What Is The Importance Of Storytelling In The Odyssey

1111 WordsOct 2, 20175 Pages
Jane Horovitz Jennie Woodard Honors 111 9/25/17 Storytelling in the Odyssey The Odyssey is a story made up of stories. Because there is very little action that happens in the present, the presence of storytelling within the Odyssey is something that characterizes it and makes it unique. The spreading of stories serve to form legends and myths that can have the effect of shaping a culture. In addition, since stories were such an important aspect of entertainment in Greek culture, stories also shape the audience, either by entertaining them or creating feelings of sympathy in them. The function of storytelling in the Odyssey, is to evoke emotions and leave powerful, lasting impressions on the audience. However, the stories that are told…show more content…
Therefore, this passage of time could already have led to the possibility that the story Odysseus tells is not exactly the same as what truly happened, even if that modifying of the story was unintentional. Even if Odysseus intended on trying to precisely encapsulate his adventures into a story, the story told could never completely be consistent with the events. Somewhere along the line manipulations happens to a story and that’s why they play such an important role in the Odyssey. Manipulation of the stories in the Odyssey allow myths and legends to form about characters or events. Whether Odysseus is exaggerating a certain scene or characteristic of himself as to come off more strong and hero-like, or Odysseus is leaving out information that adds to the understanding of the story, the story that is told and how it is perceived by the audience depends on and is directly correlated to the situation Odysseus or another character is currently in, who his audience is, and what is it that he wants from the audience. For instance, when telling his story to the Phaecians, Craig Russell claims that “Odysseus’s concern would have been not what “really happened” in the past, but rather what is most beneficial in his present”. Odysseus was focusing on evoking certain emotions and impactful pathos upon his audience in this situation, so that the Phaecian’s might have sympathy for him, feel in awe of him and trust him. Therefore, Odysseus uses storytelling based on the situation
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