Critical essays on the odyssey

The reader learns about the characters through the themes. The more complicated a character is, the more he or she engages these major themes. Therefore, the most complicated character, Odysseus, appropriately embodies each of the themes to one degree or another. Thinking of hospitality as a major theme in a literary work may seem odd to modern readers.

Critical essays on the odyssey

Its chief character, Odysseus, or Ulysses, inspired more literary works than any other legendary hero. From Homer to James Joyce, Nikos Kazantzakis, and after, Odysseus has been a central figure in European literature, and one who has undergone many sea changes.

Odyssey has the ingredients of a perennial best seller: It is, in fact, one of the greatest adventure stories of all time. Of the poet, or poets, who wrote the poem there is only conjecture.

Tradition says that Homer lived in Chios or Smyrna in Ionia, a part of Asia Minor, and it is probable that he, or whoever composed this epic, did so late in the eighth century b.

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Odyssey was originally sung or recited, as is evident from its style and content, and it was based on legend, folk tale, and free invention, forming part of a minstrel tradition similar to that of the Middle Ages. The style of the poem is visual, explanatory, repetitive, and stately.

Homer, whoever he was, wanted his audience to visualize and understand everything that happened. He grasped the principles of rhetoric, and he composed in a plain, direct fashion that possesses great eloquence and dignity. Homer also mastered certain crucial problems of organization.

In this manner the leisurely development of the plot stirs anticipation and gives the climactic scene redoubled force. However, the intervening action must have interest on its own and must have a bearing on the main action.

Odyssey shows remarkable ability on all of these counts. If the subject of Iliad is the wrath of Achilles during the Trojan War, the subject of Odyssey is the homecoming of Odysseus ten years after the Trojan War ends.

Thus the epic has a sweeping scope condensed into a very brief span of time. They intend to kill Odysseus if he should ever return, and they arrange an ambush to kill Telemachus.

Their radical abuse of hospitality is contrasted with the excellent relations between guest and host when Telemachus goes to visit Nestor and then Menelaus. In an epic whose theme is travel, the auxiliary theme must be the nature of hospitality. At first Telemachus is a disheartened young man trying to be hospitable in a house where it is impossible.

Then Athena, as Mentes, puts pluck into him with the idea that his long-lost father is alive and detained. Telemachus calls an assembly to state his grievances and then undertakes a hazardous trip to learn of his father.

Odysseus is the model of the worldly, well-traveled, persevering man who overcomes obstacles. He has courage, stamina, and power, but his real strength lies in his brain, which is shrewd, quick-witted, diplomatic, and resourceful.

He is also eloquent and persuasive. He needs all of these qualities to survive and make his way home. His mettle is tested at every turn, either by dangers or temptations to remain in a place.

Critical essays on the odyssey

Calypso even offers him immortality, but he is steadfast in his desire to return home. Athena may intercede for him with Zeus and aid and advise him, yet the will to return and the valor in doing so are those of Odysseus alone. The one thing Odysseus finds truly unbearable in his travels was stasis, being stranded for seven years, even though he has an amorous nymph for company.

The point is that the suitors are the most formidable enemy Odysseus encounters, since they number well over a hundred and only he and Telemachus are there to face them.

It is here that his strategic and tactical cunning is truly needed; the previous wanderings were merely a long prologue to this climactic exploit. Coming after nine chapters in which nothing much happens, the killing of the suitors and their henchmen and maids is stunning in its exulting, deliberate violence.

The house of Odysseus is at last purged of its predators, and the emotions of the audience are restored to an equilibrium.Nov 18,  · You are here: Home / Critical essay on the odyssey / Critical essay on the odyssey. Shane meadows critical essays on kate role of mentor in nursing essay essay writing on history eric hobsbawm nuclear weapons essay conclusions vayanadinam malayalam essay .

Essays and criticism on Homer's The Odyssey - Critical Evaluation. Any opinions, findings, conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of UK Essays.

Homers' Odyssey first introduces this hero with the words "….a boy, daydreaming" (1. ) and states him as "But clear-headed…" () later on as the epic poem goes on. Free Essays on Homer's Odyssey: Gaining Power from Others in The Odyssey - Gaining Power from Others in The Odyssey Throughout The Odyssey, Odysseus’ power was gained through the power of others resulting in three phases of understanding: self-determination, courage, and having a greater vision in life.

The Odyssey - Critical essays and papers on The Odyssey - papers: Homer Essays - Essay List Essay War Reporting in 'The Things They Carried' and 'The Iliad' [ send me this essay] A 6 page paper looking at these two works of war literature by, respectively, Tim O'Brien and Homer.

Odyssey is undoubtedly the most popular epic of Western culture. Its chief character, Odysseus, or Ulysses, inspired more literary works than any other legendary hero.

From Homer to James Joyce.

Major Themes in The Odyssey