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

The Odyssey, By Homer, Is An Epic

1101 words - 4 pages

An epic is a long, episodic narrative poem that recounts the adventures of a historical or mystical hero. Episodic narratives have a larger story broken down into closely connected, but individual and separate sections. Some important qualities that distinguish an epic are unrealistic antagonists, the Gods and Goddesses playing important roles, and a story involving the re-establishment of a proper leader. “The Odyssey”, by Homer, is an epic because Odysseus (the hero) faces supernatural antagonists, the gods and goddesses play an important role, and Odysseus is being restored as a rightful leader.
Throughout the story, Odysseus faces several supernatural antagonists. One of these antagonists is a creature named Scylla. In a daring and dangerous section of the epic, the story mentions, “He and his crew must pass between Scylla and Charybdis. Scylla is a terrifying monster with six heads. She dwells in a high rocky cave, devouring sailors in ships that pass close by.”(Homer 617) Scylla is a supernatural monster because no large creatures have been identified in the world to have six heads. She is Odysseus’ antagonist because in this particular section, Odysseus must challenge the monster by sailing close by, without losing sailors. However, Scylla devours six of his men, one for each head. Therefore, by losing his men to Scylla, the monster is noticeably an antagonist. Prior to the encounter with Scylla, Odysseus faces a one-eyed monster named Polyphemus. Polyphemus lives in the land of the Cyclops, and Odysseus is eager to meet this “mountain king”. An excerpt from the story of the Cyclops Odysseus reports, “…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, gaping and crunching like a mountain lion…”(Homer 606) In this quote the “he” that is mentioned is a monster because he was able to clutch two men in his hands like squirming puppies. A regular human is incapable of performing that feat. The being must be enormous and supernatural in order to be able to hold two men in his hands with ease. The monster is an antagonist in the story because he is putting Odysseus at a disadvantage in his quest by preventing the escape of Odysseus and his men. During the story, Odysseus faces several supernatural antagonists including Scylla and Charybdis, and the Cyclops. However, supernatural antagonists are not the only things that make “The Odyssey” an epic.
Odysseus and his crew receive help from and face many gods and goddesses. One example of these Gods is Zeus. In the story Zeus exclaims “Let me throw down one white-hot bolt, and make splinters of their ship in the Winedark sea”. (Homer 627) Zeus is talking from his point of view in the statement. In Greek Mythology, Zeus is the king of all gods and his lightning bolt is a symbol of his power. Zeus makes himself important by...

Find Another Essay On The Odyssey, by Homer, is an Epic

The Odyssey, by Homer Essay

1009 words - 4 pages end, it only delayed what was unavoidable. During the epic, Odysseus’ weakness for temptation is something he sometimes is seen to embrace. As he and his crew navigate by the Island of the Sirens, he tells his crew to deafen their ears from the mesmerizing song of the Sirens. He however does not plug his ears and tells his crew to tie him to the mast of the ship: “Now with a sharp sword I sliced an ample wheel of beeswax down into pieces

The Odyssey, by Homer Essay

1511 words - 6 pages could tell until now. Odysseus encounters multiple higher beings in his travels, but few are in their true form and reveal their intentions making Kirke and Polyphemus oddities. Kirke is simply introduced by Homer as a goddess, with her, “beguiling voice” drawing Eurylokhos’ men into her home where she weaves cloth comparable to that which is woven by goddesses in heaven (X. 244-6). In The Odyssey, Goddesses almost never make their presences

The Odyssey by Homer

1173 words - 5 pages to go behind his back. Conversely, some might say that Odysseus’ secrets can keep his crew safe. An example can be when Odysseus knew that some of his men were destined to die, but he decided not to scare them by keeping it a secret. Even though this is accurate, Odysseus needed to consider the consequences about hiding things from his crew. Rutchena 4 Furthermore, Odysseus can be short-tempered. When Odysseus returns to Ithaca and

"The Odyssey" by Homer

1744 words - 7 pages The story, The Odyssey, was written by Homer and translated to English version by Samuel Butler. The main character in Odyssey was Odysseus, Kind of Ithaca, who after 20 years of wanderings returned home from the Trojan War and a long difficult journey which the powerful gave to him. He found himself recognized only by his faithful dog and a nurse. With the help of his son Telemachus he destroys the importunate suitors of his wife Penelope and

"The Odyssey" by Homer

1123 words - 4 pages In the story The Odyssey by Homer, the constant interference of suitors delays Odysseus' return to his home land Ithaka. These suitors represent Odysseus' desires which prevent him from obtaining his prime directive. Desires interfere with the pursuit of identity. There are three types of desires that are shown. Firstly, desire for physical objects which is shown by Odysseus' shipmates; secondly, lustful desire which is shown by Penelope and

The Odyssey by Homer

1415 words - 6 pages In The Odyssey, Homer's usage of dicton conveys Oddyseus's heroic traits and how even though Odysseus is a hero, he had to still grow to be a better, wiser man. Odysseus has character traits such as smart wits, strength and perserverance to define him as a hero. Although Odysseus is nothing less of a hero, he is not a perfect man and still had some growing to do. A particular reason that Odysseus is considered a hero because he is the man

The Odyssey, An Epic

822 words - 4 pages What makes a story an epic? An epic is composed of many complex parts. An epic consists of an epic hero, an epic plot, epic setting, archetypes, and epic themes. The Odyssey by Homer is the perfect example of an epic because it exemplifies all the factors that make a story an epic. The Odyssey would be considered an amazing epic because it contains an epic hero, has an epic setting, and contains an epic plot. This novel could be considered the

Odysseus the Epic by Homer

1253 words - 5 pages Ever since the beginning of time men and women have told countless stories of adventure, discovery, and conquest. These stories often divulge the grand adventures of epic heroes. An epic hero is someone with abundant importance whose actions involve perilous journeys and marvelous warrior skills in war or battle (Abram). In Homer’s Odyssey, Odysseus, the king of the great island of Ithaca, is called to fight alongside the Greeks in the Trojan

The Odyssey: Hospitality The Odyssey by Homer

844 words - 3 pages stranger (guest) with food, drink, and gifts to bear on the way home as a remembrance of that person. Hospitality is such a main factor in the epic tale that The Odyssey would collapse with the lack of use of it. Hospitality is used throughout the whole book, contributes to the fact of how Odysseus is so famous, and is treasured by the people that treat the strangers. Hospitality being in use throughout the whole book makes The Odyssey the way it

The Suitors in the Odyssey, by Homer

933 words - 4 pages their civilization is almost always dishonorable in the Greek worldview. The worst way one can go against society is by committing treason against an honorable ruler, because he is the heart of Greek civilization. Another influence in the Greek worldview is that of the gods. The gods do not know everything about justice, but if they all agree that something is just, than in the Greek worldview it is just. With this being said, the suitors

Gender Roles in The odyssey by Homer

1153 words - 5 pages portrayed as complex because of the contradictions created by this rare phenomena. The epic poem, “The Odyssey” written by Homer illustrates the norms of an ideal Homeric society throughout the relationship between Telemachos and Penelope. As scenarios are viewed throughout the epic poem the dominance of men over a woman's authority is clearly defined. As Odysseus meets the family of Alkinoos we see a rare encounter with Arete, having strong power and authority. This shows Homeric society as it meets a complex state of affairs within gender roles.

Similar Essays

Odysseus, An Epic Hero In Homer´S The Odyssey

735 words - 3 pages In the epic poem, They Odyssey written by Homer, Odysseus tells the story of how he gets home after being away for twenty years. Odysseus possesses superhuman strength and the ability to withstand harsh conditions. Odysseus experiences excessive frustration throughout his trip back to Ithaca and it becomes imperative for him to learn just how to maintain the frustration and keep it inside. On Odysseus’ journey home, he comes up with clever plans

The Long Suffering And Self Pitying Odysseus. The Odyssey By Homer This Essay Anaylyzes Odysses' Character And His Worth As An Epic Hero

1483 words - 6 pages despair at being so hated by the Gods. When we first encounter Odysseus, he is sitting alone on Calypso's island, "weeping, his eyes never dry, his sweet life flowing away / with the tears he wept for his foiled journey home" (5. 168-169). At this point, Odysseus has been a prisoner on Calypso's island for seven years, and has an understandably forlorn outlook regarding his journey home. However, Odysseus spends every night on the island acting

The Odyssey By Homer Essay

1618 words - 7 pages generally the heroes, whereas the women had the role of supporting their husband or whoever the male may be in the quest, through any means necessary. Despite Odysseus being the hero of the epic, he is portrayed as a hero in trouble. By portraying him in this way, Homer has given the audience someone who is relatable and that we can empathise with. The way in which Homer has characterised Odysseus demonstrates to the responder that this is intended to

The Odyssey, By Homer Essay

1249 words - 5 pages because he did not complete the last step of the hero’s journey. Odysseus finishes his journey but cannot be classified as a hero, because he has not successfully completed the hero’s journey. Odysseus starts off on a journey and ends the journey receiving his ultimate goal, but not without his many struggles. This is an aspect we today are most familiar with. In order to gain what we set our hearts to find, a struggle is assured. Although Odysseus did not become a hero and complete the hero’s journey, he achieved his objective and disposed of his obstacles using courage and intelligence, the key traits to his success. Works Cited Homer, The Odyssey