A Common Characteristic Of Heroic Epic Literature

965 WordsOct 6, 20144 Pages
A common characteristic of heroic epic literature is that the stories they unravel celebrate the unusual exploits of their respective heroes who are either being helped, being hindered, or a little of both, by divine beings throughout the tale. This trait of capricious interaction between gods and humans is seen throughout Homer’s The Odyssey. Odysseus’ journey is directly affected by the interactions he has with some of the gods and goddesses and their offspring. His travels are negatively affected by his dealings with Polyphemus, son of Poseidon, and are positively affected through his interactions with the goddess of wisdom, Athena, and the messenger of the gods, Hermes. Though Odysseus does not deal directly with Poseidon, he purposefully spends time with Poseidon’s son, the Cyclops, Polyphemus. In his escapades, Odysseus is intent upon laying his eyes on the great Cyclops. His men are against the daring quest, but Odysseus is not one to turn down a challenge and they proceed to find the inhabitants of the island. Due to this tenacity for adventure, Odysseus and his men wind up captives in Polyphemus’ cave. In order to escape, Odysseus and his crew devise and execute a plan to blind Polyphemus with a large spear. This act incurs the wrath of both the one-eyed son and his father, the master of the seas. Polyphemus implores Poseidon to “grant that Odysseus, raider of cities, never / see his home. . . Let him lose all companions” during his travels (Homer
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