the novel such as theme, characters, relationships, symbols, motifs, literary devices, and tone.

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