The Odyssey and Its Themes

771 Words Oct 23rd, 1999 4 Pages
The Odyssey and Its Themes

Homer’s great literary classic, The Odyssey, represents and illustrates many emotional and mental values. All of these values can be classified under three different main themes that are constant throughout the epic tale. These themes are: A boy’s struggle to be a man, a king’s struggle to reclaim his kingdom, and a man’s struggle to return home. As one reads this book it will become more and more evident to them that a man’s struggle to get home is the most important theme throughout Homer’s adventure. In The Odyssey, Odysseus’s longing for his home and family is what drives the story. That is his one goal in the entire book, and that really states something
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“Neither reply nor pity came from him, but in one stride he clutched at my companions and caught two in his hands like squirming puppies to beat their brains out, spattering the floor. Then he dismembered them and made his meal…” This descriptive brutality shows you just how much a gigantic, intimidating obstacle Polyphemus was. Another one of these obstacles was Scylla. Scylla’s attack was described in lines 1338-1343. “ Then Scylla made her strike, whisking six of my best men from the ship. I happened to glance aft at ship and oarsmen and caught sight of their arms and legs dangling high overhead.” This is yet another grim reminder of just how determined Odysseus is to get to his home and family. Throughout The Odyssey, Odysseus is warned many times of the perils and difficulty of his journey. All through these times it seems that Odysseus will never get home, but he never loses hope. In Book 11, Odysseus ventures into hell to meet with the great prophet, Teiresias. Teiresias prophesizes, “But anguish lies ahead: the god who thunders on the land prepares it…” As terrible as this sounds, Odysseus just accepts his fate and continues on with his journey. Just as he did earlier in the story, after his encounter with Polyphemus, the Cyclops puts a curse on his head. “…and thou art father: grant that Odysseus, raider of cities, never see his
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