Similes From Homer 's Odyssey Essay examples

Similes From Homer 's Odyssey Essay examples

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Similes are, in the broadest sense of the word, a way for writers to express a certain idea by comparing and connecting two elements in order to give the reader a better understanding of the situation. One can argue that no author uses this literary device better and with such artistry than the Greek poet Homer. The epic similes found in Homer’s Odyssey are so complex, that they introduce a level of sophistication to his poetry that still has us studying his work centuries later. More specifically, there are two pairs of similes that, when examined, have a close relationship with one another. These pairs can be found on pages 240 and 246, and on pages 122 and 360. Both of these pairs of similes can be bridged together by the messages they convey. The purpose and similarities of these similes come from the close and unbreakable bond between Homer’s characters. Homer uses these similes to give the reader a comprehensive view of the emotional states of the characters, while simultaneously intertwining them. These similes are a way to defer and transfer stored passion and emotion from one character to another.
The first pair both stem from Telemachus’ return from searching for news about his father. The first simile gives us a vivid picture of the emotion felt during the reunion of Telemachus and Odysseus’s swineherd Eumaeus:
As a loving father embraces his own son
Come back from a distant land after ten long years,
His only son, greatly beloved and much sorrowed for- (Lombardo 240)
Eumaeus felt the same joy a father would feel for his son after many years apart. Odysseus held an important role in helping the swineherd growing up, which is shown when Eumaeus comments about him saying “I call him my brother, though he is not here.”...


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...either of them could allow themselves to be compromised by such intense feelings, their loving connection allows them to experience each other’s emotions. This perfectly reflects the unbreakable bond between husband and wife that will eventually bring the lovers together again.
Homeric similes give us a much better understanding of the psyche of the Odyssey’s characters than what we would have through dialogue and narration alone. All of these similes show Homer’s way of connecting the characters in such an interpersonal level, that their emotions transcend their own situations, and present themselves in the character’s loved ones. Each simile on its own allows the reader easier access into the minds of Homer’s characters, but when the similes are examined as parts of a whole, creates a much more comprehensive analysis of the relationships made throughout the poem.

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