The Odyssey, by Homer, is an Epic Essay

The Odyssey, by Homer, is an Epic Essay

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An epic is a long, episodic narrative poem that recounts the adventures of a historical or mystical hero. Episodic narratives have a larger story broken down into closely connected, but individual and separate sections. Some important qualities that distinguish an epic are unrealistic antagonists, the Gods and Goddesses playing important roles, and a story involving the re-establishment of a proper leader. “The Odyssey”, by Homer, is an epic because Odysseus (the hero) faces supernatural antagonists, the gods and goddesses play an important role, and Odysseus is being restored as a rightful leader.
Throughout the story, Odysseus faces several supernatural antagonists. One of these antagonists is a creature named Scylla. In a daring and dangerous section of the epic, the story mentions, “He and his crew must pass between Scylla and Charybdis. Scylla is a terrifying monster with six heads. She dwells in a high rocky cave, devouring sailors in ships that pass close by.”(Homer 617) Scylla is a supernatural monster because no large creatures have been identified in the world to have six heads. She is Odysseus’ antagonist because in this particular section, Odysseus must challenge the monster by sailing close by, without losing sailors. However, Scylla devours six of his men, one for each head. Therefore, by losing his men to Scylla, the monster is noticeably an antagonist. Prior to the encounter with Scylla, Odysseus faces a one-eyed monster named Polyphemus. Polyphemus lives in the land of the Cyclops, and Odysseus is eager to meet this “mountain king”. An excerpt from the story of the Cyclops Odysseus reports, “…but in one stride he clutched at my companions and caught two in his hands like squirming puppies t...


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...raits. By learning from his mistakes, Odysseus will be more knowledgeable of how a king would act. The development of leadership traits is the final point that makes “The Odyssey” an epic.
“The Odyssey”, by Homer, is an epic because Odysseus (the hero) faces supernatural antagonists, the Gods and Goddesses play an important role, and Odysseus is mortal and possesses flaws and imperfections. Odysseus encounters monsters such as the Cyclopes, and Scylla and Charybdis. He interacts with the Gods Zeus and Poseidon. Odysseus is also in the process of gaining leader-like traits such as judgment and cautiousness. “The Odyssey” is an epic journey full of Odysseus’ quests and adventures.



Works Cited

Homer. "The Odyssey." Adventures in Reading. Ed. Dorothy Diemer Hendry. Trans. Robert Fitzgerald. Orlando: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1989. 599-653. Print.

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