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The Odyssey Essay

728 words - 3 pages


Many forms of popular culture today are inspired by themes, characters, and other references in various types of classical literature. John Denver's song 'Calypso'; is about the relationship between men and women, and he bases this comparison on the relationship between Kalypso and Odysseus in Homer's the Odyssey. In 'Calypso'; Denver portrays women in general as being superior to men by using the beautiful and enchanting goddess, Kalypso, from Homer's epic. John Denver encompasses all women in his song by providing Kalypso as a universal symbol. Along with the relationship between Odysseus and Kalypso and men and women, there are other interpreted allusions from the Odyssey to Kalypso's song.
     The relationship between Odysseus and Kalypso influences Denver's song. Denver uses Kalypso, an immortal and enchanting goddess, to represent women in our society. In the relationship between Odysseus and Kalypso, Odysseus is very inferior to the goddess. He is held on an island for many years serving Kalypso with whatever she demands. Kalypso wants a person whom she can experience companionship with and a person to lay beside her each night. Odysseus obliges even though he claims he is under some sort of trance. This trance or spell he is under is another example of how Kalypso has control over him. This example relates to the overall theme Denver portrays that women are superior to men. Kalypso has the power to control Odysseus against his will.
     Along with the relationship between Odysseus and Kalypso, many other allusions to the Odyssey influence 'Calypso.'; In the first few lines of the song Denver says, 'To sail on a dream on a crystal clear ocean, to ride on the crest of a wild raging storm.'; He uses this dream metaphor as a means to show that a dream can be like a nightmare or a fantasy. This metaphor is influenced by Odysseus' good and bad times on the sea. There are many instances where Odysseus faces struggles on the ocean. Whether Odysseus has to fight a huge storm like the one that washes him up on Kalypso's island or he has to elude dangerous monsters such as Skylla and the...

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