This website uses cookies to ensure you have the best experience. Learn more

Homer's Odyssey: Themes Of Homecoming And Reunion

3290 words - 13 pages

Theme of Homecoming and Reunion in Homer's Odyssey

 

      The theme of The Odyssey is one of homecoming and reunion with

loved ones.  Though the proem of the epic states that Odysseus' own purpose

is simply the fight to save his own life and return his shipmates home

safely, the gods of Olympus are the unknown captains of this journey.  It

is an epic story of the making of men, mainly Odysseus and Telemakhos.

Homer methodically details the  struggles set forth by the gods.  The

contests of Odysseus' wisdom, honor, piety and prudence.  These tests of

will prove Odysseus 'master mariner and soldier', truly virtuous and

capable.  He becomes not only the last hope of those still true and loyal,

but he is the only one who can discern the proper course of action in the

re-ordering of his house and his household.

 

      In the opening of the epic, the gods, at home upon great Olympus,

sit in conversation reflecting upon the pride of men.  One example being

Agisthos, who is run amuck with greed and pride.  Zeus' remark that "Greed

and folly will double suffering in the lot of man..."  is indeed the

standard by which men are judged to be the Shepherd or the wolf.  It is

greed and folly, which are the marks of impious men, men who engage in

improper feasting.  Worse still are those who give into temptation after

long suffering, for it denies them the knowledge of the good; namely virtue.

 

      Of improper feasting there are numerous examples, from the

gluttonous behavior of the suitors and the cannibalism of the Kyklops, to

Odysseus' own shipmates who kill and feast on the cattle of Lord Helios,

the Sun.  As illustrated by the text, improper feasting is a sin against

the order of Zeus and thus the order of men.  Telemakhos recognizes the

wrong done against him and his household. The youth of Telemakhos prevents

him from doing more than sitting by in mute fury, but it is the visitation

of Athena that unlocks his silent disgust.  He reveals to the goddess that

the feast of the suitors is plunder, and their acts rapine.  He tells

Menthos (Athena in disguise) that the suitors  lives are easy and scot-free.

 

 At the assembly, Telemakhos' remarks are quick and to the point.  "My home

and all I have are being ruined...like a pack they came...these men [that]

spend their days around our house killing our beeves and sheep and fatted

goats, carousing, soaking up our good dark wine, not caring what they do.

They squandered everything."   In response to this, Antinoos gives a brash

reply, claiming that it is Telemakhos that judges them wrongly.  He mislays

the blame upon Penelope, who has contrived all these years to deceive the

suitors and avoid a...

Find Another Essay On Homer's Odyssey: Themes of Homecoming and Reunion

Comparing the Deceitful Women of Homer's Odyssey and the Bible

1278 words - 5 pages The Deceitful Women of Homer's Odyssey and the Bible Across all barriers, women have always brought pain, suffering, and aguish to the men as demonstrated in both Homer's Odyssey and the Bible. With their beauty and grace, temptresses like the Sirens and Delilah lure men into their grasps, only to later steer them to their ruin. Other times, they use their cunning abilities and deception, as Circe and Jezebel did, in order to entice

Powerful Women of Homer's Odyssey Essay

559 words - 2 pages The Powerful Women of Homer's Odyssey             Homer's "Odyssey" depicts women as strong subjects-they are real substantive characters. Women in this poem are tough, strong-willed and are treated with the respect and seriousness they deserve.  Homer characterizes the women in his poem as the real counterparts of men-they have real feelings, real plans and are able to

Strong Penelope of Homer's Odyssey

1277 words - 5 pages The Strong Penelope of The Odyssey "My lady, there is no man in the wide world who could find fault with you. For your fame has reached broad heaven itself, like that of some illustrious king."(Page 289,Book 19) In Homer's epic, The Odyssey, Odysseus is an epic hero with an epic wife, Penelope. Penelope is also the Queen of Ithaca, a vital role indeed. Penelope's love and devotion towards Odysseus is proven when she waits nineteen years

The Funeral Games of Patroklos in Homer's Iliad and Odyssey

2341 words - 9 pages The Funeral Games of Patroklos in Homer's Iliad and Odyssey        Coming towards the end of a war which has consumed an entire decade and laid waste the lives of many, the Greek warriors in Troy choose to take the time and energy to hold funeral games.  This sequence of events leaves the reader feeling confused because it's not something one would expect and seems highly out of place.  Throughout the epic Homer tries to describe what

Adolescence of Telemachus and Nausikaa in Homer's Odyssey

967 words - 4 pages Homer's Odyssey introduces us to a wide variety of characters. Two of the younger characters are Telemachus, the son of Odysseus, and Nausikaa, the daughter of King Alkinoos. Both Telemachus and Nausikaa are approximately the same age, although the book is not specific about Nausikaa's age. More importantly, we know that they are both teenagers. Almost all adolescents must make a transition from childhood to young adult and in doing so they

Use of Disguises in Homer's Odyssey

986 words - 4 pages Use of Disguises in Odyssey        The characters' use of disguises in Homer's Odyssey is a crucial element that helps to catalyze the victory of good over evil.  Each disguise is unique, created for a specific purpose.  Before she talks to Telemachos, Athena disguises herself as a wise old man in order to ensure that her words carry weight and are taken seriously.  She knows that she must assist and encourage Telemachos into searching

Use of Disguise in Homer's Odyssey

1080 words - 4 pages The Use of Disguise in Odyssey     In Homer's Odyssey, the use of disguise to help convey a false identity assists the characters in accomplishing their plans.  Without the use of disguise it would thwart Odyssey’s attempts at arriving back to his homeland. Each disguise has its own individual purpose, for example Athene's image as Mentor to advise Telemachos.  The main intention being to assist and encourage Telemachos into searching

The Trials of Odysseus of Homer's Odyssey

1654 words - 7 pages The Trials of Odysseus  Homer's epic poem The Odyssey was written after his Iliad which told the tales of the Trojan War. This Odyssey told of the wanderings of a prominent warrior and ruler, Odysseus. Odysseus fought in the Trojan War and, after the Greeks claimed their victory at Troy, began his prolonged journey home. During his travels Odysseus faced many obstacles which he had to overcome. Through his wanderings, Odysseus had to

Concealment and Disguises in Homer's Odyssey

2971 words - 12 pages Concealment and Disguises in Homer's Odyssey     Did you know, that although caves, and disguises play a small literal role in The Odyssey, are major symbols, and sometimes even considered archetypes? Sometimes when quickly reading through a book, one does not pick up on the symbolic interpretation of many images created throughout the book. A man named Homer wrote The Odyssey around 800 B.C. The story was a Greek epic poem

Voyage and Psychological Development in Homer's Odyssey

3328 words - 13 pages The Voyage and Psychological Development in Homer's Odyssey       Homer's Odyssey arguably stands out head and shoulders above any other piece of epic literature produced by Western civilization for nearly three millennia. Most remarkable is the extent to which the Western hero archetype is to this day still a result of the molding that occurred upon the character of Odysseus so long ago. In imagining a police lineup of the most profoundly

Coming of Age in Homer's the Odyssey

1027 words - 4 pages Identity is a theme that runs strongly throughout The Odyssey. While much of Homer's work is devoted to Odysseus' journey, an examination of his son Telemakhos provides an excellent example of character development. From the anxious and unconfident young man to which Book I opens to the courageous exactor of his father's estate, Telemakhos undergoes notable emotional maturation. The spiritual journey illustrated by Telemakhos, through his own

Similar Essays

Homer's Odyssey: Settings And Themes Of Book 13

791 words - 3 pages caught in front of a goddess.  One of the less obvious themes was that the Gods are arrogant.   Athena speaks of herself in a manner of praise toward herself.   "I am famous among the gods for wisdom…I am here once more, to weave a scheme for you…" (296) is one of the passages which shows her arrogance.  Be grateful, home sweet home, honesty, and arrogance are themes in Book 13 of the Odyssey.

Which Epic Has Most Relevance To A Twenty First Century Reader, Virgil's 'aeneid' Or Homer's 'odyssey'? Examines Themes In Both Epics (From The English Translations) And Compares The Two

1969 words - 8 pages , many of the themes in Homer's 'Odyssey' and Virgil's 'Aeneid' are similar. I will therefore begin by examining some of the issues found in both epics that have contemporary relevance. The reason why both epics have retained their popularity over the years, except for their graphic detail and tales of heroism, is undoubtedly because as well as being fantastic story tellers, both Homer and Virgil had a profound understanding of psychology. This

Odysseus Of Homer's Odyssey Essay

712 words - 3 pages “ Sing in me, Muse, and through me tell the story of that man skilled in all ways of contending, the wanderer, harried for years on end, after he plundered the stronghold on the proud height of Troy.” (Homer page 751 lines: 0-4) That was an opening prayer from The Odyssey. The Odyssey is about a 20 year-long travel of a man named Odysseus. He traveled to Troy facing the dangers on many mythical creatures and many fictional

Jourody Journey Of Homer's Odyssey, Joyce's Ulysses And Walcott's Omeros

877 words - 4 pages The Journey of Homer's Odyssey, Joyce's Ulysses and Walcott's Omeros      This essay explores how the theme of the journey, pervasive in Homer's Odyssey, find expression in James Joyce's Ulysses (1922) and Derrick Walcott's Omeros (1990), epics written in very different historical periods.  Common to all three epics is a plot structure that involves a protagonist who longs for home but who must first endure a life-altering change before