Essay on the odyssey of homer

The Odyssey thesis Statements and Essay topics

Their religion is critical to their lives because it influences most everything they. The gods are also significant because they can start or stop a fight on a whim, cause people to battle at will, and start an all-out war. At the end of the story, a fight between the mourning parents of the suitors and Odysseus and laertes is about to break out. Before it can really begin, Athena says, Odysseus, master of land ways and sea ways command yourself. Call off this battle now or zeus who views the wide world may be angry (xxiv.607-609). Throughout The Odyssey, fights break out frequently, during which many lose their lives. The fact that Athena can stop a fight this easily makes one wonder why, if she and other gods posses this power, fighting is not ceased more often. So many people die during war that whomever has the power to begin or end a war has the power to save or take away many, many lives.

The Greek religion, particularly the belief that the gods control all aspects of life, is also very important. After thinking the gods werent on his for side because the winds are blowing his ship the wrong direction, Agamemnon believes that he must kill his own daughter as a sacrifice so that the gods will blow his ship towards Troy. Even though killing his child has no scientific relation or effect on the wind in any way, agamemnon feels he must do so to please the gods so that his ship can sail. The author describes Agamemnons decision: this was terrible to all, but to her father (Agamemnon) it was hardly bearable (Hamilton 261). Despite the pain it causes him, pleasing the gods comes first. Hamilton continues, nevertheless he yielded (Hamilton 261). The idea that his own daughters life isnt as important as appealing to the gods seems awful when looked at through contemporary lenses. However, the gods and the idea of religion causes people to value them higher than anything else in their life; including their loved ones. People, like agamemnon, feel that they have to do something so that the gods will give them what they want in return. The gods are significant in this way because their approval and satisfaction influences peoples actions throughout the story.

essay on the odyssey of homer

Poetry daily Prose feature - emily wilson: Translator's

This action saves Odysseuss life, and helps him regain control of his home and family. The fact that when in need of assistance, he resume has a goddess looking after him is critical to the story; it enables him to fight battles, both literal and figurative, that he couldnt win on his own. Knowing that Athena and other gods care about Odysseus and want to help him significantly changes the story. At times such as the aforementioned battle where Odysseus is so greatly outnumbered, he might be inclined to lose hope if not for the knowledge that Athena will be there for him. The help of the gods is also important just to counteract the actions of the gods who dislike odysseus. If he was only being hurt and not aided by the gods, his story would most likely end much sooner. The gods aid is significant because frankly needs. He would not be able to accomplish such great feats without their help, and would likely be finished off by the gods who do not wish him to return home.

essay on the odyssey of homer

SparkNotes: The Odyssey: quiz

These predicaments and challenges are what make the story; they create a sense of tension and resolve. Without mattress the gods, this cycle wouldnt be present. This is why the gods role in the Odyssey as obstacles is so important. Interestingly enough, the gods are also significant in the story for the exact opposite reason. Another way the gods play an important role in the story is by aiding Odysseus on his journey home. Athena is especially helpful in this way. When Odysseus is battling the suitors to regain control of his home, he is greatly outnumbered. Athena turns their shots, or all but two (xxii.303).

While on Circes island, Odysseus narrates, so day by day we lingered, feasting long/ on roasts and wine, until a year grew fat (X.516, 517). Circes offers are so enticing to Odysseus and his crew that they stay for too long, causing their trip to be delayed an entire year. She is one goddess that creates a hurdle Odysseus must leap over. Just as Odysseus is about to reach his homeland of Ithaca, poseidon says, Still I can give him a rough ride, and I will (V.300). He gives him a ride by creating huge waves that destroy odysseuss raft, thus deterring him even further. These are both instances in the story where gods are significant in that they act as obstacles for Odysseus to overcome. Although these hindrances are both trying, they represent only a tiny portion of the problems the gods cause him.

M: The Essential Odyssey (Hackett Classics

essay on the odyssey of homer

The Odyssey study guide gradesaver

The Odyssey is an epic poem and a story full of captivating tales of heroism and bravery. Without Penelopes strength, wisdom, and loyalty, odysseus would have had nothing to come home to and the story would have been a tragedy. With a happy ending readers think of the wonders of quests and other worldly beings that make the plot exciting, but if Penelope had not stayed true the stories would have seemed to tell only of death. The actions of a mere woman could change the whole story, a concept that in ancient Greece would be hard to grasp., the significance of Religion in The Odyssey. Religion has always been significant throughout history. Many peoples lives or jobs are dedicated to religion, to god.

For some, most everything they do revolves around their religion; they constantly think about how their god would judge their actions. Homers Odyssey tells the story of Odysseuss journey home, and how the gods affect this voyage. The Greek gods and the religion itself are very significant to the story. Whether its deterring Odysseus on his journey home, helping him along, causing one to harm another, or causing two countries to go to war, the gods are ever-present and a critical aspect essay to the story. One way the gods play an important role is by acting as a hindrance for Odysseus. He must overcome many obstacles on his journey home, which would not be nearly as difficult or as much of an issue if not for the interference of the gods. An example of this is when Circe entraps Odysseus and his men with her irresistible offers of meat and bread, thus causing them to stay much longer then they intend.

Her trick works for three years, but when it fails, she finds a task for the suitors that none will be able to accomplish: the stringing of Odysseus bow and firing an arrow through the holes in twelve axe heads. In the use of her cunning, penelope is able to put off the efforts of the suitors for over three years, an impressive feat with men so persistent. Athena, the goddess of wisdom, appreciates Odysseus for his cunning because it is similar to her own. Penelopes cunning is therefore also similar to Athenas. Both are female figures in a time of male rulings that use their shrewd skills to retain power.


Penelopes ability to remain strong and faithful relies on her wits, which she realizes and takes advantage. Penelope is seen at first as a wife of a hero, and nothing more. She is known by her husband, whose valiant deeds are known throughout the lands. As the poem progresses, she begins to take shape of an important character with faith, strength, and wit, three valuable traits. Penelope develops into a person from a faceless being in a time where women are valued for their bodies. In the time of ancient Greece, women were insignificant. Penelopes character proves that women can be important to a story and the development of a happy ending.

The Odyssey important"s with Page numbers

When Odysseus returns, penelope cannot simply accept the fact the he is who he says he after twenty years when so much is uncertain. Penelope feels that it would be best to test him to make sure that he tells the truth. Her cunning saves her from a possibility of being deeply wounded, which would have happened if she believed that the man before her was Odysseus, then short finds out that he is not. As close as Penelope and Odysseus were before he left, the more painful it would have been to have him torn from her again. She tests him by having him tried to the breaking point (xxiii.206) by suggesting that the bed he made with his own hands was no longer where he had left. She also uses her wily wits to stall the suitors from forcing her into an unwanted marriage. Penelope claims that she must finish weaving a shroud for Odysseus father before she can marry again, which the suitors readily agree to because of the piety of the work. What the suitors are unaware of is that every day she wove on the great loom-/ but every night by torchlight she unwove it (II.112-113) so that she will never finish and have to marry one of the suitors.

essay on the odyssey of homer

She must remain strong, never submitting to the demands of the suitors and never allowing her hatred of them to gain the upper prewriting hand. She must guard herself and her home from their anger and of their insistence of Odysseus death. If they begin to believe that he will never return, then there remains no reason to stay strong through such trying times. Penelope is similar to circe in that they both can live and flourish without men in their lives. Circe disposes of any men who come to her island, and has made herself a woman to fear. Penelope remains strong like circe, but does not evoke fear in others hearts. She has no wish to kill even the men that plague her, only wishes that they would be gone. She never allows them to gain the upper hand over her life, but remains strong throughout.

after twenty years. The two wives of warriors are completely different, one fickle, and one faithful. Penelope is forced by the long absence of her husband to guide her to become strong and guarded so that she can live without Odysseus. Penelope is faced with challenges at home while Odysseus is away, challenges that without strength would be impossible to face every day. She is left with a son, not even two, to raise on her own, without the guidance of a father figure in his life. Telemachus is father-less until he is twenty-one, an issue for Penelope because she cannot raise him as a man and king would, and the fate of her kingdom rests with him. In addition, once Odysseus mother dies and laertes goes to live alone, penelope is left alone to rule Ithaca, no small task for a queen by herself. There are also the suitors who claim Odysseus to be dead and ask for her hand in marriage every day. They will not leave penelope in peace and every suitor swore to lie beside her (I.115) but Spurn them she dare not (I.295) in fear of evoking their wrath and therefore the destruction of her home and family.

She is turned into a woman of mattress power by homer. Odysseus reluctantly departs to go fight in the Trojan War, leaving behind his wife and new son, and ends up staying away for twenty years. Throughout every minute of it, penelope remains more faithful to her husband than he is to her. She never submits to the whims of the suitors begging for her hand in marriage and only finds ways to make them leave her, while he enjoys the company of Circe and Calypso. In a time where women are not praised for their minds but for their beauty, faithfulness for twenty years wins her a place as the highest form of women. Agamemnon compares her to his wife and praises her as being the mistress of her own heart penelope! (xxiv.222-223) while his own wife the adulteress waited to stab her lord and king (xxiv.225-226). From these statements, Agamemnon concludes that the very gods themselves will sing her story (xxiv.221 claiming that faithfulness is the best quality a woman could have. Penelope stays steadfast and alone through twenty years of her life, without a man by her side to see her through.

SparkNotes: The Odyssey: Plot overview

The development of penelope in homers odyssey. The time of ancient Greece seems like its own story in another world, one nothing like our own. Powerful gods and goddesses, brave warriors, mystical beings, and the mistreatment of women rule the plot. Except that women have been overlooked in our world for centuries. The insignificance of women was a part essay of Greek life that is not majestic or ethereal. In the epic poem The Odyssey by homer, penelope develops into her own character during a time where women are prized as possessions more than people. Homer makes Penelope into her own person and not just an addition to her husband by his long absence and the troubles she must face on her own through difficult times. Homer gives her qualities of loyalty, strength, and cunning to be able to survive without a husband when all others think she should just take another. Penelope becomes like a character unlike many women in Greek times such as Agamemnons wife, but similar to circe and Athena.


essay on the odyssey of homer
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