"The Odyssey" as an Epic Poem

Essay by sweetnshortHigh School, 10th gradeA+, February 2006

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"The Odyssey" by Homer is in many ways an extended narrative poem recounting Odysseus's actions, travels, adventures, and heroic episodes; it is written in a high style with ennobled diction and also in dactylic hexameter for about twenty percent of the time. The epic is compiled of twenty four books in total. The poem also consists of the various characteristics found in a classical epic. Primarily, the main character, the protagonist Odysseus, is often presented as the king and hero of his homeland Ithaca and he is also seen as a national war hero from the Trojan War. Despite his various glorious deeds, Odysseus also portrays many failures as the hero, including the time when Odysseus is at the Phaecians and he lost his impatience as the warriors begin questioning of Odysseus's strength. Also, when Odysseus was with the Cyclops, he called out to Polyphemus after being overwhelmed with pride what his real name is, which will cause him disasters set upon by Poseidon.

Moreover, when Odysseus was with Cierce, he actually forgets about his home and has to be reminded by one of his crew members. "The Odyssey" also reveals supernatural strength for Odysseus, such as the time when his men steal the Sun's cattle and they perish by the thunderbolt of Zeus, Odysseus is the only survivor; in addition, Odysseus is the only person able to string his great bow and proves to be valiant in the act of killing the suitors. The setting of the story covers Troy, Sparta, Egypt, Hades, the ocean, and multiple islands, including Ithaca, Ogygia, Pylos, the land of the Phaecians, Ismarus, and many more. The gods and goddesses play an essential role in the shaping of the story; Athene aids Telemachos and Odysseus in getting home and killing...