The Odyssey Essay

2015 words - 9 pages

The Odyssey is an epic poem that was written by a man called Homer who is believed to have lived hundreds of years ago. In his 12,000 line story, he captures the adventure of a man named Odyssey who is trying to return home from war to his wife and son. He faces several forms of trouble and deterrents that encompass everything from monsters to gods to people. The reader can look at these events, the symbols, the motifs, and the relationships in the story between different characters in the story to determine the theme of the story. Each part plays a role in forming the themes, though it can sometimes be hard for the reader to analyze each part of the story effectively.
One of the most important parts, though also one of the hardest to grasp, are the events. They can all have a different morale and a different lesson while they all come together to form a completely different central idea. One of the first events, and one of the most influential on the theme of the story, is when Odysseus meets the Cyclops named Polyphemus. This is an important event because this is the first event in which Odysseus losses several of his men and his life is also at risk of being lost. His cunning and intelligence is revealed through his trickery of the Cyclops, though the reader is also exposed to his pride. Odysseus is a great warrior because of his ability to plan and think things out, which the reader saw when he devised the plan that let them injure the giant and then escape from his detrimental rule and return to their ship. Once they are a safe distance from the enraged and aggravated brute though, Odysseus makes a grave mistake. He leans overboard and yells back to the island his name and where he is from because up to that point Polyphemus hadn’t known his real name. Odysseus had wanted the giant to know that he was the one that had been able to trick him, though his arrogance quickly backfired on himself. Polyphemus heard his shout and in turn shouted to the heavens where his father Poseidon resided. He begged his father to punish Odysseus for injuring him by delaying his return home and killing his men at every opportunity, both of which Poseidon did. He delayed Odysseus’ arrival home by ten years, when initially it should have taken only two weeks.
Another event in which the reader is able to examine Odysseus is when he and his crew sail past the island of the Sirens. Odysseus knows that they sing an enchanting song that will make him want to give up on his journey home and instead live on that island. So, he has his crew tie him to the mast where he cannot escape and orders them not to release him until they have long since passed the island and it is just a dot on the horizon. Also, he crafts ear plugs for his whole crew, except himself. This reveals a curiosity that he harbors, because he still wanted to hear their song though he didn’t want to suffer the repercussions of it. This is important because it shows his ability to cheat in a way, and...

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