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Exploring the greek mythology through the ‘Odyssey’

Literary narratives such as the Greek and the Roman mythologies have played a great part on the development of societies around the world. Especially in the context of western civilization, the mythologies of the Greeks and the Romans significantly shaped the culture of this region. Aside from its culture, it also highly influenced its society in general. In fact, politics and religion are also explained in the light of the Greek and Roman mythologies.

In this paper, it will explore on the Greek mythology through the myth on the ‘Odyssey’. More specifically, it will emphasize on its main character by the name of Odysseus or Ulysses. Through this character, this paper will be able to explain the role of myth on the changing cultural make-up of Greece. In particular, this myth will serve as an instrument in identifying the way Greeks perceive and use mythologies. Finally, this paper will also present the different key points of the myth.

The Odyssey is an epic of Homer about the adventures of Odysseus. Specifically, this myth is considered as the sequel to the earliest well-known surviving work in Western literature which is the ‘Iliad’. In comparison to many sequels in the present era, the ‘Odyssey’ is considered to be distinct because of its originality and even stands as an independent work. (Napierkowski, 1998a)

It has been said that its main character, Odysseus, has been a celebrated hero in the Greek mythology. Being the central character in the ‘Odyssey’, he is best known for is adventures during his ten-year journey home after the Trojan War. His journey to home on Ithaca took ten years because of the anger of the sea god Poseidon. During his journey and adventures, the hero went to many wondrous and dangerous places. Along the way, he lost all his companions and the treasure he had gotten from Troy Arriving home at last after an absence of 20 years, Odysseus had to defeat rivals trying to take possession of his wife and his kingdom. Then he had to prove his identity to his wife, Penelope. (Wickersham, 2000)

The adventures of Odysseus are highlighted by his achievement of victory in various challenges or struggles. Among this is the encounter with the Ciconians, the Lotus-eaters, Polyphemus, Aeolus, the Laestrygonians, Circe, Journey to the underworld, the sirens, Scylla and Charybdis, the cattle of Helios as well as the Calypso and the Phaecians. More importantly, one can also add the difficulties he acquired upon his arrival in Ithaca due to the suitors of his wife, Penelope. Eventually, all of these trials were conquered by Odysseus. Therefore, he was dubbed as a hero. Moreover, the qualities he manifested during his trials were considered as the qualities of a real or true hero.

Undoubtedly, the voyages and troubles encountered by Odysseus highlights the concept of heroism, loyalty, creativity and order. In addition, the ‘Odyssey’ is also famous for its use of symbolism as well as for the pace and variety of its action. With this, both the ‘Iliad’ and the ‘Odyssey’ set the standard by which epic poetry, if not all poetry of any kind, was judged in the past 1,500 years. More importantly, the story on the wanderings of Odysseus has remained a perennial favorite to the present day. (Napierkowski, 1998a)

Basically, the appeal of the ‘Odyssey’ is derived from its nature as being able to present the Greek people as well as the way of life in ancient Greek society. In short, the story serves as an archetype to various societies and not just the Greek community. Particularly, the characters of Penelope and Odysseus serve as a role model to the multitude. Their way of life has been the idealized life of the many. Until today, the moral of the story has continuously been resonated to the people of any culture or ethnic group.

Furthermore, the theme of human condition is the most important theme in the ‘Odyssey’. In the story, almost every aspect of humanity is depicted- good, bad, young, old, individuals and groups, the living and even the dead. Other themes also include love and loyalty, order and disorder, heroic craftiness, the nature of women, triumph over temptation, home, the epic journey, the God’s involvement, revenge, heroism and, creativity, imagination and deception.  (Napierkowski, 1998b)

Indeed, the story of Odysseus made a great impact on the society of the Greek people. In fact, even in the present day, the story on the adventures of this great hero is still related to many people around the world. In the contemporary society, people have created a modern version of the ‘Odyssey’ through the aid of media technology. This is evident on the animated version of this story in order to cater the needs of the children or the young generation.


Burns, M. (1996, May 1). The wanderings of the Odysseus: The story of ‘The Odyssey.’ The Horn Book Magazine.  72 (3).

Napierkowski, Marie Rose. (Ed). (1998). Odyssey: Introduction. Epics for students. Vol.1. Detroit: Gale.

(1998). Odyssey: Themes. Epics for Students. Vol. 1. Detroit: Gale,

Wickersham, John M. (Ed). (2000). Odysseus. Myths and Legends of the World. Macmillan: Thomson Gale.


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Odyssey Illiad Devine Comedy Metamorphoses Aeneid

The illiad book 1 Who is the king of the Achaens Who is the best warriar Where are they making war What was the reason for this war Who were the prices for achiles and Agamemnon (the girls) Who is chryses Why was there a plague? Who is archilles mom what is she the god of and what favor doeshe ask of her Odyssey book one and 2 Who is Poseidon why is he mad at odyssey Who is hermes What is the favor Athena ask poseidon Where is odyssey trapped and by whom? Wha does her name mean How does Penelope trick the suitors into marrying him Why does Athena dress up as mentes and who is telemechas

How does Athena protect telemachas and what journey does Telemachus go on Whaat does the two eagles mean that zeus brings down Aeneid book1 Y is juno mad at aeneas (two reasons) what does juno do for revenge who is god of wind who is the queen f carthage how does venus protect aeneas from juno book 1 bok 2 book 4 of metamorphoses what des metamorphoses mean wha does cupid do to Apollo, who does he fall in love with and what does she transform into what does apoll do that represents he will be with her forever which character did juno sleep with and what was the character turn into and for what reason?

What did mercury do to argus and what? What was his transformation and who turn him into ir Difference between magpies story and muses who won? Why were the perdies turned into mag pies. What were the mag pie stories about as well as the muses Who is Diana the goddess of The devine comedy What r the three real msdanes travel through As dante climbs the hill towards the light wha kind of animal blocks it? What are the other two animals he encounters? Who is the ghost that he encounters

Why does the ghost tell dante to come with him Where is dantes homeland What is a canticle Whatsa stanza Why is it called a comedy( 3 reasons) Who translated dantes work and year Who does dantes compare himself to? Who is Beatrice Dantes way with words whatdoes he compare himself to? The thousand and one nights. Who is the king of india Who is the king of shamarkand What is the vizier What is the reason for th eking of india to keep killing woman How did the vizier protect his daughter from getting her

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Odyssey and Goddess Calypso Circe

Maddy Evans 5 Paragraph Essay Brain-storming Part I: Separation 1. )Call to Adventure ·Odysseus must go to Troy to fight in the Trojan War 2. )Refusal of the Call ·At first he refuses and states that he IS NOT going to war. 3. )Answering the Call ·Athena tells Odysseus that he should go fight. So he finally decided he was going to. ·He packed up weapons/food and put together a crew and set sail for Troy. 4. )Supernatural Aid/Guide ·Athena, throughout, The Odyssey , aids him in his every need. . )Companions ·Athena (Godley aid) ·Penelope (Odys’ wife) ·Telemachus (Odys’ son) 6. )Crossing the Threshold ·When Ody Leaves for the Trojan War. 7. )Threshold Guardians Poseidon`s Monster Polyphemus 8. )Entering the belly of the whale Odysseus is the sole survivor of a shipwreck and ends in Calypso’s island. Part II: Initiation 1. )Road of Trials 1. Cicones (six men lost from each ship 2. Lotus-eaters (must by force drag the intoxicated men back to boats) 3.

Cyclops (loses 6 men – puts out Polyphemus’s eye – taunts the blinded Cyclops) 4. Aeolus (gives sack of winds to Odysseus) Aeolus 2 (pronounces curse on Odysseus after winds let out) 5. Laestrygonians (loses all ships but his own) 6. Circe (men turned to pigs – moly helps him escape her curse – one year in Circe’s home) 7. House [Kingdom] of the Dead (sees Tiresias and Achilles his mother [Anticleia], Agamemnon, et al. ) A. Circe 2 8. Sirens (Odysseus listens! ) 9. Scylla and Charybdis (loses six men to Scylla) 10.

Cattle of the Sun (loses the rest of his men) 11. Calypso’s Isle 2. )Meeting with the Goddess Calypso Circe 3. )Abduction/Night Sea Journey being Captured by Calypso The trip to Hades 4. )Dragon Battle Representing the many hurdles Ody must overcome on his journey home. 5. )Companions In order for Ody to be transformed, he must give up his old life. 6. ) Atonement to/Recognition of the father The end of Odys journey and is the stepping stone that helps him take his rightful place as leader in the society. 7. )Ultimate Boom

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Introduces Odysseus

The Odyssey, one of the most well known epic stories Introduces Odysseus, the King of Ithaca. This story demonstrates Odysseus’s physical and intellectual strength. Striving to return home after 20 years of his treacherous journey, he uses strength, skill, and superior ability to overcome his troubles. Although he faced numerous obstacles and fought many battles, he made it appoint to get home to his kingdom through his physical ability, intellectual insight, and overcoming his epic flaw. In the beginning of The Odyssey, Odysseus describes his homeland Ithaca and states “A rocky island, good for a boys training”.

By saying this he makes it clear that he is proud of where he had grown up and that he had trained there. This introduces the physical prowess. He had been trained as a young boy to fight and carried that on with him as he grew up. Early on in the story he immediately shows his physical strength. The first story, Sailing from Troy, demonstrates this clearly when Odysseus states, “I stormed in that place and killed the men who fought. Plunder we took, and we enslaved the women to make a division, equal shares to all-…” (Homer, Lines 43-45). In the battle of Troy he and his army had won, obviously giving him experience and strength in killing.

When he killed the men of Ismarus, it was evident that he had no problem doing so. Odysseus felt like he could take on anything that would come his way, feeling invincible. After they had won, Odysseus shouted to the Gods that nothing they throw at him could bring him down. One of Odysseus’s first encounters with trouble after he shouted to the Gods was the Cyclops. After the Cyclops killed several of Odysseus’s men, he finally came up with a plan of how to kill him. After the Cyclops is passed out, Odysseus plans to take a sharpened pike to its eye.

As Odysseus describes, “ I drew it from the coals and my four fellows gave me a hand, lugging it near the Cyclops as more than natural force nerved them; straight forward they sprinted, lifted it, and rammed it deep in his crater eye, and I leaned on it turning it as a shipwright turns a drill in planking…” (Homer, Lines 329-335). Not only is Odysseus showing physical strength, but so are his men. It clearly took a lot of strength, physically and mentally, to kill the Cyclops. Odysseus’s physical strength continues in the story The Land of the Dead. It takes several people and a lot of strength to get their giant ship going.

In the story it describes the process, “We bore down on the ship at the sea’s edge and launched her on the salt immortal sea, stepping our mast and spar in the black ship…” (Homer, Lines 523-529). In order to get the masts and sails up you had to be very strong, and each time they left a place, they had to do so. Throughout the Odyssey, Odysseus and his men all display physical prowess in order to return back to Ithaca, but Intellectual prowess also aids them in their return. Odysseus, using his intellectual prowess, is able to outsmart the obstacles he faces and also to make better choices for himself and his crew.

In The Lotus-Eaters Odysseus land on an unknown Island and decides to send some men out and see what the land holds; “Then I sent out two picked men and a runner to learn what race of men that island sustained. ” Instead of Odysseus risking his own life, he sends out others instead. This is a smart decision because he has no clue what is on the island and he wants to keep himself safe. In The Cyclops Odysseus had come prepared for anything that could happen, “A wineskin full I brought along, and victuals in a bag, for in my bones I knew some towering brute would be upon us soon-“ (Homer, Lines 153-155).

He knew that they were going to need food and supplies when they arrived on the island, so by using his intellectual prowess, he was prepared. Also in the Cyclops, he says, “We beached there, and I told the crew to stand by and keep watch over the ship; as for myself I took twelve best fighters and went ahead. ” (Homer, Lines 134-137). Wanting to stay safe, Odysseus took his best fighters with him and had the others stay back and watch the ship to be sure nothing happened to it. One of the most difficult obstacles Odysseus faced was overcoming if epic flaw.

Odysseus had excessive pride, or Hubris, which sometimes got him in more trouble than he was already in. For example, in the Cyclops, as Odysseus and his men are leaving after stabbing the Cyclops’ eye, he shouts “Cyclops, if ever mortal man inquire how you were put to shame and blinded, tell him Odysseus, raider of cities, took your eye: Laertes’ son, whose home’s on Ithaca. ” Before this, Odysseus had told the Cyclops that his name was “Nohbdy” and could have gotten away without the Cyclops knowing who it really was, but Odysseus had to boast and brag that if anyone were to ask, it was him who blinded the Cyclops.

Also in the beginning of The Odyssey after they had one the Battle of Troy, Odysseus shouted to the Gods that nothing could stop him. By provoking the Gods, he brought his 20 year journey onto himself. But by overcoming this flaw in the end, Odysseus finally returned home. Although he faced all of these battles, Odysseus combined all of his skill to defeat them and got back to Ithaca to reclaim his title as King. He couldn’t have done it on his own, but with the help of his men, using his physical and intellectual prowess, and overcoming his epic flaw, he achieved his goal after 20 years of difficulties.

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Fate and Destiny in the Aeneid and the Odyssey

From the dawning of modern human thought, humans have questioned the nature of life and its passing. One of the most fundamental questions to arise from this train of thought is the ideas of fate and duty. We humans desire to know whether the path of our lives is preordained and unalterable or if it is just a series of consequences from our past actions. If we live by fate and believe our path is already set in stone, then is it our obligation to fulfill that destiny to the best of our abilities or can we resist and hope to forge our own story?

It is quite obvious in the epics of both Aeneus and Odysseus that the idea of fate and duty plays a huge role. The difference we see between the two is which is more important and how each epic allows these two ideas to unfold. In Virgil’s Aeneid, Aeneus is driven by the prophecy that he will leave a legacy that will go on to found the greatest and most powerful empire the world will ever know. Aeneus’s journey is filled with trials and tribulations; some are purposefully placed in front of him with the intention of undoing his fate while others are pure happenstance.

What drives Aeneus to press on is his sense of duty. One of Aeneus’s most significant obstacles is the princess of Carthage, Dido. The patron goddess of Carthage is Juno and she knows that Aeneus’s prophecy tells of his kingdom destroying Carthage in the future. So Juno sends Cupid to make Dido fall madly in love with Aeneus so that he will do the same and consequently will settle in Carthage never founding the foretold empire that will destroy Juno’s city.

Once learning of this plan, Jupiter dispatches Mercury to remind Aeneus of his destiny. And are you at a time like this laying the foundations of stately Carthage, and building, like a fond husband, your wife’s goodly city, forgetting alas! your own kingdom and the cares that should be yours? ” (Virgil, Book 4, line 279-282) Aeneus is awe-struck, but he immediately goes to repair his fleet and sail for Italy’s shores. To Aeneus, his sense of duty is so great that he, without question, leaves his wife Dido and the safety of Carthage. Aeneus does not leave Carthage without regard for Dido though.

Aeneus attempts to leave before anyone will know they are gone, but he is caught and explains to Dido, “My quest to Italy is not of my own motion. ” (Virgil, Book 4, line 391-392) With this Aeneus leaves Carthage driven by duty and obligation. In Homer’s Odyssey, the idea of fate is more significant than the idea and sense of duty. Odysseus’s journey begins when Poseidon learns that Odysseus blinded his Cyclops son, Polyphemous while trying to escape from his capture. This enrages the already hot-tempered sea god, damning Odysseus, his men, and his voyage.

Poseidon attempts to delay and keep Odysseus from his home, Ithaca. His anger towards Odysseus is so great that Zeus has to step in to save him from the sea-god. Zeus, after Poseidon complains to him about the Phaenecians aiding Odysseus, states “Since for Odysseus now I vowed that he his home should win through many a misery yet utterly bereft not his return; for such your purpose was and decree. ” (Homer, Book 13, st. 45) Zeus, in the Odyssey, acts as the hand of fate by preventing Poseidon from further stalling Odysseus’s return home.

This is unlike Jupiter in the Aeneid, who dispatches Mercury to remind Aeneus of his purpose. Aeneas is then left with the duty of leaving Carthage and Dido behind, whereas Odysseus is more subject to each gods will. The idea of an inevitable and unchangeable fate is in both the Aeneid and Odyssey, what drives each character is the difference. Aeneus is driven by his sense of duty to start the lineage that will go onto to found Rome, whereas Odysseus is driven by his desire to return to Ithaca. This resembles the cultural and philosophical natures of the Greeks and Romans.

The Greeks placed much emphasis on the individual, life, and pleasure which would naturally honor a hero who struggles tremendously to return safely home. The Romans placed large amounts of emphasis on Rome, what it stood for and their duty, undoubtedly Aeneus’s epic was bred from this culture. Although the cultural differences are evident, these two works both share an inevitable fate which drives the journey. Also, the god’s interference in the hero’s journey for either personal gain or to assure the fulfillment of their fate is evident in both works.

Fate and duty have been human concepts for thousands of years; they both entail some form of obligation and are main themes in the Aeneid and the Odyssey. Aeneus’s obligation to his duty compels him to realize his fate. Odysseus, on the other hand simply desires to return home, but is subjected to the will of the gods which only stall his fate. Both works resemble their respective culture’s beliefs and ideals, but regardless of the differences, these two works are classic epics.

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The Oddysey Land of the Dead

Oddyseus started to seak to the spirits of the promising to sacrifice his best cow before she had her calve. Then he promised to sacrifice a black lamb whick was the finest in his heard. After promising to sacrifice the animals he did it. The spirits started to gather at the edge of Erebus, the place where the dead reside. The spirits included those of the young and the old; male and female. There were also many warriors who were still in possesion of their armor and weaponry.

The spirits started to try to escape from the pit of Erebus. Oddyseus told his men to skin the animal that they had killed and make them into offering for Hades and Persephone, the god and godess of the dead who reside in the underworld. He sat waiting with his sword out to defend himself from the from the spirits until he noticed te presence of Tieresias, a blind prophet from Thebes, who came forward and spoke to Oddyseus. Tieresias asked him why he was in the land of the dead and to put down his sword.

Then the prophet said that he wanted to taste the blood of the sacrifice he had made. Oddyseus stepped aside and sheathed his sword and the prophet bent down to drink. Tiereseus then tells him that anguish and hardship lie ahead and that poseidon is the one that will cause it because Oddyseus blinded his son Polyphemos the cyclops. He then says that Oddyseus will pass through a narrow straight that will take him home, and that Oddyseus will reach Thrinakia, the land of Helio’s grazing cattle, where the sun god sees and hears everything.

He says to avoid the cattle of the sun god and to stick with trying to get home, but if you butcher the cattle there will be destruction of ship and crew and only you will survive. Tiereseus then says that he will reach home on an unfamiliar ship only to find that men are in you home eating your food and trying to marry your wife. He then says that Oddyseus will kill these men either by stealth or open combat. He then tells Oddyseus that he will travel by land and sea to a landlocked place.

The spot will be plain to you he says and the people will ask what kind of wheat sowing device you have. He tell Oddyseus that he will then jam the device, his oar, into the ground. Oddyseus is then told to make a sacrific to poseidon in the form of a ram, bull, buck boar. He tells Oddyseus to then go home and kill 100 pure cattle in the name of poseidon and all the gods. The final thing that Oddyseus is toldis that he will receive an easy death at sea will come to him when he is old, and then the prophet says that all that he has just said will be true as his journey home takes place.

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The lessons in life are learned by choice or the experiences of others. In Homer’s epic poem, The Odyssey, life applications are implied through the different adventurous journeys of Odysseus, the protagonist. These adventures relay certain and different knowledge to every individual reader. Some of this knowledge includes the relation of numerous morals to everyday life experiences such as identity and boasting, surrogates, and enjoying life as a whole. In Homer’s The Odyssey, Odysseus models how identity can be related to modern day life through his experiences.

For example, after the Cyclops had been blinded, Odysseus states, “Cyclops, if ever mortal man asks you the story… say that Odysseus made you blind, the spoiler of cities… ”(Homer 115) This shows that the implications that nothing good comes out of boasting is perceived, as a poor reflection becomes of Odysseus. This also shows that just as today, people are characterized by their actions including boasting, just how Odysseus is distinguished.

In addition, Odysseus shows patience with his identity as it states, “… peaking in winged words he said, -yet uttered the truth, but turned his words awry, ever revolving in his breast some gainful purpose. ” (Homer 164) This shows that Odysseus’s character now has the willpower to keep him from revealing himself. This also shows that sometimes its not all about the “look at me” feeling, as Odysseus rubs off in a positive direction by being humble. In conclusion, the morals of identity found in this novel are applicable to modern day life through the lessons Odysseus learns. Due to the multiple stops durning Odysseus’s journey home, lessons of surrogates can be interpreted to modern day life.

For example, Odysseus had been visiting long-term with Circe, in which during this time stated, “… for a time I doubted in my mind and heart whether to go and search the matter… ” (Homer 120) This shows that temptation of surrogate loved ones, family, and friends can delay the final prize, or in this case Odysseus’s homecoming. This also shows that just as Odysseus loses focus on his true love, Penelope, many today can take their eyes off the prize, such as a loved one which will result in temptation to commit adultery.

In addition, Odysseus lands in Phaecia where Nausicaa states, “A husband he will be, her very own… and he will keep her forever. ” (Homer 77) This shows that once again Odysseus shows immaturity in his actions. This also shows that the encounter with Nausicaa could be another turning point of Odysseus’ homecoming, just as modern day people make everyday choices towards their homecoming. For the reasons above, not only can the lessons of Odysseus’s surrogate wives relate to modern day life, the lessons he learns can show the audience the poor outcome of his choices.

The morals found within this novel all have a focal point to life and how to live it, but the biggest moral of all is to enjoy life. For example in book eleven, where Achilles talks to Odysseus in the underworld, he says, “Better to… serve a man of mean estate whose living is but little, than be the ruler over all these dead and gone. ” (Homer 142) This shows that in life, its better to serve and be kind to others than be the best in everything that is done. This also shows that, although this book was written so long ago, Achilles tells Odysseus the same moral as people today tell each other.

In addition, Teiresias shares a saying to Odysseus: “Whomever among these… let approach the blood, he shall declare the truth. But whomsoever you refuse, he shall turn back again. ” (Homer 134) This shows that to live life to the fullest, staying loyal to friends, and being open-minded to others is the key to staying on the right path. This also shows that the people who surround themselves with in life shapes them just as Odysseus is shaped by the influential people he talks to in the Underworld.

In conclusion, enjoying life can be accomplished by anyone, and the Odyssey shows the basic examples of living life correctly. In the Odyssey, Odysseus encounters many trials than stated above. His decisions are what delayed him to his homecoming. Through the reader’s perspective, relations to morals of modern day life can be made such examples of identity and boasting, surrogates, and living life. What choices will you make to effect the outcome of you life?

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Why Is Xenia Such an Important Theme in the Odyssey?

Why is Xenia such an important theme in the Odyssey? Explain your views and support them with details from the poem. (45 marks) The concept of guest hospitality was extremely important in ancient Greece. Evidence that Xenia was integral to Greek society can be found in the fact that Zeus, the king of the Gods, was also portrayed as the God of Xenia. Xenia created an obligation for the host to be hospitable to their guests, and conversely, the guests had their own responsibilities too. If either the host or the guest was to break a Xenia rule, there would be severe penalties dealt by Zeus and also by society.

Some basic Xenia rules were that the guest could not insult the host, make demands, or refuse xenia. Additionally, the host could not insult the guest, fail to protect the guest, or fail to be as hospitable as possible. It was also customary for gifts to be given to the guest, or for a gift exchange to be conducted between guest-friends. The host-guest relationship was very complicated and placed equal burden on both. This custom of xenia also held a burden of trust, where both the guest and host would have to rely on custom in regards to personal safety.

This trust was reinforced by both fear of word getting out that the host had provided improper xenia, and fear of retribution by the gods, since one never knew when a traveller might actually be a god in disguise (for example, in book 1 when Athene disguises herself as Mentes and receives hospitality from Telemachus), come to test the level of your xenia. All travellers were seen as sent by Zeus and under his protection, so giving proper xenia was also a way of showing respect for the gods, especially Zeus in the form of Xenios. Xenia offers a moral ground in the Odyssey.

Greek religion did not have strict moral regulations like modern Catholicism etc, and the Gods possessed a level of humanity and humility (for example, they had flaws, such as Achilles heel). Xenia imposed moral regulations in ancient Greece. It also allows Homer to convey whether characters are ‘good’ or ‘bad’, characters that show bad Xenia are almost portrayed as amoral. An example of poor Xenia in the Odyssey is Penelope’s Suitors. The suitors steal and plunder Odysseus’ hall, feast on his food, take his maids to bed and all the while, each trying to take Penelope’s hand in marriage.

When Odysseus returns, he knows all about the suitors, and schematically kills all of them with no mercy. As the suitors showed bad Xenia, Odysseus is considered heroic for killing them. This is also an example of retribution for bad Xenia. Homer also uses Xenia as a literary device in the Odyssey. Without Xenia, much of the plot would be invalidated; Xenia customs explain many events in the Odyssey. For example, Xenia explains why Penelope and Telemachus didn’t just ask the suitors to leave rather than putting up with them.

Xenia also explains why, during the battle of Troy, Glaucus and Diomedes refuse to fight: they discover their ancestors had a Xenia bond. Traveling in Homer’s time was much more extensive and lengthier than in modern times. The less advanced methods of transportation used in Homeric times, such as by boat or by foot, were much slower than modern forms of transportation. Because of this, many more nights were spent away from home in many different locations. Also, there were not hotels or inns where travellers could pay and stay the night.

Even if there were, travellers probably could not afford to pay for every night they were gone. Because of this, travellers had to rely on the hospitality of others for shelter, food, and protection. Without Xenia, Odysseus wouldn’t have been able to return home to Penelope. Xenia was also a universal way for Homer to state character’s status and wealth in the Odyssey. As it was frowned upon for aristocrats to engage in trade or commerce, Xenia was one of the only ways for Homeric heroes to acquire wealth. All hosts are obligated to provide their guests with the best food, accommodation and comfort they can.

For example, Menelaus’ guests are offered water from a golden jug into a silver basin and wine served in golden cups. The xenia gifts characters give are also a statement of wealth, as well as a way of acquiring wealth, for example, when Telemachus acquires a silver krater, a wedding dress, a golden cup and other elaborate gifts from his stay in Sparta. In the Odyssey, Xenia is also shown to be one of the hallmarks of a civilised society, allowing us to judge the societies that Odysseus visits by their attitudes to xenia.

For example, the Cyclopes are well informed about Xenia, yet disregard it because they have no fear of the God’s retribution. This tells us that the Cyclopes live in a formidable and amoral society. Even the Gods are shown to respect Xenia rules, for example in Book 5 when Calypso gives hospitality to Hermes. Good xenia is shown to have good repercussions for both the guest and the host: for example, Odysseus’ stay on the island of Calypso, where he is met with exceptional hospitality. Odysseus received this hospitality well and continued to please Calypso.

Only at the end did he ever try to refuse her hospitality and leave, and even this caused no serious problems. Here we have an example of the guest-host relationship working well. Calypso is provided with a companion, even if it was not permanent, and Odysseus was provided with shelter, provisions, and protection for his men. In the end it proves to be a beneficial situation for them both. Xenia also provides a system of retribution in the Odyssey. Those shown to disregard the rules of Xenia often meet violent ends, and in turn, those shown to show good Xenia reap the benefits of this.

An example of retribution for bad Xenia is when the Cyclops decides to eat rather than welcome Odysseus and his crew, and the men respond by poking his eye out. This event does not bother the gods at all. The father of the Cyclops, Poseidon, is only upset by the event because it was his son who was hurt. Zeus even praises Odysseus after the event by claiming that, “There is no mortal half so wise” (Homer, p. 3). This statement proves that violence was an acceptable answer when a host was not gracious. It also shows how the Gods justified violence as a result of bad Xenia.

Overall, Xenia is a majorly important theme in the Odyssey. Not only is it used as a literary device by Homer, as it provides an explanation for many aspects of the plot and provides the poem with continuity as well as a way for Homer to portray characters as heroes and villains. Xenia also tells us a lot about ancient Greek society, as it provided a moral grounding and allowed travellers to go from place to place. Examples of Xenia in the Odyssey allow us to judge which characters are wealthy, famous, good, bad, monstrous and evil.

Free Essays

Achilles and Odyssey Compare and Contrast Essay

Larger-Than-Life Heroes: Achilles and Odysseus What are the main characteristics of a larger-than-life epic hero? An epic hero is a brave and powerful warrior who is motivated to fight both internal and external conflicts to achieve glory and ranks above a normal man. In Homer’s epic poems The Iliad and The Odyssey, Achilles and Odysseus are the well-known heroes. Achilles fights Hektor outside the walls of Troy because Hektor killed his best friend, Patroclus. After fighting in the Trojan War, Odysseus takes on a journey to return back to Ithaca to see his wife, Penelope, and his son, Telemachus.

Through his use of tone, figurative language, mood, and imagery, Homer’s epic poems The Iliad and The Odyssey show how Achilles and Odysseus, despite their struggles with themselves and the world, are true heroes because of their motivation for glory and revenge. Achilles and Odysseus are struggling to be viewed as tenacious warriors because of an empty place in their hearts. For instance, Agamemnon takes Achilles’ prize, Briseis, and exclaims “See how the lord of the great plains, Agamemnon, humiliated me! He has my prize, by his own whim, for himself” (Iliad. . 168-169). Achilles feels humiliated because Agamemnon took his prize, Briseis, away from him in order to return Chryseis. He still does not want to go to war after Agamemnon returns her. Achilles’ heart is aching and the thought of never seeing his prize again worries him. Homer uses mood to make the reader feel pity for Achilles. Even though Achilles treats Briseis as a prize, it is depressing that he does not have her in his arms. Achilles and Briseis fell in love with each other and were separated such as in a more modern movie called The Swan Princess.

Homer makes it seem like Agamemnon is the villain while Achilles is the hero. Achilles’ internal conflict shows how he must cope with not having Briseis in his arms because he did not want to fight in the war. Even so, Odysseus longs to return to his homeland, Ithaca, and “…his sweet life [is] flowing away with the tears he wept for his foiled journey home” (Odyssey. 5. 168-169). Odysseus is depressed because he wants to return to his home in Ithaca and see his wife, Penelope, and son, Telemachus, after fighting in the Trojan War.

He feels as if his life is transitioning from sweet to bitter. Homer uses imagery to show how Odysseus is crying for his homeland, Ithaca. It creates a depressing mood for the reader because all Odysseus wants is to see his family and return home after a tiresome war, but has failed. The metaphor of Achilles’ sweet life flowing away demonstrates how his lamentations are characterizing him as homesick and how he might not make it through his journey. Achilles struggles with not having a prize while Agamemnon struggles with not sleeping in his own bed for an extensive time.

The difference between the internal conflicts is that Achilles cannot fight in war because Briseis is not with him while Odysseus cannot return home and reunite with his family after fighting in the war. Although they both have concerns for their loved ones, Achilles and Odysseus must set them aside and fight their enemies first. Achilles and Odysseus are both epic heroes because they face their external conflicts or struggles with the world and fight as strong warriors. First, Achilles stabbed Hektor in the neck and then “…had in mind for Hektor’s body outrage and shame.

Behind both feet he pierced the tendons, heel to ankle. Rawhide cords he drew through both and lashed them to his chariot, letting the man’s head trail” (Iliad. 22. 467-471). Achilles fights and kills Hektor outside the walls of Troy because he killed Achilles’ best friend, Patroclus. After stabbing Hektor in the throat, he ties Hektor’s ankles to his chariot and rides off, dragging him. Hektor uses imagery to show how Achilles ties Hektor to his chariot, and injures him while riding off. Homer also uses tone to explain Achilles’ anger toward Hektor for killing Patroclus.

Even so, after slaughtering all of the suitors in his home “Odysseus scanned his house to see if any man still skulked alive, still hoped to avoid black death” (Odyssey. 22. 406-407). Odysseus finally returns to his home in Ithaca disguised as a beggar by Athena. He is only one out of all the suitors to string Odysseus’ bow, because he is Odysseus and stronger than any man alive. Athena then reveals Odysseus and he and his son, Telemachus, kill all of the suitors in his home. Homer uses imagery to show Odysseus looking around his house to find any more suitors that were still alive.

He wanted to no suitor was still alive so he could be in peace with his wife, Penelope. His external conflict is not being able to return home in peace. He must kill all of the suitors, for they wanted to marry Penelope and become King of Ithaca. Odysseus needed to show that he had returned as King of Ithaca and was more powerful than all of the suitors combined. Achilles’ external conflict is fighting Hektor and Odysseus’ external conflict is conquering the suitors. Achilles and Odysseus deal with their external conflicts by conquering their enemies.

Achilles and Odysseus are both motivated to face and conquer their struggles with the world for glory and revenge. In fact, Achilles chased Hektor around the walls of Troy three times and “… ran full speed, and not for bull’s hide or a ritual beast or any prize that men compete for: no but for the life of Hektor, tamer of horses” (Iliad. 22. 189-192). Achilles chases Hektor around the walls of Troy three times because he wants to kill him as a prize. Achilles wants to receive the glory of a stronger warrior and seek revenge on Hektor for killing his best friend, Patroclus.

Homer uses imagery to show Achilles’ determination to have Hektor’s dead body for revenge. The reader can picture swift-footed Achilles on the heels of Hektor, tamer of horses. Achilles almost reaches Hektor, while Hektor almost outruns Achilles. In the end, Achilles conquers Hektor and gains glory for being the stronger warrior and proving himself to being larger-than-life. And then, Odysseus is determined to be reunited with his wife, Penelope, and says “Nevertheless I long-I pine, all my days-to travel home and see the dawn of my return. And if a god wreck me yet again on the wine-dark sea, I can bear that too…” (Odyssey. . 241-244). Odysseus does not give up returning to Ithaca because he wants to see his family. He will bear anything that comes along his way to his journey home. Homer uses mood to make the reader feel hope for Odysseus on returning home safely and how he is ready to fight obstacles that the gods put upon him along his journey. He is motivated to return home because he wants to conquer the suitors, which will earn him glory and prove him to be larger-than-life. He also wants to seek revenge on the suitors that have caused Penelope harm while he was away.

It proves that Odysseus saved his wife with the help of his son and how he ranks higher than the suitors. Achilles fights Hektor for his body and glory from the Greeks. Odysseus wants to return home so he can be glorified after seeking revenge on the suitors by murdering them. Achilles and Odysseus both seek revenge on their enemies for what they have done to their loved ones. Achilles and Odysseus are well-known heroes in Homer’s epic poems The Iliad and The Odyssey. Through both poems, the heroes experience internal and external conflicts such as battles with other warriors and missing loved nes. Glory plays a huge role in these characters and they want to be well-known for their actions such as how Achilles conquered Hektor or how Odysseus conquered the suitors. Achilles and Odysseus have the main characteristics of an epic hero, but gain them in different ways. In their internal conflicts, Achilles misses Briseis while Odysseus misses his home, Ithaca, as well as his wife Penelope, and son, Telemachus. In The Iliad, Achilles and Briseis are separated from each other just as how Princess Odette and Prince Derek and separated from each other in the 1994 movie, The Swan Princess.

The internal conflict of Achilles can be related to movies such as The Swan Princess today. In their external conflicts, Achilles fights Hektor, tamer of horses, while Odysseus fights the commanding suitors in Ithaca. Achilles conquers Hektor for his life and to gain glory by becoming the greater warrior. Odysseus along with his son, Telemachus, conquers the suitors and gain glory. Achilles and Odysseus seek revenge on their enemies. Achilles kills Hektor because he killed his best friend, Patroclus. He lost his best friend forever and needed to get Hektor back by taking his life.

Odysseus seeks revenge on the suitors for harming his wife and taking advantage of her hospitality, such as making a mess during feasts. People today also seek revenge on people that have caused them harm. Achilles and Odysseus have shaped what an epic hero is and show that even though they lived two different lives, they both showed the characteristics of an epic hero and how they must be a brave and powerful warrior who is motivated to fight both internal and external conflicts to achieve glory. Overall, although Achilles and Odysseus are two different characters, their similar characteristics define what an epic hero is.

Free Essays

The Odyssey

For years and years I’ve been roaming around the seas in hope to get back to my homeland Ithaca. I’ve faced many obstacles along my journey but all with great morals. I started off my journey when Menelaus and Agamemnon asked me to go with them to Troy to retrieve Helen. The other islands I visited came along unexpectedly. The decision to leave my homeland Ithaca was the hardest decision a man could make. Leaving behind my wife Penelope and my new born son Telemachus was unbearable but when duty called I had to accept it with courage and bravery.

The feeling of loosing such a cherish-able family made me have second thoughts for I don’t know when I’ll be coming back and what would happen to my family and my land Ithaca. I was afraid that by the time I come back someone would have escorted by wife, my mother could be dead and my son could be the wrong man to rule Ithaca if he was influenced too much by the suitors. I once had a vision that great grief and sorrow would come upon my family and my people but I kept it to myself and hoped that it was just an ordinary dream rather than a warning from the gods that it would happen in reality.

I knew it was time to sail to troy as soon as the sirens were heard. Their sound echoed in my ears as an admonishment to me that this was the last time I’d see my homeland and family. Penelope knew that it was time for my departure so she was waiting for me with Telemachus by the door. I could see the tears in her eyes and feel the sorrow in her heart, for she knows that she might not see me again. I kissed her and assured her that I would always fight to come back to her and Telemachus.

Standing by the other side of the door was Anticleia my mother; she held her head high for she knew that it was an honor for her son, king of Ithaca – son of Laertes to join to in the battle of Troy. I bowed to her in respect, took my stock and walked directly to the ship. After months and years, we finally set foot on Troy. Our plan was to hide in an oversized wooden horse that would be offered to Priam-king of Troy. King Priam accepted the gift and entered the wooden horse in Troy assuming that we surrendered and this was a gift of appreciation.

Meanwhile, the soldiers and I were hidden inside the wooden horse waiting for the Trojans to sleep so that we could attack at night. A few hours later in the day, we were instructed that it was time to climb down of the horse and attack. Menelaus gave a concise speech encouraging us and we were off to battle. The Trojans woke up in fright, for they were sleeping and had no sense of what’s going on. Numerous Trojan soldiers were slaughtered and the battle continued for about nine year. Our victory and the end of the war finally appeared in the tenth year.

We were able to retrieve Helen, kill all Trojans and enslave the Trojan women. When it was time to depart, I was assigned as the captain of a number of ships. The first land we came upon was Ismarus, city of the Cicones. I advised my men to search for food and stay away from the islands people. However; my advice was far from being heard by anyone. The crew slaughtered the ciconian men and took their women as slaves. The next day we were attacked by a large number of cincones causing us to flee in our ships. Each of my ships lost 6 of its Achaeans men.

As a result for all the mischief we caused for the Cincones, Zeus-god of all gods, made a storm that left us nine days in the sea with no land in sight and limited food and water. The vision that I once had before was starting to occur in reality. With hope in our hearts, we came upon another island on the tenth day. The land of the Lotus Eaters lured my men even more. Hunger was our greatest enemy then and so caused us to explore the island in search of food. A few soldiers found some lotus plants and started to devour them. A few minutes later, they were completely brainwashed.

Nothing seemed to matter to them other than eating more of it and staying on the island. A sense of fright shivered down my spine, for only considering eating such a plant. The only way to stop them from losing their minds completely was dragging them back to the ships and locking them there till we sail and so we did. The next island to come in sight was the land of one eyed giants called Cyclopes. When we explored their island we came upon a huge cave. Inside the cave were cheese, bread and sheep; basically all what we wanted at that moment.

I told my men to take all they wanted and feast in the ship or on the shore but they insisted to feast in the cave and light a fire. I had to admit it was a relief for the days we’ve seen before just to sit and feast in peace and harmony but it wasn’t for long until the peace and harmony were exchanged with fright and grief. Polyphemus- son of Posidon appeared at the door of the cave. He entered and shut the cave’s door with an enormous rock. I tried to persuade Polyphemus that we ate from his food as an act of xenia for any stranger; but he was far from being convinced. We were imprisoned to be meals for him.

I couldn’t stand to see my soldiers being taken one by one as a meal so I came up with a plan to drunken Polyphemus so my men and I could blind him with a stick of fire. Then in the morning we could hide under the sheep and escape when Polyphemus removed the rock that was placed in front of the cave. I also knew that once we blind him he’s going to call on the other Cyclops and tell them Odysseus blinded me, so I came up with the name “Noman”; so when they ask him who blinded you he’d say “Noman” and they’d think the pain he’s in is from the gods and leave the cave so that my crew and I could escape.

And so exactly what I planned happened and the next day we we’re safely out of the cave and on our way to the ships. It caused us grief to think about the men we lost and left us thinking of what hardships we’ll experience next. With blessings from the goddess Athena, we were able to sail our ships and reach the home of Aeolus- the god of the wind. I decided to go around the island alone without any members of my crew. I was filling my bag with water to take back to the ship when I heard my name being called.

I looked up and the god Aeolus was in sight. He called on me and told me this “Odysseus, the Greek hero who is said to never again reach his homeland. Give me the bag in your hands and ill help you find your way back to Ithaca”. I couldn’t believe my ears, is it another vision or is it reality. Going back home, oh how much I longed to hear such hopeful words. I went straight to Aeolus and gave him the bag, he took it and disappeared. A moment later I heard someone calling me from high up in the mountains, when I looked up it was Aeolus.

He said that Posidon was being a bully and a few moments later he transferred the wind that was stopping us from reaching Ithaca into the bag. He instructed me not to open the bag or else I might never reach Ithaca. I thanked him gratefully and set off to tell my crew the pleasant news. When I reached the ships I was too tiered and fell asleep after instructing them to sail away. Because of jealousy and curiosity, my crew wondered what could be in the bag and instead of waiting till I wake up and ask me they decided to open the bag.

When they did a storm took place and brought us back to Aeolus when the shore of Ithaca was in sight. When I went to Aeolus again to ask him for wind, he rejected and sent me off his land, saying that I am cursed by the gods. And so we sailed again with no hope in ever reaching Ithaca. Land of the Laestrygonians was the next island we set foot on. The Laestrygonians were a race of powerful giants whose king was Antiphates. This time I went to search for food with a few members of my crew. We met a pretty looking girl who led us to her father king Antiphates.

We were horrified once we reached his house, for the second he saw us he and his wife turned my crew into dinner. While we were trying to escape back to the ships, the king’s wife screamed and all the other Laestrygonians appeared and racked all the ships except mine. I instructed the remaining crew to sail the ship away from this land, and so they did. After sailing for some days we reached Aeaea which is the home of Circe the beautiful witch goddess. The first thing I did was dividing the crew into two companies and appointing a leader for each.

I was the leader of the first group that would stay and guard the ship. Eurylochus was leader of the second group with twenty-two men. Eurylochus guided his crew through the land towards Circe’s home were smoke was rising. When the crew reached Circe they were all lured in by her singing leaving only their leader behind. Eurylochus saw that Circe drugged his men and turned them into pigs so he hurried back to the ship and told me what happened. I couldn’t believe such nonsense but went to rescue them leaving behind my crew with Eurylochus.

While I was on my way to Circe’s home, Hermes-the messenger god appeared. He tells me to eat a herb to protect myself from Circe’s drug and then lunge at her when she tries to strike me with the sword. When I reached Circe’s home she offered me a drink and I drank it to the last sip then I followed Hermes instructions. Circe was astonished for no man has ever surmounted her drug and struck her in force. I forced her to change my men back into humans, and so she did. As days passed, Circe and I fell in love for she offered us food, water, shelter and peace. My men were comfortable and quite relieved.

Circe and I stayed together for one whole year living in serene and happiness. One day my men all came up with the decision that it was time to go back to Ithaca, and so I ask Circe for all the help she could give us. She tells me that I must first sail to Hades- god of the dead to speak with the spirit of Tiresias- a blind prophet who will tell me how to get home. But first I must dig a hole and pour in it milk and honey, then sweet wine and the third time with water. Then sprinkle barley and pray to the gods and after that I have to sacrifice gifts to the gods and a great black ram to Tiresias.

Afterwards I have to order my men to burn the sheep as a sacrifice to Hades and Persephone. Next morning, I discovered that the youngest man in my crew Elpenor slept on the roof while he was drunk and when he saw my men getting ready to go back to the ship, he fell from the roof dead with a broken neck. Somber expressions appeared upon my crews’ faces as they heard the news. We left Circe’s island and arrived in the land of the Cimmerians where I preformed all the sacrifices to attract the dead souls. The first to appear was Elpenor, who begged me to return to Circe’s land and give his body a proper burial.

Then Tiresias appears and reveals to me that Posidon is punishing us Achaeans for blinding his son Polyphemus. He then assures me that I will return home and reclaim my wife and palace from the suitors. His words filled my heart with hope, courage and confidence to continue my journey. In addition he tells me that I will make another trip to a distant land to calm Posidon and satisfy him. He then foretells one of the island we’ll set foot on and warns me not to touch the flocks of the sun when we reach Thrinacia; otherwise I’ll lose all of my crew.

I was don’t talking with Tiresias, so I called on other spirits. First I called to my mother Anticleia who updates me on Ithaca and tells me how she died of grief waiting for my return. I then called on the Greek heroes who fell at Troy in Hades. First Agamemnon then Achilles, Heracles, King Minos, Sisyphus then Tantalus in the end. After talking to each I found myself mobbed by souls who want to ask about their relatives in the world above. A sense of fright came upon my soul and caused me to run back to the ship and sail immediately.

We went back to Aeaea to burry Elpenor. Circe welcomed us and I told her all what happened. She then told me to beware that my ship will pass by the sirens that would lure us in by their songs. She told me to plug the crews’ ears by wax and as for me she wants me to hear it. But to do that I have to tie myself up and instruct my crew that even when I plead for them to release me they should tie me up even harder. I thanked her gratefully and set my ship to sail along with telling my crew all what Circe warned me about and what they should do till we pass the sirens.

Soon enough after a few hours, I heard charming voices calling on me from what seemed to be a short distance. They sang aloud promising me a better future full of hope. I pleaded my crew to release me to go to them but my men were faithful and kept me tied up till we passed the sirens. A sudden terror was felt by the crew when we reached Scylla and Charybids. Six men were devoured by Scylla’s six heads while staring at Charybids. I knew that this incident would happen but I couldn’t tell any of the men because they already were in much grief. The island of the Sun, Thrinacia was the next island we stopped our ship at.

I remembered what Circe told me about avoiding it but my crew persuaded me to go to the island in hope of finding something to eat. The crew slaughtered the cattle of the sun which caused grieve consequences. The sun told Zeus to punish my crew and I for committing such an act. And so, Zeus made a thunderstorm that lead us back to the Charybids where the whole crew drowned except me just as Circe warned. I swam for days but there weren’t any islands in sight. Day by day I started to lose hope and my body started weakening. When I was about to give up the thought of leaving my family behind helped me through.

The goddess gave me hope that soon I’d reach Ogygia, Calypso’s island. In a few hours the island came in sight and when I reached the shore I was soo tiered and went to sleep under a tree. For years, Calypso forced me to stay on her land persuading me with her luxury and desire. She fell in love with an immortal man and so I had to stay on her land. Every few months I see ships passing by, I would hurry and swim to reach them but her servants would catch up with me and return me to her. I was kept on her land until Athena told Zeus who sent Hermes to Calypso ordering her to release me.

I couldn’t be more relieved. I spent some days building a raft then sailed in hope of reaching Ithaca. I spent eighteen days in the sea until I reached Scheria, island of the Phaeacians. Before I reached the islands shore a storm, probably from Posidon, dragged me under the sea. I was on the verge drowning but then the goddess Ino gave me a protective veil that would keep me safe after my raft was wrecked. Athena then led me to the coast of the island safely. Next morning, when I woke up I heard voices of females playing around. I was embarrassed to take a step forward because I had no clothes on.

I thought for a while then I decided to go ask them about this land covering myself up with leaves and bushes. When I appeared in sight all the girls and women backed away but only one stayed. I asked her for clothes and shelter and so she ordered what turned out to be her servants to give me oil to wash my body and some clothes to cover myself up. Now I was all clean and Athena made me look younger and stronger. The women couldn’t believe their eyes; it was obvious from their expressions. I then went to lady again and asked her about this land.

She told me that her name is Nausicaa princess of this island. I asked her if I could meet her father the king and she directed me to their palace. When I met the king and queen they asked me about my journey and I told them all about it since I left to Troy. Their hospitality was above what I expected. They offered me food and a place to rest in. The next morning they sent me with their ships and I finally reached my homeland Ithaca after all these years. I wanted to go straight to my house and see my son Telemachus and my wife Penelope but I was wise enough not to do so.

I made a decision that I won’t tell anyone except Telemachus and the swineherd who I am until the moment I kill the suitors. I revealed my identity to Telemachus and we made a plan to kill all the suitors and all the servants that were unfaithful to our family during my absence. He was on my side and immediately followed all my instructions. What we planned for happened in reality and I was able to rule Ithaca once again. Penelope, Telemachus and all my faithful people were away from the evil hands of the suitors and were finally in peace and harmony for once in many years.

Free Essays

The Odyssey and Propaganda

“Homer’s The Odyssey and Virgil’s Aeneid as Propagandistic Literature” Propaganda is a powerful social tool that influences audiences through manipulation and selective viewpoints and has been witnessed in history as far back as written records exist. It has been used to sanction the rise of new leaders, herald a society and its dominance, and push ideological agendas to audiences of all backgrounds throughout civilizations. The methods that propaganda has been used are numerous and include both written and spoken forms of communication to reach the audience.

Literature is not exempt from the use of propaganda and Homer’s The Odyssey and Virgil’s The Aeneid are two historical sources where it can be found. The propaganda seen in these texts share similarities and differences which can be compared and contrasted and include the values of the societies they represent, the destinies of the heroes and what each represents to the society, and how the backgrounds of the creators influence what occurs in the story with emphasis on politics and traditions.

The Odyssey shares similar propaganda to The Aeneid, although it is not as immediately apparent given the historical backgrounds that led to the creation of each, in regards to the political and social changes being experienced around the time The Aeneid was written. The type of propaganda that is emphasized in The Odyssey is based around the dominance and traditions of Ancient Greek society and culture, the necessity of honoring the gods and goddesses, and maintaining virtues that are universal throughout society while emphasizing the importance of the individual.

It is demonstrated through the journey of Odysseus, which begins with the Trojan War and follows with each adventure that he experiences on his return to Ithaca, ending on a message of the importance of homecoming when he reaches the shores of his island. The dominance of Ancient Greek society is displayed immediately in the backstory of how the Achaeans overcame the city of Troy and won the Trojan War. It emphasizes the intelligence and cunning of the Achaeans through the example of the Trojan Horse which Odysseus thought of that was used to infiltrate the city. That the Greeks would emerge victorious at the end of a en-year siege over a powerful foe demonstrates the strength of the society militarily. Cultural influences that are affected by propaganda in The Odyssey demonstrate the achievements, values, and traditions of Ancient Greece through references to the ideal individual, proper hospitality, and the honoring of the gods and goddesses. The individual in Ancient Greek society was valued as a strong mental and physical person, who displayed cunning and strength, had a silver tongue and demonstrated articulate thoughts through powerful rhetoric, that could handle any challenge while creating an eternal legacy.

The ideal individual was also loyal to his family and society, and was dedicated to the values and traditions instilled in them from birth. This is all demonstrated through Odysseus and his actions, from creating the idea of the Trojan Horse and displaying leadership in battle, to outsmarting the cyclops Polyphemus, to having an unfaltering love for his wife Penelope. Proper hospitality is explained through the suitors that have overrun Odysseus’s home, who slaughter his animals, drink his wine, and made themselves unwelcome guests. Homer is able to provide an example of how not to act when a person is a guest in another’s home.

Conversely, he demonstrates proper hospitality by using the goatherd as an example when he takes a disguised beggar that is Odysseus into his home. The honoring of the gods and goddesses that were above all mortal men and women was important in the culture of Greek society, and this is demonstrated through the events of The Odyssey, whether it is praying to a god for safety and wellbeing, acting in a way so as not to anger a god such as Poseidon, offering sacrifice to honor the legacy of a god or drinking to the honor of a god to gain their support.

Homecoming is the destiny that is attributed to the story of Odysseus and his fate of returning to Ithaca emphasizes the importance of never leaving the place you were born or the ones you love, a value that was important to Ancient Greek society. These are all examples of propaganda that was used in The Odyssey, which was shared through a rich oral tradition that helped instill these ideals and virtues into the core of Ancient Greek society. Unlike The Odyssey, which began as an oral story and then written at a later date, The Aeneid was written from the point of its creation.

It originated at a time of political and social change in Roman society, which influenced not only its creation but the characters and story in it. According to the “Vita Servii [which] states that the writing of the Aeneid had been undertaken at the express proposal of the emperor” (Avery 225). As it was commissioned by Augustus Caesar, this meant that it was rife with propaganda that emphasized the dominance of Roman society, its importance, and its values such as duty and honor.

Caesar sought to restore tradition to Rome and remind its citizens of its history at a time when this was important to the continued prosperity of Rome under new rule. Aeneas was used a vessel for examining these functions of propaganda and his journey reinforced these virtues. In effect, Virgil “draws certain parallels to achieve one of his many political aims-constructing a national identity for Rome as glorious and ancient as that of Greece” (Bell 228). Virgil offered a new perspective on the Trojan War, immediately dispelling the Achaeans as scum for their trickery, which reinforced the dominance of the Trojans.

He allowed Aeneas to survive the Trojan War, and used the gods and goddesses that were integral to Roman religion to create a destiny where it was his duty to found Rome and bring about its prominence, despite not being entirely aware that this was his fate. Due to this, Aeneas embodies the ideal Roman citizen, much as Odysseus embodied the ideal Greek individual. He is filled with duty and honor and not giving up in a time of strife, as when he loses his home of Troy.

This is compared to the society of Rome at the time of writing, which was under new leadership and government, and emphasized the importance of society remaining strong and prosperous. Duty to the gods was emphasized through Aeneas and his support from Juno, who reminded him that he has to continue on despite finding love in Dido. The importance of Roman society is examined when despite being injured in combat, Aeneas is able to recover due to the interference of Venus, and was gifted a shield that depicted the future of Rome.

In the scenes on the shield, Julius Caesar can be seen, as well as the Battle of Actium, and several other key events known at the time of writing to be integral to the history of Rome and all of which would be a direct result of the duty that Aeneas was to serve through his piety. Virgil was effectively able to create a politically driven and supported example of propaganda through his writing of The Aeneid, and the significance of its creation led to a more unified Rome which benefited Augustus Caesar in his rule and cemented Virgil is the annals of history as a great epic poet.

Propaganda was a useful tool for both Homer and Virgil, and both men were able to use it in effect to instill and remind the audiences of The Odyssey and The Aeneid of the dominance of the Ancient Greek and Roman societies as well as their values and traditions that remained deeply rooted in each society until the downfall of the respective civilization. Works Cited Avery, William T. “Augustus and the Aeneid. ” The Classical Journal 52. 5 (1957): 225-29. Print. Bell, Kimberly K. “”Translatio” and the Constructs of a Roman Nation in Virgil’s “Aeneid”” Rocky Mountain Review 62. 1 (2008): 11-24. Print.

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Role of the Gods in the Odyssey

Religion has always been an important part of culture, in present times and even dating back to the times of the Trojan War and before. No matter what religion a person practices or believes in the role of the certain gods believed in has always been important. In three separate pieces we have read we have seen the importance of the gods, or God, play a key role in the development of the literature. In Homer’s epic poem The Odyssey, the gods are key in Odysseus’ return to Ithaca after twenty years. Whether it is helping Odysseus or delaying him, they play a major role in the development of the story.

In Psalm 139, the scripture passage taken from the Bible, God is a very obvious factor. Even in the poem by William Owen “Dulce et Decorum Est” God again plays a major role once we dive deeper than the words are saying. The role of the gods, or singular God in Catholicism, plays a key role, sometimes unspoken, part. In The Odyssey we see in the first book three major gods that make an immediate impact on Odysseus’ journey home. Zeus, Athena, and Poseidon all are important in their own way in either helping Odysseus or trying to stop him.

Zeus, king of the gods, is characterized as a mediator between Athena and Poseidon, the former helping Odysseus and the latter trying to stop him from reaching home. Athena does all she can to help out the mortal Odysseus, even appearing to him and his son Telemachus in disguise to point them in the right direction. Poseidon, however, hates Odysseus for blinding his son and tries his hardest on multiple occasions to kill Odysseus and his men. Zeus, for being king of the gods, does not have the most important religious role in this epic poem.

He is mostly seen as a babysitter between Athena and Poseidon, allowing Athena to help Odysseus but at the same time punishing the people who help out Odysseus. At one point, after Poseidon voiced his anger, he turns a Phaeacian ship to stone right when it returns because they helped Odysseus return home. His only involvement with Odysseus seems to be when he is trying to please both Athena and Zeus. Athena is a very key character in this poem. She takes a liking to the human Odysseus because of the intelligence and cunning that he naturally has. She personally gets involve in the lives of Telemachus and Odysseus by coming hem in disguise and helping them throughout their separate journeys. The grey-eyed goddess, as she is referred to many times, is responsible for setting Telemachus on the path to find out more about his father, and gives him the courage to stand up to the suitors who have invaded his father’s house. The goddess is seen helping Odysseus in almost every book, most notably the last four where she gives him strength when fighting the suitors, helping Odysseus and Telemachus reach Laertes’ house peacefully, and even makes the suitor’s parents forget about their children’s deaths and restores peace to Ithaca.

Athena makes the homecoming of Odysseus a happy one, helping him and his family time and time again so that they are reunited. Poseidon, god of the sea, holds a nasty grudge against Odysseus throughout the story. Odysseus, after the famous “Nobody” trick, foolishly tells the Cyclopes Polyphemus his name as he is sailing away after blinding him. Poseidon, who is Polyphemus’ father, is outraged that a mortal blinded his son, and take it upon himself to make sure Odysseus never gets back home. Poseidon causes storms to break Odysseus’ boats and kill his men, while wrecking havoc on Odysseus just about every chance he gets.

He goes so far that he asks Zeus to sink the Phaeacians ship, a race of people who adore Poseidon. Poseidon holds a major grudge against Odysseus, however he cannot stop him from reaching home. In the Christian scripture passage Psalm 139; taken from the Bible, we see that God has many of the same characteristics on the gods in The Odyssey. It is described in the scripture passage that God has a perfect knowledge of all of us, which draws the comparison to the gods of Ancient Greece. God knows everything there is to know about us and what we are doing; he is all seeing and all powerful.

Much like the gods of Ancient Greece sitting high above everyone on Mount Olympus, they see everything that is happening below them. Another powerful comparison is the unseen god factor. God always sees us, as humans though we never see him, much like when Odysseus and Telemachus see Athena; she is always disguised, never showing her true form. Zeus never appears, he sends his messages in forms of eagles, as signs to be interrupted by humans, much like God uses miracles to show his presence and existence. We are presented with two separate pieces of literature that have very similar comparisons in religion.

Wilfred Owen’s famous poem “Dulce et Decorum Est” actually makes no mention of religion in it, but it is obvious to see that whatever god you pray to has no part in wars and stopping the death and violence. It brings us to ask ourselves the question of why would any god let these atrocities happen? British citizens not fighting in World War 1 thought that these men were dying heroic deaths, but Owen gives us an insight into how badly these men suffered when they went off to war. The gruesome deaths, the never ending violence and having to watch a comrade die are just a few of the horrible things that are seen in this poem.

It leads us to belive that war is not worth it, in any sense, and that a sensible god would not allow it. Odysseus, after ten years of fighting the Trojans and seeing many of his close friends die, then had to suffer for an additional ten years. The men in World War 1 signed up for their own premature deaths, and there was no religious power to stop these cruel actions. All three of these pieces give us significant insight on our Common Core questions. However, it ties in most importantly to our understanding of what it means to be human.

Most obvious in all three pieces we see the “human” aspects of our lives, the fact that we can die while gods or God cannot. We are not as powerful as gods or God, we cannot control our fate, and it is already written out for us by whomever we pray to in each respective religion. We must make the most of the time and life we are given because we do not have a long time on this planet. To be human means that we must be able to recognize our own abilities, our own strengthens and weaknesses, and know that there is a higher power controlling our fate.

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O Brother, Where Art Thou vs. the Odyssey

Essay Time!! In a 5-paragraph essay, describe the similarities between The Odyssey by Homer and O Brother, Where Art Thou? You will use www. turnitin. com to submit these and to do your peer edits. Your essay should follow the following format: Paragraph 1 – Introduction Paragraphs 2 – 4 – Body Paragraphs Paragraph 5 – Conclusion 12 point font Double-spaced It should be at least 500 words. It will be graded using the rubric on the back of this page. You must stick to the following due dates: March 23rd – First draft due March 24 – Peer editing due March 26th – Final draft due

If you do not have a turnitin account, you need to sign up for one at www. turnitin. com. The registration information you may need is on your Edmodo page. AISE| English Department Writing Rubric| Name: ________________________| Teacher: | | Date Submitted: ____________| Title of Work: ___________________| | | Criteria| Points| | | 0-1| 2-3| 4-5|  | Ideas| The paper has no clear sense of purpose or central theme. To extract meaning from the text, the reader must make inferences based on sketchy or missing details. | The writer is beginning to define the topic, even though development is still basic or general.

Support is attempted but doesn’t go far enough. Ideas may not be detailed or accurate. | This paper is clear and focused. It holds the reader’s attention. Relevant details enrich the central theme. The topic is narrow and manageable. Details support the main ideas. | ______| Organization| The writing lacks a clear sense of direction. Ideas, details, or events seem strung together in a loose or random fashion; there is no identifiable internal structure. | The organizational structure is strong enough to move the reader through the text without too much confusion. The paper has a recognizable introduction and conclusion.

Transitions are used but not effectively. | The organization enhances and showcases the central idea or theme. The order, structure, or presentation of information is compelling and moves the reader through the text. | ______| Voice| The writer seems indifferent to the topic and the content. The writing lacks purpose and audience engagement. | The writer seems sincere but not fully engaged or involved. The result is pleasant or even personable, but not compelling. | The writer connects strongly with the audience in a way that is individual, compelling, and engaging.

The writer crafts the writing with an awareness and respect for the audience and the purpose of the writing. | ______| Word Choice| The writer demonstrates a limited vocabulary or has not searched for words to convey specific meaning. | The language is functional, even if it lacks much energy. It is easy to figure out the writer’s meaning on a general level. | Words convey the intended message in a precise, interesting, and natural way. The words are powerful and engaging. | ______| Sentence Fluency| The reader has to practice quite a bit in order to give this paper a fair interpretive reading.

Sentences are choppy, incomplete, rambling or awkward. Most sentences follow the same sentence pattern. | Sentences get the job done in a routine fashion but tend to be more mechanical than fluid. Sentences are usually correct. Some sentence pattern variety is attempted. | The writing has an easy flow, rhythm, and cadence. Sentences are well built with strong and varied structure. Creative and appropriate connectives are used between sentences. | ______|  Conventions|  Errors in spelling, punctuation, capitalization, usage, and grammar and/or paragraphing repeatedly distract the reader and make the text difficult to read. The writer shows reasonable control over a limited range of standard writing conventions. Conventions are sometimes handled well and enhance readability; at other times, errors are distracting and impair readability. | The writer demonstrates a good grasp of standard writing conventions (spelling, punctuation, capitalization, grammar, usage, paragraphing) and uses conventions effectively to enhance readability. | ______| Presentation(format, spacing, font size or consistency, title, page numbers, bullets, etc. | The reader receives a garbled message due to problems relating to presentation of the text. Visuals do not support or illustrate the ideas in the text. | The writer’s message is understandable because presentation is effective. An attempt is made to integrate visuals and the text although connections may be limited. | The form and presentation of the text enhances the ability for the reader to understand and connect with the message. It is pleasing to the eye. There is effective integration of text and visuals. | _______| | | Teacher Comments|

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The Odyssey: Book 5/6 Summary & Analysis

Chapter 5 All the gods except Poseidon gather again on Mount Olympus to discuss Odysseus’s fate. Athena’s speech in support of the hero prevails on Zeus to intervene. Hermes, messenger of the gods, is sent to Calypso’s island to tell her that Odysseus must at last be allowed to leave so he can return home. In reply, Calypso delivers an impassioned indictment of the male gods and their double standards. She complains that they are allowed to take mortal lovers while the affairs of the female gods must always be frustrated. In the end, she submits to the supreme will of Zeus.

By now, Odysseus alone remains of the contingent that he led at Troy; his crew and the other boats in his force were all destroyed during his journeys. Calypso helps him build a new boat and stocks it with provisions from her island. With sadness, she watches as the object of her love sails away. After eighteen days at sea, Odysseus spots Scheria, the island of the Phaeacians, his next destination appointed by the gods. Just then, Poseidon, returning from a trip to the land of the Ethiopians, spots him and realizes what the other gods have done in his absence.

Poseidon stirs up a storm, which nearly drags Odysseus under the sea, but the goddess Ino comes to his rescue. She gives him a veil that keeps him safe after his ship is wrecked. Athena too comes to his rescue as he is tossed back and forth, now out to the deep sea, now against the jagged rocks of the coast. Finally, a river up the coast of the island answers Odysseus’s prayers and allows him to swim into its waters. He throws his protective veil back into the water as Ino had commanded him to do and walks inland to rest in the safe cover of a forest.

Calypo complains to the gods that the male gods always get to have relationships with mortal females whereas the goddesses Summary: Book 6 That night, Athena appears in a dream to the Phaeacian princess Nausicaa, disguised as her friend. She encourages the young princess to go to the river the next day to wash her clothes so that she will appear more fetching to the many men courting her. The next morning, Nausicaa goes to the river, and while she and her handmaidens are naked, playing ball as their clothes dry on the ground, Odysseus wakes in the forest and encounters them.

Naked himself, he humbly yet winningly pleads for their assistance, never revealing his identity. Nausicaa leaves him alone to wash the dirt and brine from his body, and Athena makes him look especially handsome, so that when Nausicaa sees him again she begins to fall in love with him. Afraid of causing a scene if she walks into the city with a strange man at her side, Nausicaa gives Odysseus directions to the palace and advice on how to approach Arete, queen of the Phaeacians, when he meets her. With a prayer to Athena for hospitality from the Phaeacians, Odysseus sets out for the palace.

Analysis: Books 5–6 Our first encounter with Odysseus confirms what we have already learned about him from Menelaus’s and Helen’s accounts of his feats during the Trojan War and what Homer’s audience would already have known: that Odysseus is very cunning and deliberative. The poet takes pains to show him weighing every decision: whether to try landing against the rocky coast of Scheria; whether to rest by the river or in the shelter of the woods; and whether to embrace Nausicaa’s knees (the customary gesture of supplication) or address her from afar.

The shrewd and measured approach that these instances demonstrate balances Odysseus’s warrior mentality. Though aggressive and determined, he is far from rash. Instead, he is shrewd, cautious, and extremely self-confident. At one point, he even ignores the goddess Ino’s advice to abandon ship, trusting in his seafaring abilities and declaring, “[I]t’s what seems best to me” (5. 397). In each case, he makes a decision and converts thought to action with speed and poise. In his encounter with Nausicaa, a telling example of his skill in interacting with people and charisma, his subdued approach comes off as “endearing, sly and suave” (6. 162).