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Thus, Homer shows that Odysseus is a different kind of hero through the central character's longing for his home, as well as his home's longing for him. hile Odysseus still has many features of the traditional Greek hero, such as might and reverence to the gods, his longing for home over adventure makes him a different sort of hero.
hile Homer shows that Odysseus is a different kind of hero through the depth with which he longs for his home, the hero also longs for his family. Despite the fact that he has what could be considered a fantasy life while living with Calypso, he longs for his own wife, Penelope. This can be seen though both husband and wife's reaction the suitors and each other upon Odysseus's return. hile Penelope is not animated in finding anyone to replace her "dear husband," as Euryclea calls him, Odysseus is so angered…… [Read More]
Odysseus & Polyphemus
Odysseus and Polyphemus are a study in contrast. In fact, these two characters of Homer's The Odyssey are polar opposites. Odysseus is a bona fide hero and exemplifies some of the best qualities of mankind. Polyphemus is a deformed, one-eyed brute who plays the role of an arch-villain. He effectively exemplifies some of the worst virtues in physical creatures. Odysseus personifies the virtue of knowledge, wit, cunning, and intelligence. Polyphemus personifies the negative attributes of credulousness, ignorance, and overconfidence. The way their encounter ends informs one's understanding of the self vs. The other.
Although Odysseus is a brave warrior and a man of strength, his strength is nothing compared to that of Polyphemus. Odysseus' stature as a man cannot compare to the stature of Polyphemus, who is a giant. Polyphemus' huge girth is the source of his physical strength, which is readily evinced when he rapidly kills…… [Read More]
Even when he believes himself to be finally at home in Ithaca based on the word of a young woman -- actually the goddess Athena in disguise, unbeknownst to him -- he lies about who he is not because he feels that he needs to but out of "the instinctive wiliness of his heart" (Book 13). Even this scene ends up making Odysseus appear likable, however, given his sheer irascibility and unflappable attitude. When the goddess reveals herself and calls attention to Odysseus' lies, he manages to turn the accusation around on her, claiming that he cannot necessarily trust her intentions or her information based on certain of the past events that he has endured and even questioning whether or not she told the truth in telling him he had arrived at home. The pure audacity of his willingness to lie here and the straight-faced and utterly shameless way in…… [Read More]
Here Aeneas sees a bit of the future when he acknowledges the battles that he must "still wage . . . And how he is to flee or face each trial" (VI. 1189-90). Aeneas would not h ave become the man he did had he not ventured into the uderworld. He would not have understood his place in the scheme of things and he certainly would have garnered the same amount fo courage had it not bee for the underworld.
Odysseus, already a hero when we begin learning about him becomes an even greater hero because of what he learns on his experiences. His adventures present him with numerous opportunities to evolve and grow as a person. Odysseus' character develops as the epic progresses. At the beginning of the story, we see that he is a man that is prone to act before thinking as demonstrated in his encounter with…… [Read More]
Folktale: Hansel and Gretel
Hansel and Gretel by the Brothers Grimm is a narrative tale and one can easily read it aloud to children. It is about two siblings whose father is a poor woodcutter and can no longer afford to feed the family. The cruel and selfish mother convinces the woodcutter to abandon the children in the forest, which he sorrowfully does. The children make their way back home the first time because Hansel is clever enough to drop stones as their father takes them into the forest. The stones reflect the moonlight at night and Hansel and his sister follow them home. The mother is furious, however, and so they do it all over again—but this time Hansel uses breadcrumbs, which the animals of the forest eat. So they are left to wander. Eventually they arrive at a witch’s house. She pretends to be friendly but then locks…… [Read More]
In fact, among the strongest arguments in favor of Odysseus being high on the list of heroes in Greece is that when he encountered Hercules in the Underworld, Hercules told him that the two of them are "very similar" (www1.union.edu). If one of the most revered and respected Greek heroes says to Odysseus that they have similarities, that speaks volumes as to Odysseus' position as a hero.
hy would Odysseus's attributes and actions be considered so admirable?
One action that surely gave the Greeks good reason to admire Odysseus is that he invented the construction of the ooden Horse, which was "…the stratagem that made it possible to take Troy" (www.maicar.com). Odysseus was also known to be clever, and to use cunning intelligence in his exploits and adventures. hen Odysseus had been forced by Palamedes to admit that his "madness was pretended" -- and hence, Odysseus joined the army as…… [Read More]
How irrational it is of Odysseus to say to the Cyclops after several men have been eaten, " You ought to be ashamed of yourself; how can you expect people to come see you any more if you treat them in this way?' (Book IX) the Cyclops obviously does not want people to visit him!
Another fault that makes Odysseus an anti-hero and therefore a bad king is how stubbornly prideful he is. An example of this behavior is when he is escaping the island of the Cyclops and decides to jeer at him from the sea and boast by telling him his true name. Odysseus tells that even his men "begged and prayed of me to hold my tongue." (Book IX) Had Odysseus not further taunted the Cyclops, the monster would not have learned Odysseus's real name (and his father's name, and his birthplace!) and therefore called down the…… [Read More]
In the traditions of Greek epics, he has not only been a hero in his lifetime, but strengthens his legacy by passing the ability to his son.
In addition to accomplishing works of great military valor, Odysseus's character also lends to his heroism. Neither he nor Telemachus exercise their physical abilities for their own sake, or to get praise, but both do it for a very valuable reason. During the Trojan ar, Odysseus fights for his people. His desire to return home is inspired by the love of his wife and his family. His anger towards the suitors is not just because one of them might have taken his worldly riches, but more importantly because they have been threatening his wife's devotion to him. That Odysseus is a family man of great character can be best witnessed through his interactions with Calypso, who fell in love with him and forced…… [Read More]
His very defiance of the immortals at almost every turn in the story is evidence of the extreme degree of certainty and even of righteousness that Odysseus carried with him throughout his journey, and this certainty is a strong sign of his heroism.
One of Odysseus' most obvious character traits, and one of the primary indicators of the Western ideal of heroism, is his militancy and physical prowess. This is commented on be several figures in the epic, including Odysseus himself. One of his sailors says at one point, "You are very strong yourself and never get worn out; you seem to be made of iron" (Book XII, par. 22). His single-handed destruction of Penelope's many suitors is also compelling evidence for this facet of his personality. His sheer battle prowess, which is how he came to be on this journey in the first place and is shown in many…… [Read More]
For this reason, I think Aeneas is different than the other heroes. His sad story has made him think more about fate and the future.
Out of all the stories of heroes, Marvel Comics and otherwise, I have to say that Spiderman is the ultimate American heroes. Spiderman incorporates the American dream. Peter Parker was a sad, artistic guy who didn't quite have the girl and was a little bit of a nerd, but then he became Spiderman, a beloved celebrity. This shows other Americans that they can do anything. Also, the Spiderman story shows that those who we think are our friends can be our enemies, that integrity is key, and that we must always fight for good, not for evil or for revenge. Spiderman faces real struggles like every American faces. In the end, though, he's always able to pull through. That's why I think he is our…… [Read More]
Even though Odysseus's family holds high opinions of his character as a family man, his actions with Calypso are the true measures of his character. In book five of the epic poem, Minerva, who goes to rescue Calypso, finds the father and husband "sitting upon the beach with his eyes ever filled with tears of sheer home sickness" (Book V). The poem goes on to explain that while Odysseus is forced to sleep in Calypso's cave each night, he does not do this of his own volition, and would much rather be home. Thus, while Calypso, a goddess, attempts to seduce Odysseus, he does not betray his home and his family, but rather remains homesick for them, while being tired of the goddess. Though Calypso is a goddess of extreme beauty, Odysseus is more enticed with his own wife and son. In fact, Odysseus loves his family enough to cry…… [Read More]
eowulf's story is being told by Christian tribes. He finds nature on his side because God is on his side - and he works within Gods will. He does not fight gods or nature, but rather only fights irrevocably evil demons. He is associated with a pious culture which is not humanistic, and in which science and other such forms of hubris are not encouraged. eowulf is a truly medieval hero, just as Odysseus was Grecian.
This difference in culture, between the material and the heavenly, is seen in every aspect of the two characters and their lives. It exists also in their ends. Odysseus spends his entire story seeking a way home to the home of his body - to his wife, his child, his fields and bed. eowulf is seeking only the ultimate good, and he turns down physical reward and even resists kingship until it is forced…… [Read More]
However, when the Greeks reach their boats, Odysseus cannot help but once again proving his devotion to achieve glory wherever he goes, informing Polyphemus in regard to his true identity and thus infuriating the gods. This is Odysseus' biggest mistake, since it is because of this act that Poseidon is reluctant to let the Greek hero live, with the god of sea constantly stressing Odysseus and making his journey even longer.
3. Poseidon is obviously Odysseus's biggest enemy, given that he is in control of the waters and that Odysseus has no choice but to travel by water in order to reach his homeland. As Polyphemus' father, Poseidon is determined to punish Odysseus and struggles to prevent the Greek hero from achieving his goal. Poseidon's wrath could have been avoided if Odysseus had not insisted in revealing his identity to the Cyclops, who was thus enabled to inform his father…… [Read More]
Clearly, both Odysseus and Penelope are representing a conflict that most people will go through during the course of their lives. As, there will be times that: they will be away from one another and how they must not lose faith in themselves along with their partner. What the novel is illustrating is that, despite these issues there is a possibility that this kind of faith can be able to overcome the various challenges in every person's life.
As, both characters faced their own amounts of: uncertainty and adversity in understanding what was happening to the other. Where, their beliefs in these ideas are what helped them to overcome the issues they were dealing with. While at the same time, the two characters are illustrating how you should not succumb to the pitfalls of temptation. This is because those who do, will often pay a heavy price that will…… [Read More]
e. The Law of Hospitality, which stressed over the utilization of the expertise and support services towards an individual or community, which has experienced critical and crucial time, similarly, the services and obligations between the master and servant towards each other has been the focused of his teachings and practices (Steven, 2006).
The Odyssey attempted several times to return to his kingdom in Ithaca, whereas the exiled ama never planned any political or military outrage against the ruling authority to ensure his return. The major difference in both the epics has been the deep involvement and influence of the ama's family in his life. Sita, the wife of ama, contributed deeply towards the spiritual objectives of her spouse, their children were equally involved in the quest marked by their parents. The Sita was forcibly victimized by the associates of the ama, and she was alleged for malpractices which eventually resulted…… [Read More]
Odysseus and Athena as Liars
The world of the Odyssey is full of legendary heroes, exploitive gods, crude monsters, and devious men. Homer weaves three separate tales, those of Penelope, Athena, and Odysseus, into an epic tale, suitable for the aftermath of the Iliad, his previous book. Homer moves his characters through difficult situations, usually by leveraging a particular strength or weakness at hand, and these characteristics often include, on the part of the characters, personal traits such as cunningness or the ability to lie in order to achieve a wanted result. In the Odyssey, Homer delves into many different aspects of lies and cunning in particular. For instance, Odysseus the hero uses his cunning mind to defeat his enemies and exact revenge, whereas Athena uses lies to push Odysseus along on his journey, as the attributes he exhibits are favored by the goddess. This paper will examine these…… [Read More]
Never Underestimate a Trickster
Odysseus is the primary character in Homer's The Odyssey, but without supporting characters there would be no grand story to tell. While a great deal of recognition is given to the characters that serve as Odysseus' threatening foes, as well as the powerful gods which guide his adventures. However, one of the most significant characters in the story, Penelope, is underrated and underrepresented throughout Homerian discussion and interpretation. She is often mentioned as a passing character that serves as little more than a prop in the story, like a favorite arm chair to which the hero wishes to return home and once again be comfortable by the fire. Penelope is actually a very significant part of the plot of The Odyssey, and her character is far from passive or dull. According to Norman Austin, the main action of the Odyssey is recovering spiritual and psychological…… [Read More]
Homer's Odyssey is a classic epic poem, demonstrating all the hallmarks of epic poem structure and the epic journey cycle. The narrative of the Odyssey follows the return on Odysseus from Troy, a journey that takes ten years and spans many locations and setbacks, until he finally reaches his home in Ithaca. Even then, Homer must deal with one final setback before being successfully reunited with his family. This paper will focus on three central themes that define the epic poetry genre -- an epic hero
There are several elements of an epic poem. An epic poem should have an epic hero and in this case that is Odysseus. He is the focal point of the action (no author, 2012). His journey is entirely about him, to the point where his actions dictate the fate of all those around him. The key supporting characters are in his and his…… [Read More]
Unlike Teiresias, she does not use divination or prophecy but only her memory of events on earth. Finally, Odysseus sees the shades of various prominent characters from the Iliad and learns from this the manner of their deaths.
Dante is led to the Inferno (described as a physical journey under the earth, but, by this late date, clearly the journey is metaphorical) by Virgil. He does not seek divination, but does encounter (Canto XX) diviners, who, in poetic justice, are forced to walk with their heads turned backwards because, while on earth, they could not see the future as they claimed. Like Odysseus, Dante sees the eschatological fate of many recently deceased contemporaries. But in this case, the theme is used by Dante to suggest that his and his family's political enemies (he was a White Guelph) were, literally, damnable.
In the Odyssey, the journey to the underworld takes place…… [Read More]
"The Odyssey" also demands that guests show similar kindness in return to their hosts. hile Odysseus is not blameless and morally upright in his actions towards others and he has an occasionally violent temper, he usually only strikes back at a host when he is threatened, as in the case of the Cyclops. For this demonstration of his need for kindness when he is wandering, he is rewarded, finally, with the restoration of his homeland.
hether Odysseus will return is a question that arises over the course of Book 14. Although Eumaeus does not believe his master is returning, he makes a sacrifice to the gods in the hopes that Odysseus will return, and even though Odysseus has arrived, he has not fully 'returned' to his old position even by this part of the book, because his ability to regain his palace remains in doubt. He still needs to be…… [Read More]
Throughout the text of the Odyssey, Odysseus finds recourse to rely on his inner resource to surmount incredible odds in order to finish his journey home. Indeed, often we think of epic heroes using their enormous physical strength to solve a problem, and certainly, Odysseus does have recourse to physical means on more than one occasion. Nonetheless, it is more often that he uses his cleverness and mental agility to defeat opponents who often have greater or strength or significant enough numbers to overcome whatever strength he has. Indeed, this makes sense in the case of Odysseus, because as we know from the Iliad, it was his suggestion to overcome the Trojans by the use of the Trojan Horse. Here, too, Odysseus proved that he was able to solve a difficult conflict that violence could not solve through the power of his cleverness and vision. Indeed, in The Odyssey,…… [Read More]
That argument - to die young as a hero or to live a long, uneventful life - is at the core of the Iliad. By Book XI, Homer has firmly established Odysseus as a hero for all time, but one whose failings made him distinctly human. Heroes such as Achilles, who had previously been accorded godlike status, are also brought to this level. In particular, the point in the interaction between Odysseus and Achilles where the latter declares "I'd rather live working as a wage-laborer for hire by some other man...than lord it over all the wasted dead." (480-500) reveals much about this concept of human nature. Achilles, having previously chosen to die a hero, now as a shade regrets that choice.
Book XXII illustrates the slaughter of the suitors. This chapter reveals not only the superiority of Odysseus in the ease with which he and his men conduct the…… [Read More]
In that case, Odysseus' motives are clear: to slip back stealthily into his house and to sabotage the stupid suitors. However, like any sailor Odysseus weaves yarns throughout the epic. Interestingly, Athena probably lies about her identity more so than Odysseus, suggesting that white lies are not necessarily morally wrong if they are done to accomplish a good goal. Therefore, many of the stories Odysseus tells are a means to an end. Others are ways to impress people: he builds himself up in their eyes so that he seems like a more formidable character. Moreover, Odysseus also likes listening to stories, as he does at Alcinous's palace.
5. Odysseus also makes up clever names as integral parts of his disguises. His propensity points to the hero's astute mind, his cleverness, and his ability to manipulate situations with a touch of humor and mischief too.
6. Odysseus needs to outsmart Polyphemus.…… [Read More]
Penelope: The Crafty Ideal of Greek omanhood
One might think of Achilles, the hero of the Iliad, as the Greek masculine ideal. He triumphs over his enemies in an open agonistic contest because he is a greater warrior than they. He shows the virtue of compassion when he finally yields Hector's body to Priam. Even Achilles's arrogance and his obsession with honor, his inability to deal with slights to his reputation, though they might seem repugnant to our sensibilities, are clearly meant to elicit the sympathy from Homer's audience. They might wish to act in the same way if they stood in his shoes. Yet Odysseus, the hero of the Odyssey, presents an entirely different masculine ideal. He shuns glory because it brings responsibilities that are not really in his best interest. Though a brave and able fighter, he is "the man of many wiles" who triumphs because of his…… [Read More]
By taking part in his destiny, she somewhat disproves Zeus' claim that humans are wrong to suggest that the gods are to blame -- for without her interference, the many suitors would not have been slaughtered by Odysseus.
Athena's speech here, which will fuel the eventual release of Odysseus and his long ride home, continues at this point to describe the situation in which (at the story's beginning) he is imprisoned. She described how he is suffering torments "on a wave-washed island rising at the centre of the seas," where he is held captive by "a daughter of Atlas, wicked Titan." This daughter, Calypso, is herself an immortal, and contemporary of the oldest gods. The Titans were those deific forces which proceeded Zeus and the other Olympic Gods. Cronos, king of the Titans, had been the father of Zeus and over thrown by them. In this overthrow, the old titans…… [Read More]
He is a full grown hero who only needs a goal to set him on his journey. Gilgamesh is young and inexperienced, and he needs help to grow and mature throughout his journey, which he obtains from his dear friend Enkidu. Gilgamesh has many lessons to learn, and Odysseus learns too, but he is farther on the road to maturity, and so his journey leads him somewhere he already knows and is comfortable with, while Gilgamesh's journey takes him on uncharted territory, and he learns more about himself and the people around him on his journey.
In conclusion, these men are both heroic, but they show it in different ways and they have different heroic ideals. They are real heroes to be sure, but they are also real men, with the faults that only real men seem to have. Gilgamesh can be a violent boor with little regard for women…… [Read More]
However, when Achilles touches Priam as token that he should have no fear; both gods and mortals are said to be asleep. There is a sense of will in Achilles' gentleness towards the man, and his willingness to touch Priam's sleeve that night. In other words, human and divine reconciliation and pity is not simply a law, humans must accept the will of the gods, but they are also capable of choosing to add or subtract the misery of the world by showing pity to their fellow humans. Odysseus' cleverness, although aided by the gods, is also partly drawn from his own resourcefulness and character, as well as merely because Athena helps him.
Achilles makes what is said to be the greatest gift to Priam, that of Hector's body. In Greek custom, gifts were customary to give to visitors. ith such a gift, Achilles gives up his determination to mourn…… [Read More]
Greek Hero Odysseus in Homer's Odyssey and the Northern Hero Beowulf in the saga BeoWulf, discussing how either can be heroes and arguing in some ways that it is more than deeds that marks a hero, but also the way in which they behave and relate to others.… [Read More]
Eumaeus heard the discussion and said: "Don't listen to this girl, she has gone mad after having lost her father, the queen is not ready to pick a suitor yet!" I couldn't tell Eumaeus about my arrangement as he could have ruined it all.
After all the suitors had gathered in the great hall, I've locked all of the doors so that none could escape my father's revenge. My father appeared, and, as if he knew what my plan had been, he asked me for his armor and for his weapons. Soon enough, the great hall boiled as my father murdered every single one of my mother's suitors.
The story of Aeneis pretty much resembles that of Odysseus and like the Greek hero, the Trojan goes through great efforts until reaching his destination. Homer's influence on the Aeneis is seen clearly across the epic.
However, in an attempt to give…… [Read More]
Journal Part 2
Odysseus is obviously the protagonist of the story -- seeing as how it's got his name on it -- but is he a hero? Would he be considered a hero today, based on contemporary standards? What evidence can you find to support both sides (heroic and not heroic)?
Odysseus takes revenge upon the suitors occupying his house, both the good and the bad, and he is not condemned for this by the author. Homeric Greece was a pre-Christian 'dog eat dog' society very different from our own. Odysseus is avenging the will of the gods as well as his own honor and his wife and house's honor, given that it was considered a sin to act in an inhospitable manner to a host. A hero today would likely show more mercy -- and also be physically faithful to Penelope. But Odysseus has an almost 'action hero' like…… [Read More]
Although my family is not made up of English speakers, they have always stressed that succeeding in school is an important part of being successful in life. It is not just grades that are important. The lessons a student learns in school will help the student succeed later in life.
Learning English is an immediately useful skill. When I am learning algebra or chemistry, sometimes I wonder how these subjects can help me in my everyday life. When I am learning English, I know that I can use the language to communicate more effectively with others. I know that what I am learning in class can help me improve my writing for all of my classes. And someday, I would like to write stories that are just as exciting as the books I like to read.
I will succeed in English 1A because of my previous preparation, my determination, and…… [Read More]
Plato, the soul is a grounded aspect of human nature; it is innate, and based upon an adequate understanding of human actions. Plato, from observing human tendencies, arrives at the conclusion that there must be three separate portions of the soul. This notion is based upon the fact that people are often drawn towards certain actions while they are simultaneously pulled away from them; an alcoholic may desire a drink, but at the same time may want to resist such behavior. This sort of conflict, residing in a single individual, could be interpreted or explained in a number of ways; Plato, however, rests his explanation upon a principle that he believes to be the truth: "It is obvious that the same thing will not be willing to do or undergo opposites in the same part of itself, in relation to the same thing, at the same time. So, if we…… [Read More]
Much of Homer's epic poem The Odyssey deals with the trouble the titular character finds himself in, and the suffering he and men must endure as he makes his way home over the course of ten years. Upon cursory examination, one might think that suffering in the Odyssey has some actual value, in that Odysseus is ultimately rewarded for his long-suffering efforts by being able to go home and murder everyone who wanted to marry his wife. However, this does not take into account the majority of the play, in which Odysseus' men suffer with no reward, being brutally killed and tortured for no reason other than to fulfill Poseidon's curse against Odysseus. This is most clear when Odysseus and his men visit the island of the lotus eaters, and by examining this scene in conjunction with the conclusion of the story, it becomes clear that the suffering in…… [Read More]
The roles, ideals, views of men in the ancient civilization have been explored extensively in literature from the famous Kings of Israel to the mathematicians and philosophers of Greece. In contrast, the history entails limited literature of women in the ancient civilization. However, several masterpieces such as the Homeric poem, the Odyssey and the Iliad provides a glimpse of ideals, position, and role of women in the ancient civilization. Women play a fundamental role in life by taking multiple responsibilities as portrayed in the epic poem Odyssey. The epic poem presents the role of women in the facet of power, sexuality, and interaction with men.
An analysis of the women in the poem demonstrates a challenge of the space of women as traditionally defined by the patriarchal Greek society. The Homeric poem has a distinct feminist message of the struggle women endure as they try to extricate themselves from…… [Read More]
For the most part women in the Odyssey are essentially one of three things: sexualized monsters, in the form of Circe, Calypso, the Sirens, and even Scylla; asexual helpers and servants, in the form of Athena and Eurycleia; and finally, seemingly helpless damsels, in the form of Penelope. To this one may add what is essentially the lowest of the low class within the poem, those women who are sexually liberated but who do not even have supernatural power to defend their desire for sexual autonomy, namely, Penelope's maids. Circe and Calypso both express sexual desire, but they are ultimately spared due to their status as goddesses, and thus they merely have to give up Odysseus. Penelope's maids have no such extra status, and thus in the hierarchy of power represent the lowest of the low, and receive punishment in return.
As a result, they are summarily executed for having…… [Read More]
O rother, Where Art Thou?
Homer in Hollywood: The Coen rothers' O rother, Where Art Thou?
Could a Hollywood filmmaker adapt Homer's Odyssey for the screen in the same way that James Joyce did for the Modernist novel? The idea of a high-art film adaptation of the Odyssey is actually at the center of the plot of Jean-Luc Godard's 1963 film Contempt, and the Alberto Moravia novel on which Godard's film is based. In Contempt, Prokosch, a rich American dilettante film producer played by Jack Palance, hires Fritz Lang to film a version of Homer's Odyssey, then hires a screenwriter to write it and promptly ruins his marriage to rigitte ardot. Fritz Lang gamely plays himself -- joining the ranks of fellow "arty" German-born directors who had earlier deigned to act before the camera (like Erich von Stroheim in Wilder's Sunset oulevard, playing a former director not unlike himself, or…… [Read More]
arrior Hero: A Stranger in a Strange Land
The figure of the hero is set apart from the common herd of ordinary men by virtue of his special qualities and abilities; in some works, this separateness is literal - he is in a strange land apart from his own kin. To see how this alienation enhances the tale of the hero's conflict, The Odyssey, Beowulf and The Tragedy of Othello, the Moor of Venice will be considered.
Odysseus, Beowulf and Othello are all warrior heroes. Odysseus, in The Odyssey, has been instrumental in the victory at Troy, and now fights to return to Ithaca and bring his men safely home; more struggles await him there. Beowulf, a great fighter who has proven his mettle in many conflicts, hears about the depredations of Grendel on Heorot Hall and journeys there to rescue Hrothgar's people. His role in the conflicts against the…… [Read More]
For Aristotle, true freedom and liberty consists in ruling and being ruled in turn and not always insisting on fulfilling one's own personal desires at the cost of others. Thus, for dysseus, true freedom can only come about when one is allowed to contribute to society for the betterment of everyone involved, a sure sign of moral correctness and rational thinking.
In addition, Aristotle stressed the importance of justice and goodness, for he believed that people possess a sort of inborn knowledge concerning what is right and what is wrong; however, irrational desires often overrule such knowledge and leads people to commit wrong acts or behave inappropriately. This conflict of desires in human beings could be overcome by achieving self-control via training the mind to win out over primitive instincts and passions. Thus, intelligence is the finest human quality and the mind is the true self, the god-like aspect of…… [Read More]
O Brother Where Art Thou? And the Odyssey
In the film "O Brother Where Art Thou?" The filmmakers Joel and Ethan Coen loosely paralleled the epic found in the Odyssey. Though there are some obvious parallels between the story and the movie, there are numerous similarities which are much subtler. These can be found in scenes, settings, characters, and plot. A close examination of the movie reveals the multiple layers of the film's similarity to the epic work.
Of course, the most obvious comparisons are Odysseus and Ulysses, Penelope and Penny, and the Sirens and the "Sireens." But, there are also additional character similarities. The foot stomping politician Menelaus 'Pappy O'Daniel has the same first name as the King of Sparta, who fought beside Odysseus at Troy. Furthermore, it is no mistake that Homer, the author of the Odyssey, shares the same name as Homer Stokes, the man who was…… [Read More]
Is it a sign of inconsistency in Athena that at the end of the Odyssey she echoes the sentiment of Zeus and sues for peace whereas in Book 4 of the Iliad she is all too eager to ignore the sentiment of her father and manipulate the warriors into shedding more blood? Again -- not necessarily. hile, were it up to Zeus he would gladly see men work out their problems in a peaceful way, and, if he can help it, only sends strife and war when men need to be punished. The relationship between war and peace is complicated by the fact that he is not the only god (even if he is king of the gods). The gods seem to have just as many quarrels and disagreements among themselves as men do on Earth -- a point Zeus knows quite well. That is the reason he presides over…… [Read More]
Nestor seems saddened by the fact that some of the best Greek warriors were killed in Troy, including Ajax, Achilles, and Patroclus as well as Nestor's own son. The fact that Nestor's own son died may make him particularly sympathetic, of course, to Telemachus' need to hear news of what happened to his father, and how the Greeks became separated at the end of the Trojan War.
Nestor explains to Telemachus that his father acquitted himself bravely during the siege of Troy, and thus he should be proud of his father's conduct as a warrior. He also says that his father was a wise and noble counselor, and the two were often in agreement during the frequent arguments within the Greek camp. But because Zeus sided with the Trojans, the god was angry with the actions of the Greeks during Troy's sacking, and tried to upset the Greek's homeward journey,…… [Read More]
Coman writes, in the July 2001 issue of Quadrant, that what gives Homer's "The Odyssey" such an eternal relevance is that it defies definitive analysis, thus it retains a sense of mystery that draws readers in by posing more questions that it give answers (Coman pp). This is what both moves and delights readers, for nothing so quickly creates boredom than the recapitulation of solved mysteries (Coman pp). For example, there was a time when the very sight of the moon moved humans in extraordinary ways because it was both totally familiar but totally alien and beyond knowledge (Coman pp). However, today, its sight brings visions of space junk strewn across the stony plain, and "one expects to see empty Coke bottles and McDonald's wrappers" (Coman pp). Coman notes that the transference of mystery to fact is a sort of solidification or petrification of the imagination, and is exactly…… [Read More]
Nevertheless, I want to get home, and can think of nothing else" (Homer, 2000). Thus, Penelope serves as the catalyst for bringing Odysseus home, and shows that beauty is not all a man looks for in a wise and loving mate. A literary critic writes of her, "Penelope is famous in myth as the waiting wife, faithful -- or otherwise. Odysseus' return will end that phase of her existence and her fame rivaling that of famous women of the past" (Ahl & oisman, 1996, p. 31). However, that does not stop her from longing for Odysseus' return and their reuniting. She is a good, decent woman, who raises a good son alone, makes a living, and never gives up hope. In that, she is an engaging heroine and a fine match for Odysseus, who deserves a woman who respects and trusts him, as well as loves and cherishes him.
Penelope…… [Read More]
" (Book XXIV)
C. Throughout the story, Odysseus uses his wits rather than sheer physical strength to accomplish his goals. At the end of the story, he disguised himself so that he could do this once again. He patiently waited for his opportunity to reveal his true identity to the suitors.
IV. Penelope and some of the servants were faithful to Odysseus, even though he did not return home immediately after the war and was presumed dead.
A, It was not only Penelope who was faithful to Odysseus. Euryclea, sometimes called the nurse and sometimes called the housekeeper, was also faithful.
B. "Nurse, draw me off some of the best wine you have, after what you are keeping for my father's own drinking, in case, poor man, he should escape death, and find his way home again after all." (Book II)
C. Telemachus has little hope that his father is…… [Read More]
Weaving Power of Athena and Penelope
omer's tale of the Odyssey is populated by many female characters, ranging in nature from the silent and submissive to the ferociously lethal. If one were to pick out two women who are most influential in the shaping of the story, however, the choice would certainly linger on the strange dyad of Athena and Penelope. Athena serves as the direct initiator of much of the action, and it is her force of will that drives the return of Odysseus and the death of the suitors. Penelope, on the other hand, is the inspiration which motivates the principle actors -- for herself, she takes precious little action and is deeply passive, even paralyzed, yet her very existence is enough to spur Odysseus from the side of his goddess-lover and to inspire the blind devotion of her suitors. There are certain ways in which Penelope and…… [Read More]
Women in the Odyssey
The roles women take in The Odyssey are as varied as society itself. There are good women, weak women, caretakers and even monsters. This paper will discuss three chief aspects women's roles in The Odyssey. The first is the role that mortal women play in the epic. The second is the role immortal women (goddesses) play on Mount Olympus and third the departments of life where women are the most powerful.
The Role of Mortal Women
The women of Homeric society are an integral part of The Odyssey and many of the female characters are held in high esteem. A passage that illustrates this the description of Arete, the wife of Alkinoos:
He "gave her such pride of place as no to her woman on earth is given of such women as are now alive and keep house for husbands. So she was held high in…… [Read More]
Marriage in Greek Myth
efore we discuss the depictions of marriage in the Theogony, the Homeric Hymn to Demeter and the Odyssey, perhaps we should first discuss the real- life ancient Greek marriage rituals and reveal their attitude towards marriage.
Indeed, many of the things we see in Greek myths happened in real life as well. For example, the Greek girls usually married quite young, around the age of 14, which was meant to ensure that the girl was a virgin and pure in mind and body. "Marriage to a family member was an acceptable alternative and occasionally encouraged in order to consolidate family wealth"- if we look at many of the marriages between gods (taking only this example), we will notice that many of them were affiliated. Remember, for example, that almost all of the Olympian Gods were in some way related, most of them being brothers and sisters,…… [Read More]
Religion in the Odyssey of Homer
Homer has the reputation of having "given the Greeks their gods." In so doing Homer has created a type of religion that does not have one god, but one that has many. Each god governs over one or more aspect of the world. This type of religion is known as polytheism, more than one god, as opposed to monotheism, one supreme God. Because there are many gods, no one god is omnipotent, having power over everything, as is God in the Christian, Jewish and Muslim religions. This paper will explore the roles of Homer's gods and how they fit into the religion that Homer has created. The paper also explores the idea that the sort of religion that Homer created does exist today.
The gods in The Odyssey do not create the men that they preside over. The gods are not overpowering, but work…… [Read More]
According to Griffin, the Odyssey is a didactic poem that delights precisely in its own lesson about human fate and its own rhetoric. Thus, as Griffin emphasizes, the Odyssey teaches its reader that the end of human life and of all the disasters, misfortune and happiness that accompanies it is to provide a theme for a beautiful song like that of Ulysses: "From the narration of suffering we are to draw serenity: the gods devise disasters, Odysseus is told, that there may be song among men (8.579), and to listen to that sad song gives delight. Listen and learn, Penelope was told: the gods bring unhappiness on many others besides you (1.353-5). In the end Odysseus and Penelope have learned that hard lesson. Life is full of unhappiness, but that is what is transmuted into song. They achieve harmony with that process and learn, as we are to learn, the…… [Read More]
Odyssey: Daily Life for Women
When it comes to the Greeks, Homer's Odyssey is recognized as a piece of literature that was not just about gods, men, and creatures, this historical read served as a cultural example about the women and their place in society. This book, provides a wide-ranging view of the Achean's peacetime people. Throughout Odyssey, a person is able to pick up some understanding of what is appropriate or inappropriate in relationships among servant and master, father and son, guest and host, god and mortal, and--notably -- woman and ma. It is clear that the women are the ones that perform an important role in Odyssey. With that said, this essay will explore the daily life of women from the literature Odyssey.
Social customs, marriage, rights and freedoms
While Odysseus is looked at as being an interesting figure, the women persons in the Odyssey are just as…… [Read More]
Reason vs Passion: Comparing Aristotle and Plato
It must be well known among all students and scholars of philosophy that both Plato and Aristotle have a high regard for reason. But what is their view on passion? It might be surprising to learn that neither philosopher holds a negative view of passion in and of itself—what both do, however, point out is that passion should be subservient to reason. Passion that is governed by reason is certainly not a bad thing, for either philosopher, and what is more important is that some passions or emotions should be promoted over others (Urmson; Taylor).
The problem that most moderns have when it comes to understanding what passion means is that they are defining the term according to all-or-nothing terms, applying a kind of either/or approach to the issue of whether one should live one’s life by using the head or the…… [Read More]
Homer was a legendary Greek poet who is traditionally credited as the author of the major Greek epics the "Iliad and the Odyssey," as well as the comic mini-epic "Batracholmyomachia" (The Frog-Mouse ar), the corpus of Homeric Hymns, and various other lost or fragmentary workd such as "Margites" (Homer pp). Some ancient authors credited him with the entire Epic Cycle, which included other poems about the Trojan ar as well as the Theban poems concerning Oedipus and his sons (Homer pp). According to legend, Homer was blind, and aside from several Ionian cities claiming to be his birthplace, there is nothing else known about him (Homer pp). Aristotle and Pindar believed that Homer was born in Smyrna, on the coast of modern-day Turkey, and enjoyed years of fame on the Aegean island of Chios (Tolson pp). Although the great scholar-librarians of Alexandria scrutinized the epics for historical and geographic errors,…… [Read More]
Richard III and the Odyssey
The focus of both, Shakespeare's "Richard III" and Homer's "The Odyssey," is the struggle between good and evil. Each work shows the consequences of following temptations and how in the end good triumphs over evil.
Richard is evil personified. Due to his lack of any compassion or humanity there is no other conclusion to draw except that Richard is psychopathic. He is basically a serial killer with a self-promoting plan (Shakespeare 1996). His every intention is to be in complete control at any cost, nothing and no one is going to stand in his way. Although in the beginning Richard might easily be taken as simply a jealous cripple out to take revenge on his older brother, by the end of the play, he has become a monster, the epitome of evil, feeding on power and death in a mad frenzy to obtain his goal…… [Read More]
Homer and Caliban
The development of the theories of art education by various theories has been influenced by the various artistic works, especially poetry. In the past few centuries, poetry has become an important element in the development of English literature and various theories on the art of education. Notably, these poetry and theories are developed by various philosophers who have contributed in the growth of the field of education and the teaching practice. Apart from contributing to the development of education and teaching practice, these works of poetry helps in understanding medieval societies and the modern society in light of the changes that have taken place. This is achieved through portrayal of cultural stereotypes, heroic traits, treatment of women, and portrayal of inhabitants of the New orld among others.
Homer's Heroic Traits and Chaucer Fashion Heroic Traits
Homer valorizes the single hero who becomes a cultural stereotype as expressed…… [Read More]
Their sexual desire is as strong as their male counterparts, revealing much about the way women were viewed in ancient society. Women were not shown as chaste, innocent, or virginal. Prostitutes and single women both play major roles in the Epic of Gilgamesh and in the Odyssey. In the Epic of Gilgamesh, a prostitute transforms Enkidu completely with her sexual prowess. The power of female sexuality is explored in Homer's Odyssey too. The war hero meets and lives with several women on his way home to Penelope. Odysseus seems uniquely able to seduce women and many fall deeply in love with him: especially Calypso and Circe. Calypso and Circe are independent, unmarried women with strong sex drives.
The titular hero of Gilgamesh seems more enraptured with his burly male friend than with the females he encounters. Gilgamesh is not motivated by the love of a woman, and unlike Odysseus is…… [Read More]
Biblical narrative of Genesis, the characters are less clearly defined as personalities than the heroes of Homeric epics. Instead, their sense of moral worth as human beings is defined by their actions. Adam and Eve are the first human beings, not unique human beings in terms of their heroism. They defied the orders of God, ate the apple of the tree of knowledge, and brought sin into the world. Homeric characters are more sharply defined by their innate character traits: Odysseus is clever, Penelope is faithful, and Achilles is short-tempered but highly adept in battle.
Homeric characters are also less clearly judged by their morality in the sense of their obedience to the gods. Odysseus harms the son of Poseidon and is judged harshly, even though he only blinded the Cyclops in self-defense to protect himself and his men. But Athena values Odysseus and protects him because of his cleverness,…… [Read More]
Nevertheless, both heroes are very similar in their characterizations: they are both human and are subject to the whims of the gods. Odysseus confides his most troubling mistake: "From the start my companions spoke to men and begged me to take some of the cheeses, come back again, and the next time to drive the lambs and kids from their pens, and get back quickly to the ship again, and go off sailing across the salt water; but I would not listen to them," (Homer, 143). Despite the fact that Odysseus is responsible for the deaths of many of his men, once he manages to get them out of the predicament he still revels in his victory. So much so that he ends up exposing his identity to the Cyclops and opening himself and his men up to the retribution that the Cyclops' subsequent prayers to Poseidon incur. Similarly, Juno's…… [Read More]
Lotus-Eaters: From Literature to Television
Greek myths have long been utilized as backdrops and inspirations for various works of arts from literature to popular media such as television programming. The myth of the Lotus-eaters, or the lotophagi, was first popularized in the epic poem The Odyssey which details Odysseus's quest to return to Ithaca, his home, after having participated in the siege of Troy. Alfred Tennyson used the lotus-eaters myth as the basis for his 1832 poem "The Lotos-Eaters." Moreover, the lotus-eaters myth was referenced in the 2011 season premiere of the television show True Blood. The lotus-eaters have inspired great works of literature, such as Tennyson's "The Lotos-Eaters," as well as popular media as in the case of HBO's True Blood.
In Tennyson's "The Lotos-Eaters," the unnamed Odysseus addresses his crew and provides reasons as to why they would indulge in eating the lotus flower. The poem is written…… [Read More]
The Odyssey, which was written by Homer, and the Libation Bearers, which was written Aeschylus are some of the ancient Greek writings that act as classic literature. These writings depict events and tragedies that happened in the traditional Greek society and provide important lessons for modern literature given their classical nature. One of the pertinent passages from the Odyssey by Homer and the Libation Bearers from the Greek tragedies is the story of Agamemnon. The Odyssey by Homer provides a detailed account of the life and times of Agamemnon who was a Greek king and the brother of Menelaos. On the other hand, the Libation Bearers was written after Agamemnon's death and acts as one of the major components of the trilogy by Aeschylus, an ancient Greek playwright. The passages have certain similarities and differences based on a specific theme that underpinned and/or inspired the writers.
Summaries and…… [Read More]
Odyssey and Everyman.
People living in contemporary Georgia have to deal with a series of difficulties in their struggle to comply with some of the most respected values in society, as most of them want to reach a certain phase in their lives where they can consider themselves truly satisfied with who they are. One can take on legends such as "The Odyssey" and "Everyman" with the purpose of understanding what needs to be done in order for people to have success in their endeavor. Odysseus and Everyman have both gone through a lot of suffering and they had to accept their flaws with the purpose of reaching the final stage in their journey.
It is particularly challenging for people in Georgia to stay away from some of the main attractions in the area, especially considering that one can easily get himself or herself lost in trying to discover their…… [Read More]