The Odyssey and Its Themes Homer’s great literary classic, The Odyssey, represents and illustrates many emotional and mental values. All of these values can be classified under three different main themes that are constant throughout the epic tale. These themes are: A boy’s struggle to be a man, a king’s struggle to reclaim his kingdom, and a man’s struggle to return home. As one reads this book it will become more and more evident to them that a man’s struggle to get home is the most important theme throughout Homer’s adventure. In The Odyssey, Odysseus’s longing for his home and family is what drives the story. That is his one goal in the entire book, and that really states something about his character.
In Book 5 we are first introduced to the character Odysseus. The strange thing is that he is weeping to himself when we first meet him. He is weeping because he pines for his family and home as stated in lines 327 and 328, ‘Yet it is true, each day I long for home, long for the sight of home.’; As he plainly states, Odysseus greatly misses his home, and his tears show us just how much he misses it. In the duration of the story Odysseus has to make several sacrifices in order to get to the home he longs for so much. In Book 12, Circe foresees that Odysseus will have to let some of his men die. ‘The Ithacans set off. But Odysseus never reveals to them Circe’s last prophecy – that he will be the only survivor…’; This shows how much he’s willing to do and sacrifice in order to get home.
The Essay on Leadership qualities of Odysseus throughout the book
Throughout the Odyssey, the lead character, Odysseus, is presented as the ideal Greek leader. He demonstrates this through the treatment of his men and how he deals with problems that are presented to him. Because the Odyssey was first a spoken myth, it took on the shape of the society in which it was told. Including that society’s moral and ethical values, as well as its desires in the ...
There are many obstacles that stand in Odysseus’s way of getting home. Some of the obstacles included the Lotus-Eaters, Cyclops, Sirens, Scylla, and Charybdis. In many ways these creatures and temptations represent all obstacles that get in the way of goals. They are the classic feat that the protagonist, Odysseus, must overcome to get to his goal, home. One of the most fearsome, brutish obstacles was Polyphemus, the Cyclops. Polyphemus ends up destroying a large portion of Odysseus’s crew as described in lines 746-752.
‘Neither reply nor pity came from him, but in one stride he clutched at my companions and caught two in his hands like squirming puppies to beat their brains out, spattering the floor. Then he dismembered them and made his meal…’; This descriptive brutality shows you just how much a gigantic, intimidating obstacle Polyphemus was. Another one of these obstacles was Scylla. Scylla’s attack was described in lines 1338-1343. ‘ Then Scylla made her strike, whisking six of my best men from the ship. I happened to glance aft at ship and oarsmen and caught sight of their arms and legs dangling high overhead.’; This is yet another grim reminder of just how determined Odysseus is to get to his home and family. Throughout The Odyssey, Odysseus is warned many times of the perils and difficulty of his journey. All through these times it seems that Odysseus will never get home, but he never loses hope. In Book 11, Odysseus ventures into hell to meet with the great prophet, Teiresias. Teiresias prophesizes, ‘But anguish lies ahead: the god who thunders on the land prepares it…’; As terrible as this sounds, Odysseus just accepts his fate and continues on with his journey. Just as he did earlier in the story, after his encounter with Polyphemus, the Cyclops puts a curse on his head. ‘…and thou art father: grant that Odysseus, raider of cities, never see his home…’; Even though it seems all hope is lost and he will never make it, he still continues.
The Term Paper on The Odyssey Odysseus Homer Life
... sense of hope, just as Odysseus is determined to return home despite his foes and hardships. Odysseus' wife Penelope ... as indirect depictions of his ideas. The Cyclops Polyphemus, a behemoth giant, symbolizes nature's brute force. It ... the world; the only way to pass these obstacles is to maintain a linear course and never ... to make a harsh decision to sail by Scylla and lose at most six sailors rather ...
In conclusion, a man’s struggle to get home is the most important theme in The Odyssey. Even though Odysseus seems tough, when it comes to his home and family, he still bares his softer side. Against impossible odds and grizzly creatures, Odysseus still fights on, because even the biggest giant seems small when compared to Odysseus’s determination. And when it seems that he has no chance of getting home, Odysseus still never loses hope. We could all learn something from Odysseus and his determination to get to the things most important to him..