Essay about Homer's The Odyssey

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Homer's "The Odyssey"

The Odyssey is a companion to The Iliad, a story of the Trojan War. Both The Iliad and The Odyssey are epic poems written by Homer. In The Odyssey, Homer relates the misadventures of Odysseus, king of Ithaca, that occur during the decade following the defeat of Troy. In doing so, the fates of his fellow warriors are also made known. The Odyssey begins on Mount Olympus, in the palace of Zeus, king of the gods, where a discussion takes place regarding the woes of humans and their determination to blame it on the gods. Athene, daughter of Zeus, appeals to her father to help Odysseus, who through no fault of his own, has been kept prisoner on the island of Ogygia for seven years by Calypso, daughter of the god Atlas.
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When he has accomplished this, Odysseus finally reunites with Penelope. As the story closes, the Ithacans are in pursuit of Odysseus, because he has killed their sons, the suitors of Penelope. Before retribution can take place, the feud ends by divine intervention. Thus the story of Odysseus and his long and troublesome return home comes to an end.

When I sat down to read this poem, all I knew about it was that it was an adventure about a man named Odysseus, written by someone called Homer. What I found was not just an adventure, but an epic about an ancient Greek culture. The story provides a picture of life in early ancient Greece, a period of time before Greeks were called Greek and long before Greece became a nation. It demonstrates the politics, religion, and everyday life of early Greek civilization. Each city has a king: Odysseus is king of Ithaca; Menelaus is king of Lacedaemon. We meet other kings, also. There are assemblies to help make decisions. In chapter two, Telemachus calls for a meeting of the Assembly to ask for help in ousting the suitors of his mother from his home, and when this fails, he asks for a ship to go in search of his father. The gods and goddesses play an active part in their lives. Throughout the poem, Athene champions Telemachus and Odysseus. Zeus, Hermes, Calypso, Poseidon, and other gods and goddesses play a part, too. In fact, many of the