Comparison of Odyssey, Divine Comedy, and Paradise Lost Essay

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A Comparison of Odyssey, Divine Comedy, and Paradise Lost

Epics by definition are long narrative poems, that are grand in both theme

and style (Webster 417). They usually involve actions of great glory and are

typically centered around historical or legendary events of universal

significance. Most epics deal with the deeds of a single individual, however,

it is not uncommon to have more than one main character. Epics embody several

main features including: supernatural forces, sometimes the deity of the time,

that shape the action; battles or other forms of physical combat; and a formal

statement of the theme of the epic. Everyday details of life are commonplace

and intricately woven
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Throughout his travels he along with his men sailed to

many strange lands. These great adventures included tricking Polyphemus a

Cyclops by being "nobody" (Norton 320), sailing to the end of the world and

descending into Hell (Norton 340), successfully battling Scylla, a six-headed

monster that devoured passing seamen (Norton 361) and finally, passing safely

around a terrible whirlpool (Norton 366 - 367).

During his descent into Hell, Odysseus meets a sear who foretells that his

wanderings would not end until peace is made with Poseidon. This sear also

tells him that he will return home and re-establish himself as king.

Finally as the Odyssey concludes, Odysseus does return home to a house and

country in turmoil. His wife is besieged by suitors, his son is now a grown man

and his country is facing certain civil war. In the final acts, order is

restored with the assistance of the goddess Athene.

In Dante's epic, The Divine Comedy, he tells of a journey through hell,

purgatory, and heaven. This epic is divided into three sections. In each of

the sections he meets with mythological, historical, and contemporary

individuals. Each individual encountered during the journey represents a

religious or political symbol of fault or virtue. In addition, specific

punishments and rewards are
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