Main Ideas In Story Of Odysseus Essay Example

  • Category: Literature, Poems,
  • Words: 889 Pages: 4
  • Published: 26 March 2021
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The Odyssey, by Homer is a series of multiple thrilling passages that follows Odysseus, the king of Ithaca, in his effort to return home from the Trojan War. Through these efforts, Odysseus along with his crew, experience and go through countless fantastic, magical, and divine adventures. These adventures lead them to embark and explore various remarkable locations as well. To enhance the descriptions and establish the tone of the characters and environment in which they explore, Homer uses a series of literary elements in each book. For instance, he uses similes to create an image of the spell that Kirke puts on the humans in “The Grace of the Witch.”. Also, he uses and implements epithets to describe Odysseus and other characters in “The Trunk of the Olive Tree.” Lastly, he uses imagery to help the audience imagine and come to text with the scenes in “The Epic Continues.” These are all prime examples of how Homer uses literary elements throughout the text to bring the reader closer and immerse them into all of the adventurous events unfolding in front of them. 

To help create a mental picture in the reader’s mind, many authors decide to use and implement similes in their writing to describe an action. Homer does just this in a multitude of his texts, but more specifically he uses similes in “The Grace of the Witch.” In this specific text, Homer uses a simile to describe and paint an immersive image to the reader of Kirke’s spell that she put on Odysseuss’ crewmates. Hermes describes the state of his crewmates, and what Kirkes spell has done to them to Odysseus as he warns Odysseus that “Your friends are locked in Kirkê’s pale; all are become like swine to see; and if you go to set them free you go to stay, and never more make sail for your old home upon Thaki.” (Homer 394.) Through this simile, the spell that Kirke put on Odysseus and the power that she holds as a character is portrayed to the readers. The use of this specific simile also establishes the tone of the environment in a dangerous manner. This is due to the fact that it is described that Odysseus could be in great danger, would he try to fetch and save his crewmates. With that said, this is just one example of how Homer uses literary elements in the Odyssey to describe characters and establish a tone in certain environments.

In an attempt to create the descriptions of the characters in the Odyssey, specifically Odysseus, more rich and easier for the reader to understand, Homer uses epithets throughout his writing.  Due to the fact that Odysseus is such a complex character, the use of epithets was included by Homer as a way to describe the qualities and characteristics of Odysseus. To better describe Odysseus bravery and courageous acts in “The Trunk of the Olive Tree,” Homer uses an epithet as he calls Odysseus “Greathearted Odysseus” then stating that he had arrived  “home at last, and was being bathed now by Eurynomê and rubbed with golden oil, and clothed again in a fresh tunic and a cloak. Athena lent him beauty, head to foot. She made him taller, and massive, too.” (Homer 574). Based on this epithet, the courage of Odysseus is respected by many which helps establish him as an alpha figure in the story. The use of this epithet also creates a backstory that helps the reader give correlation to the grand tone of his arrival home. Through the magical adventures that Odysseus goes through, surely his actions will rub the other characters in either a positive or negative way. The use of this epithet helps describe and explain his characterization, after his adventure and during his reunion home in this case. To wrap up, the implementation of epithets in the Odyssey enhances the descriptions and establishes the tone of the Odysseus. 

Lastly, to help the audience imagine and come to context with the scenes in his writing Homer uses imagery. Specifically, in the “The Epic Continues,” imagery is used heavily in the scene involving Penelope, the queen of Ithaca and the wife of Odysseus, and the storm room. As she reaches the storeroom, the author describes her actions and the items that correlate and involve with what she does. To expand upon, Homer uses imagery to describe the “Herb-scented robes'' that “lay there in chests, but the lady’s milkwhite arms went up to lift the bow down from a peg in its own polished bowcase.” (Homer 547). Clearly, the author wants to put an emphasis on the items in this situation, which is done by using imagery flawlessly. In this certain state of affairs, the reader is focused on the robes and the lady’s arms and how they relate to the situation. This is due to the fact that the author purposely draws the attention to these items, by including words that draw a mental image to the reader. As you can see, Homer uses imagery in the Odyssey to paint a clear image of emphasized points in the text. 

When reading the Odyssey by Homer, the reader is constantly hit with action and adventure from start to beginning. By using these literary elements, it is as if the reader is going along for the ride with Odysseus and his crew. On a personal note, I felt immersed into the text as a reader and frankly, never felt like that reading an epic. Homer does a great job including literary elements throughout the entirety of the epic. In my final analysis of the Odyssey, this is how Homer uses literary elements throughout the epic to enhance the descriptions and establish the tone of the characters and environment.

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