Odyssey Death and Rebirth in the Odyssey

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The Odyssey, by Homer, is a classical piece of Greek literature. Throughout The Odyssey, the Blind Bard makes use of many literary techniques in order to lend meaning to the poem beyond its existence as a work of historic fiction and aid his readers in the comprehension of the tale. One of these techniques is the use of motifs. A motif is a recurring theme that is used throughout the work. In The Odyssey, Homer makes use of many motifs including eating/drinking, Odysseus 's anger, bathing, and disguise, just to name a few. However, perhaps the most important of Homer 's motifs is the symbolic death and rebirth theme. This motif is used throughout The Odyssey to emphasize the growth and enlightenment of…show more content…
"Cyclops, if any mortal man ever asks you who it was that inflicted upon your eye this shameful blinding, tell him that you were blinded by Odysseus, sacker of cities (IX. 502-4)." The symbolic rebirth of Odysseus can be emphasized by the cave, which can be seen as a symbol of the womb, therefore making Odysseus ' emergence from the cyclops 's cave a true rebirth. The next example of the death and rebirth motif is a rather obvious one that needs little symbolic inference: Odysseus 's descent into the underworld in book XI. Homer uses many light and dark references to emphasize the death and rebirth theme in this book-- darkness symbolizing death and light symbolizing life and therefore rebirth. ". . .how is it then, unhappy man, you have left the sunlight and come here to look on dead men, and this place without pleasure? (XI. 93-4). While in the underworld, Odysseus gains insights about his eventual return home. With this knowledge, Odysseus and his crew return to the world of the living, symbolizing their rebirth. Again, light and dark images are used to emphasize this rebirth. ". . .where Helios, the sun, makes his uprising . . . (XII. 4)." As illustrated in the preceding line, Odysseus returns from the Underworld to the place where the sun rises-- the symbolism is obvious. The
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