Homer's The Odyssey Essay

Homer's The Odyssey Essay

Length: 1642 words (4.7 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Powerful Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

Homer's "The Odyssey"


The Odyssey is a companion to The Iliad, a story of the Trojan War. Both The Iliad and The Odyssey are epic poems written by Homer. In The Odyssey, Homer relates the misadventures of Odysseus, king of Ithaca, that occur during the decade following the defeat of Troy. In doing so, the fates of his fellow warriors are also made known. The Odyssey begins on Mount Olympus, in the palace of Zeus, king of the gods, where a discussion takes place regarding the woes of humans and their determination to blame it on the gods. Athene, daughter of Zeus, appeals to her father to help Odysseus, who through no fault of his own, has been kept prisoner on the island of Ogygia for seven years by Calypso, daughter of the god Atlas. After receiving sanction to help Odysseus, Athene visits Telemachus, Odysseus' son, to motivate him to begin searching for his father. It is here that we learn of the situation awaiting Odysseus at home in Ithaca. Penelope, Odysseus' wife, is besieged by suitors who wish to marry her. She has no desire to remarry because she still laments for Odysseus and prays that he will return, even though it's been twenty years since he left to fight against Troy. These suitors, rather than courting her from afar, have taken up residence in her palace and are eating her and her son out of house and home. It is under these circumstances that Telemachus, directed by Athene, leaves Ithaca to search for news of his father. Meanwhile, Calypso is sent word that she must release Odysseus and allow him to return home. It is during his trip home that we learn of all that has befallen Odysseus since he left Troy. His journey home is not without incident either. However, with the help of Athene, Odysseus finally arriv...


... middle of paper ...


...his voyage, The Ulysses Voyage, which describes his findings. Even people who have never read The Odyssey have been influenced by Homer because the books they read or the movies they watch are written by people who were influenced by Homer, and the languages they speak have words and expressions that have come down to us from Homer. Xenophanes, quoted in Scott's book, says it the best: "From the beginning, for all have learned from him." (Scott 93) Ifwe read Homer's The Odyssey, we can learn from him too.


Works Cited:


Finley, M. I. The World of Odysseus. New York: The Viking Press, 1954 ,

Lefkowitz, Mary R. The Lives of the Greek Poets. Baltimore: The John Hopkins University Press, 1981.

Scott, John Adams Scott. Homer and His Influence. New York: Cooper Square Publishers, Inc., 1963.

Severin, Tim. The Ulysses Voyage. New York: E. P. Dutton, 1987

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

The Art of Manipulation in Homer's Odyssey Essay

- The Art of Manipulation in Homer's Odyssey   They sit, entranced in the magic of his words. He pauses. On the edge of their seats, they await in silence his next utterance. The one spoken of is not a bard or man refined in the art of song, but rather a warrior scarred and hardened through intense conflict. He has a special mastery of the spoken language that enraptures his audience and a gift that endows him to command and persuade them without physical force. This man is a manipulator of words, a subtle combatant....   [tags: Homer Odyssey]

Powerful Essays
942 words (2.7 pages)

Essay on Homer's The Odyssey

- Homer's The Odyssey Works Cited Not Included In Homer’s historic epic The Odyssey the protagonist, Odysseus, is venturing home to his native land of Ithaca. Throughout the story Odysseus is faced with many great challenges and is forced to make many decisions that will greatly affect his life and that of everyone around him. Each decision is crucial to his survival and his journey home. Homer portrays many patterns that are susceptible throughout the tale. One of the major themes that he portrays is that temptation can befall any man, even Odysseus....   [tags: Homer Odyssey Odysseus Essays]

Powerful Essays
1462 words (4.2 pages)

Essay on Role of Women in Homer's Odyssey

- The Role of Women in Homer's Odyssey      "Homer's Odyssey is the product of a society in which men played the dominant role"(Pomeroy 22). Throughout history, women have retained a submissive role in society. For the longest time, society itself was organized and directed by men, and all of the most important enterprises were those that men implemented. Women participated in the affairs of the world only when they had the permission of the men who directed their lives.             The literature of a of masculine society, of which Homer's Odyssey is an excellent example, aptly illustrates these social conventions....   [tags: Homer, Odyssey Essays]

Powerful Essays
936 words (2.7 pages)

Essay on Concealment and Disguises in Homer's Odyssey

- Concealment and Disguises in Homer's Odyssey     Did you know, that although caves, and disguises play a small literal role in The Odyssey, are major symbols, and sometimes even considered archetypes. Sometimes when quickly reading through a book, one does not pick up on the symbolic interpretation of many images created throughout the book. A man named Homer wrote The Odyssey around 800 B.C. The story was a Greek epic poem, illustrating the struggle of Odysseys, the hero, to return home....   [tags: Homer Odyssey disgody]

Powerful Essays
2752 words (7.9 pages)

Treatment of Women in Homer's Odyssey Essay examples

- The Treatment of Women in Homer's Odyssey Judged by modern Western standards, the treatment of women by men in Homer's Odyssey can be characterized as sexist. Women in Homer's Odyssey are judged mainly by their looks. If important men and gods consider a woman beautiful, or if her son or husband is a hero or has an important position such as king, the woman is successful. The way women in The Odyssey are treated is based on appearance, the things men want from them, and whether the woman has any power over men....   [tags: Homer Odyssey womody]

Free Essays
882 words (2.5 pages)

Homer's The Odyssey Essay

- Homer's "The Odyssey" The Odyssey is a companion to The Iliad, a story of the Trojan War. Both The Iliad and The Odyssey are epic poems written by Homer. In The Odyssey, Homer relates the misadventures of Odysseus, king of Ithaca, that occur during the decade following the defeat of Troy. In doing so, the fates of his fellow warriors are also made known. The Odyssey begins on Mount Olympus, in the palace of Zeus, king of the gods, where a discussion takes place regarding the woes of humans and their determination to blame it on the gods....   [tags: Homer Odyssey Epic Poem Essays]

Powerful Essays
1642 words (4.7 pages)

Loyalty in Homer's Odyssey Essay

- Loyal Relationships in Homer's Odyssey Loyalty is heroic. Loyalty is defined as faithfulness or devotion to a person, cause, obligations, or duties. In Homer's Odyssey one can see loyalty in many forms. Odysseus is loyal to the gods whom he realized held his life in their hands. Penelope was loyal to Odysseus, while trying not to offend the rude suitors. Telemachus was loyal to a father whom he only knew from the stories he had been told. Time and time again we see loyalty in the strongest sense, complete fidelity in time of uncertainty....   [tags: Homer Odyssey Essays]

Powerful Essays
600 words (1.7 pages)

Hospitality in Homer's Odyssey Essay

- Hospitality in Homer's Odyssey The first four books of Homer’s Odyssey depict certain instances of hospitality which are filled with generosity. One reason for the importance of this hospitality could have been a respect for foreigners, who were completely at the mercy of their hosts, especially when hosts had themselves been foreigners. A second reason why hospitality may have been important was to see if the guest was disguised as an enemy. In Book 4, Homer tells how Telemakhos and Pallas Athena (disguised as Mentor) visited Menelaos in Sparta....   [tags: Homer Odyssey Essays]

Free Essays
445 words (1.3 pages)

Disguises in Homer's Odyssey Essays

- Disguises in Homer's Odyssey      In Homer's Odyssey, disguises help convey a false identity that assist the characters in accomplishing their plans.  Each disguise has its own purpose, such as Athene's image as Mentor to advise Telemachos.  Her purpose was to assist and encourage Telemachos into searching news of his long lost father without revealing her true identity of divinity.  Being old and wise, and especially male, helps put more power behind the words spoken by Mentor because men were received with greater influence than women were.  Similar, Odysseus, through his clever use of false storytelling and disguises as "nobody" and a vagabond, is able to safely return to Ithaka and s...   [tags: Homer Odyssey disgody]

Powerful Essays
938 words (2.7 pages)

Homer's Odyssey Essay

- Homer's Odyssey On a ten-year voyage across cold and choppy seas with nothing but the bitter wind at one’s back, physical strength is a necessity. The chances of successfully trekking home with weak limbs are not great. In Homer’s The Odyssey, Odysseus is the epitome of power. His brawny physique undoubtedly grants him the strength to swim, climb, run and even kill his way back to his wife. But Odysseus cannot return home on physical force alone, as many of the obstacles he faces are mental. Perhaps the greatest of these obstacles is temptation....   [tags: Homer Odyssey Odysseus Temptation]

Powerful Essays
1141 words (3.3 pages)