The Odyssey Essays

11th Grade

The Odyssey

For centuries, Homer’s epic Iliad was taken as literal interpretation of the Trojan War. Only rather recently has the reliability and accuracy of the Iliad in terms of depicting the war come into question. Modern historians and scholars have come...

College

The Odyssey

In The Odyssey, Homer conveys themes of loyalty, authority, and reverence to the gods as he tells the story of Odysseus’ journey back to his home in Ithaca. All of these themes are exemplified in the disguised Odysseus’ encounter with Eumaeus, the...

College

The Odyssey

In the Odyssey, Homer uses architecture and landscape as metaphors for the personalities of the people to which each respective architectural description relates. For this reason, a strong emphasis is placed on explicit details when depictions of...

College

The Odyssey

Piety was an important concept in ancient Greek civilization, as it shaped the culture and actions of Greek citizens. What exactly piety means has varied over time, and the definition differs throughout Greek literature. Characters such as...

College

The Odyssey

Considering divinity, destiny, and the existence of free will is not a concept that is exclusive to Greek Literature; in fact, whenever there are predetermined, all-powerful entities that guide the actions of lesser beings, it is quite natural to...

College

The Odyssey

One of the most valued skills one can possess is the art of storytelling. Man can express himself through means of song, art, dance, and poetry—but he must have a story to express himself. After the Trojan War ended, Odysseus journeys home facing...

9th Grade

The Odyssey

The first four books of Homer’s The Odyssey depict Telemachus’ transformation from an immature, frightened child into an intelligent adult as he comes to encompass qualities that the ancient Greeks sought in heroes: an adherence to the rules of...

College

The Odyssey

In the first chapter of his novel, How to Read Literature like a Professor, Thomas C. Foster discusses the idea of a quest narrative. "They [protagonists] go because of the stated task, mistakenly believing that it is their real mission. We know,...

College

The Odyssey

Humans are complex beings, each with individual traits, and an individual set of traits that they value in others. Despite this individuality, cultures are formed, in part, by the values they possess and nurture in their society as a whole. In the...