The Odyssey By Homer, Annotated Bibliography Essay

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he Odyssey, as written by Homer, intricately and excitingly weaves Colin Renfrew’s Subsystem Theories throughout the entire play. Many of the five subsystem theories can be seen and support understanding of the novel. Of the five systems, trade/communication, social/ political hierarchy and symbolic subsystems will be the focus of analysis in this paper. All of these subsystems come together in The Odyssey to explain the characters and their lives, and also how they fit into the society which they live in. To understand the growth and development of the characters, we must understand the systems theories, “many human actions have a meaning at several different levels, with undertones and overtones… it is the complex interconnectedness of the subsystems which gives human culture its unique potential for growth.” As this paper will demonstrate within The Odyssey, trade and communication, social and political hierarchy and lastly symbolic subsystems create adventure in Odysseus’s harrowing, yet exciting journey back to his kingdom and family. These specific subsystems add depth and excitement because we see how each specific one impacts Odysseus’s journey back home. They help us understand who Odysseus is a man and sympathize with all that he goes through. The communication subsystem helps explain how communication between people (and gods) in different lands aid to the success of his return home. We are able to see from the social subsystem how Odysseus and other men

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