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Ideals Of The Elite In The Illidad And Ther Odyssey By Homer

803 words - 4 pages

The document that I chose to write about is The Odyssey by Homer. Homer is believed to have lived during the 8th century B.C.E and was considered the greatest and last of the epic poets in ancient Greece. With the knowledge of writing almost nonexistent due to the fall of the Mycenaean civilization the only thing that kept Greek traditions and culture alive were stories also known as poems shared from one generation to the next. During Homers time Greece was believed to be in the dark ages during this time the wealth was limited and the population was shrinking. With a new group of elite emerging those included were people who earned it by competing whether on the battle field or public speaking. Most epic poems of this time had some sort of emphasis on arête or excellence which was earned. The master pieces of Homer the Iliad and the Odyssey both show the ideals of the elite of 8th century Greece.
During this time Mediterranean Sea trade was starting to boom and sea travel was a norm. Being that Greece had a sea based economy stories of sea travel were very common. This is why Homer created the odyssey following the character named Odysseus on his travels across the sea and faced many challenges but triumphed over them proving his arête The Odyssey was meant to inform the audience of the struggles of Odysseus a great general and member of the elite on his voyage home from the battle of troy. The section of the odyssey that was read in class was taken from “Book 9: In the one-eyed giants cave”. In this part Odysseus leads his men to an island only to discover that it is inhabited by Cyclopes one in particular takes him and his men hostage. The main point that stands out in this story is how cunning Odysseus is when dealing with a giant many times his size. This is where Homer starts to show some bias towards his fellow Greek hero by making him seem so much more civilized then his counterpart the giant. Odysseus enters the giants cave expecting him to be a gracious host which was a tradition of this time period but being a brute he offers them nothing and traps them in his cave and eats a few of his men. To trick the giant Odysseus gets him drunk off of wine which is another...

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