Theme of Revenge in Homer's Odyssey Essay examples

Theme of Revenge in Homer's Odyssey Essay examples

Length: 868 words (2.5 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Better Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

Homer’s The Odyssey is not just a tale of a man’s struggle on his journey home from the Trojan War, but of his struggle from the consequences of revenge. The Odyssey weaves in different characters’ tales of revenge from the gods and what impact revenge actually had on those characters. Revenge is an important underlying theme in The Odyssey because, in essence, it explains why Odysseus’ journey was so prolonged and treacherous. A few examples of revenge in the poem include Orestes’ revenge on Aegisthus, Zeus’ revenge on Odysseus and his men, and Poseidon’s revenge on Odysseus. These different examples of revenge in The Odyssey show the importance of the gods’ revenge in the epic journey of Odysseus.
Orestes’ revenge is the first important example of the gods’ revenge in the poem. In Book 1, Hermes told Aegisthus, “’Don’t murder the man,’ he said, ‘don’t court his wife. Beware, revenge will come from Orestes…” (Homer 260). King Nestor delivers the story of Orestes’ revenge to Odysseus’ son Telemachus, while Telemachus is visiting Nestor to discover answers about his fathers’ whereabouts. In Book 3 of The Odyssey, King Nestor tells this of Agamemnon, “…Aegisthus hatched the kings’ horrendous death” (Homer, 285). King Nestor continues on telling of the revenge Agamemnon’s son Orestes has on Aegisthus, “Orestes took revenge, he killed that cunning, murderous Aegisthus…”(Homer, 285). This example of Orestes’ revenge shows that the gods should be listened to or they will give horrific revenges to those who disobey.
Zeus’ revenge on Odysseus and his men on their journey home from Troy is one of the reasons Odysseus is setback in returning home. While on the journey home, Circe warns Odysseus of revenge if they eat the cat...


... middle of paper ...


... onslaught spinning his craft round and round” (Homer 321). This example shows how Odysseus is constantly suffering from the revenge of the god Poseidon. By keeping Odysseus away from home and trapped within the bounds of sea, Poseidon shows his godly revenge.
These few instances of revenge: Orestes’ revenge on Aegisthus, Zeus’ revenge on Odysseus and his men, and Poseidon’s revenge on Odysseus in The Odyssey, lay the background for Odysseus’ story of struggle in his journey home from Troy. Revenge proves to be the main reason not only as to why Odysseus cannot return home, but also as a means of proving the importance of the gods’ role in the epic journey. Without these occurrences of the gods getting revenge on Odysseus and other mortals, there would be no passionate tales of the perseverance that Odysseus had in achieving his goal: getting home to Ithaca.

Need Writing Help?

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

Check your paper »

The Theme of Revenge Throughout Odyssey Essays

- Revenge is a reoccurring theme throughout the Odyssey. Nearly every motivation for conflict within the Odyssey is because one of the characters is craving revenge. The three main areas of revenge in the first twelve books are as follows. Initially, Zeus prevents Odysseus and his men from returning home. Poseidon also continually chastises Odysseus throughout the entire story. Finally, the key account of revenge the reader sees in the story is from Telemachus in that he feels the need to make the suitors compensate for their impudence to his house as well as his mother....   [tags: Homer, Literary Analysis]

Better Essays
1134 words (3.2 pages)

Essay on Analysis Of Homer 's ' The Odyssey '

- Homer makes The Odyssey out of many smaller books each with their own theme and story that add to the entirety of the meaning of the Epic. Within these books, Homer exposes the effects the war has on human nature by symbolizing the consequences of war as monsters, who, as the story continues, gain more human appearances until Homer reveals that Odysseus himself is one of the consequences of war. Homer, make it clear that war’s most important consequence is the loss of civilization. This follows one of Homer 's more prominent themes throughout his epic, the idea that civilization is what makes people human....   [tags: Odyssey, Odysseus, Trojan War, Homer]

Better Essays
2274 words (6.5 pages)

Use of Disguise in Homer’s Odyssey Essay example

- Use of Disguise in Homer’s Odyssey     The difference between a wise and a foolish decision is often found in discerning when to conceal and when to reveal. This discretion in concealing and revealing is a major theme within The Odyssey. There is a proper time to deceive and a proper time to tell the truth; thus, it is crucial that one act accordingly. This importance is exemplified in Odysseus' life. When he is discreet in his timing, he achieves his goal. One example of this is the Trojan War....   [tags: Homer Odyssey disgody]

Better Essays
2140 words (6.1 pages)

Essay About Love in Homer's Odyssey

- Love in the Odyssey There are many essential emotions that form the building blocks of our lives.  These emotions help to shape the people that we are. These feelings are emotional necessities to ultimately keep us happy.  No piece of literature these feelings more evident than the Odyssey by Homer.  Throughout the course of this book there is one major emotional theme: love. Often times in life we search for a companion, someone to share our love and life with.  Odysseus and Penelope's lasting relationship is an obvious representation of love in the Odyssey....   [tags: Homer Odyssey Essays]

Free Essays
495 words (1.4 pages)

Essay on Homer's Odyssey: Exploring Our Social Roots

- The Odyssey: Exploring Our Social Roots          In modern western society we are a people taught from very young that good manners and strong morality are necessity.    The idea that the good will prosper and the bad will get what they deserve is widely accepted and applauded.  However, these ideas about the social rules of "modern civil man" are not so novel.  This same system of social behavior and belief is exhibited throughout the epic poem, The Odyssey.  In this epic we find the roots of our contemporary social actions and convictions importantly displayed....   [tags: Homer Odyssey Essays]

Better Essays
1043 words (3 pages)

Analysis Of Homer 's ' The Odyssey ' Essay

- With the addition of her deflection of the suitors long spears that may have eventually kill Odysseus, he and Athena goes on a killing spree annihilating all suitors. It is in this scene the reader gets a glimpse in how brutal she is in battle as Segal contends, "[h]er contemplated revenge is strikingly similar to the Cyclops ' murderous feasting" (514). Although Homer makes it a constant theme to inspire his heroes through pep talks with the gods to rekindle the hero 's spirit, actually Athena 's physical deflection of the long spears saves the day....   [tags: Aeneid, Aeneas, Dido, Odysseus]

Better Essays
700 words (2 pages)

The Odyssey By F. Scott Fitzgerald Essay

- ... When Odysseus and his crew first arrive on Circe’s island, she shows them a lack of hospitality, but after facing the consequences of this, she later is hospitable to them. When his crew first arrives on her island, she shows them no hospitality, and turns many of the men into swine. After seeing her lack of hospitality, Hermes steps in to help Odysseus put an end to Circe’s ways. Odysseus threatens to kill Circe for her doings (Homer 128). From this, she learns the consequences of not being hospitable and tells Odysseus how to get back to his homeland, and turns his men back into humans....   [tags: Odyssey, Trojan War, Telemachus, Odysseus]

Better Essays
925 words (2.6 pages)

Free Essays on Homer's Odyssey:Discussion of the Final Volume, Book XXIV

- The Odyssey: A Discussion of the Final Volume, Book XXIV Homer’s epic, The Odyssey is the classic story of the homecoming of the warrior and king Odysseus. It is one of the most enduring pieces of literature known to man. The lessons and tales from the epic are unforgettable. However, there are several difficulties that the contemporary reader has with The Odyssey. These include issues such as difficult language, tangential stories, and the verse style it was written in. However, the focus of this paper is the final volume of the epic....   [tags: Odyssey essays]

Free Essays
1705 words (4.9 pages)

Essay About Love in Homer’s Iliad and Odyssey

- The Importance of Love in Homer’s Iliad and Odyssey   Homer’s Iliad was a tragedy illustrating the despair and useless suffering associated with war.    Homer's Odyssey was an epic tale of long suffering resolving in triumph.    Though there were a great many differences between the two works, there was an underlying theme of love which ran through both.     Not just the physical manifestation of infatuation, but the kind of love that makes one willing to die for another             The events portrayed in the Iliad were set in motion by love.    Paris' love for Helen and her love for Paris, resulting in Helen deserting Menelaus and leaving with Paris for Troy.    Helen, consumed by h...   [tags: comparison compare contrast essays]

Free Essays
859 words (2.5 pages)

Essay on Divine Intervention: Athena's Role in The Odyssey

- Divine intervention is often an integral part of ancient epic poetry as seen in Homer's The Odyssey. The role of the goddess Athena was an essential part of Odysseus's journey back to Ithaka. Athena also played a vital part in Telemakhos's life before the return of his father. Even Penelope is impacted by the help of the "grey-eyed" goddess, often inspiring Penelope to hold off the suitors as well as putting her to sleep when a situation became too difficult. Athena demonstrates that she is a critical component of development within the father Odysseus and his son Telemakhos as well as guiding Penelope as a beautiful mother waiting for the return of her husband....   [tags: World Literature Homer]

Better Essays
1600 words (4.6 pages)