Analysis Of Homer 's The Odyssey

929 WordsNov 6, 20144 Pages
Homer’s The Odyssey is about Odysseus’s journey back home after war. Just like in every journey, Odysseus changes as the story progresses but the one the thing that does not change is the use of his mind and sharp-witted he is. There is an underlying theme of body versus mind in this epic. This theme is noticeable in book eight lines 174 to 194. In this passage Odysseus is responding to Làodamas’s challenge of joining in their games. In Odysseus’s response he focuses on “birth, brains, or speech” and brings up the question of which is more important body or mind. Through his choice of wording and a few metaphors, Odysseus makes it seem like the mind is more important to him all within twenty lines. The structure and progression of this passage lends an outlook on Odysseus’s thoughts towards the idea of body versus mind. Odysseus bases this passage off of “birth, brains, or speech” and then builds on that with examples. This passage can then essentially be broken down into four separate parts. Odysseus begins with an example of a man that is a “master of speech” and through his speech he can seem beautiful to people. Then Odysseus briefly speaks about an actual “handsome man” who does not have the ability to speak eloquently. For his third example, he does not use a random “man” but instead directly targets Làodamas and how unintelligible he is. The final section of this passage is a reflection of Odysseus’s emotions towards what Làodamas has said to him. Since Odysseus’s
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