Hire Writer Instead of being humbled by the experience, Odysseus tries to brag about what he has done.
The reader learns about the characters through the themes.
The more complicated a character is, the more he or she engages these major themes. Therefore, the most complicated character, Odysseus, appropriately embodies each of the themes to one degree or another.
Thinking of hospitality as a major theme in a literary work may seem odd to modern readers. Fagles and Knox p.
Often, however, strangers are but wayfarers, probably in need of at least some kind of help. Similarly, the residents themselves — or their friends or kin — may, at some time, be wayfarers.
Civilized people, therefore, Theme of the odyssey essay an investment in hospitality to demonstrate their quality as human beings and in hopes that their own people will be treated well when they travel. It was through visitors that the Homeric Greeks learned about and kept abreast of what was happening in the world beyond their local areas.
Hospitality, or the lack of it, affects Odysseus throughout the epic, and the reader can judge civility by the degree of hospitality offered. Telemachus and Penelope lack the strength to evict them, nor can they hope for much help from the community because the suitors represent some of the strongest families in the area.
In his wanderings, Odysseus receives impressive help from the Phaeacians and, initially, from Aeolus. Circe is of great assistance after Odysseus conquers her, and the Lotus-eaters might be a little too helpful. On the other hand, the Sirens are sweet-sounding hosts of death, and Cyclops Polyphemus makes no pretense toward hospitality.
In fact, Polyphemus scoffs at the concept and the gods that support it. Zeus himself, king of the gods, is known as the greatest advocate of hospitality and the suppliants who request it; yet even he allows the sea god Poseidon to punish the Phaeacians for their generous tradition of returning wayfarers to their homelands.
Another example is Telemachus, who stands by his father against the suitors. Eumaeus, the swineherd, and Philoetius, the cowherd, are exemplary in their loyalty to their master and his possessions. Also an excellent if humble host, Eumaeus makes his king proud as he speaks respectfully of the royal family and abhors the invasion of the suitors.
In contrast are goatherd Melanthius and maidservant Melantho. Melanthius has become friendly with the suitors and insults Odysseus while the king is still in disguise. The loyal servants are rewarded; those who betray their master are dealt with more harshly.
This issue, however, can be complicated because many of the people from whom Odysseus expects loyalty are actually his property. Even his wife, Penelope, literally belongs to her husband. As abhorrent as that may seem to a modern reader, possession is part of the justification for a double standard when it comes to sexual fidelity.
Penelope is expected to be absolutely faithful to her husband. Odysseus, on the other hand, is not bound by the same expectation of fidelity.
Penelope and Odysseus especially embody the theme of perseverance. One of the reasons that they are well matched is that they are both survivors. Odysseus has been absent for 20 years, 10 at the Trojan War and 10 more in his journey home. According to the most aggressive of the suitors, Antinous, Penelope has persevered against the invaders for about four years 2.
Through the use of guile, courage, strength, and determination, he endures. Even when the beautiful goddess-nymph tempts him with immortality, Odysseus yearns for home. Vengeance Poseidon and Odysseus are the most noticeable representatives of the theme of vengeance. In order to escape from the cave of the Cyclops PolyphemusOdysseus blinds the one-eyed giant Book 9.
In one of the more controversial sections of the epic, Poseidon takes his frustration out on the Phaeacians whose only offense is following their tradition of hospitality by sailing Odysseus home He demonstrates impressive tolerance as he endures, in disguise, the insults and assaults of the suitor Antinous, the goatherd Melanthius, and the maidservant Melantho, for example.
Each will die a gruesome death. Melanthius and Melantho die more slowly after the slaughter of the suitors.The Odyssey and Its Themes Homer’s great literary classic, The Odyssey, represents and illustrates many emotional and mental values.
All of these values can be classified under three different main themes that are constant throughout the epic tale. The theme of identity had served as a very important device throughout the story of The attheheels.comlly, The Odyssey narrated the journey of Odysseus, known as one of the greatest mortal who played a very significant part in the Greek attheheels.com story started since the Trojan War period.
But his golden period really began after the fall of Troy. The Odyssey study guide contains a biography of Homer, literature essays, a complete e-text, quiz questions, major themes, characters, and a full summary and analysis. About The Odyssey The Odyssey Summary. Hospitality is a central motif of the Odyssey that focuses on the behavior of both hosts and their guests.
Discuss examples of host-guest relations as they exist throughout the poem. Deception and. The Odyssey study guide contains a biography of Homer, literature essays, a complete e-text, quiz questions, major themes, characters, and a full summary and analysis. Discussion of themes and motifs in Homer's The Odyssey.
eNotes critical analyses help you gain a deeper understanding of The Odyssey so you can excel on your essay or test.