Odyssey, Poem by Homer: Understanding The Poet's Imagery

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Homer's Imagery
Imagery can deeply trigger feelings by appealing to the human senses. To affect the mood his story, Homer uses imagery. He uses imagery to set the mood of settings, action scenes, and to set the mood of death.

Homer uses imagery to give the feel of the setting. He may not even describe the setting and the reader can feel the mood of the setting through imagery. An example of this is: "Odysseus in one motion strung the bow./ Then slid his right hand down the cord and plucked it/ so the taut gut vibrating hummed and sang/ a swallow's note" (1376-1379). The reader can feel the silence in the room as the string is plucked. This creates a great mood of suspense. It gives the reader a feeling that something big is about to happen.

Homer also uses imagery to show immense emotion in action scenes. Homer writes, "Then crying hoarse and loud/ he hurled himself at Odysseus. But the kingly man let fly/ an arrow at that instant, and the quivering feathered butt/ sprang to the nipple of his breast as the barb stuck in his liver" (1485-1488). This demonstrates Odysseus' attacker, Eurymachus', emotion in the last moments of his life. This passage gets the reader ready for a fight and it sets the mood of action. He charges Odysseus and this shows the reader the fight is about to begin.

Homer uses imagery to set the mood of a death. Homer writes, "Odysseus' arrow hit him under his chin/ and punched up to the feathers through his throat./ Backward and down he went, letting the winecup fall/ from his shocked hand. Like pipes his nostrils jetted/ crimson runnels, a river of mortal red,/ and one last kick upset his table/ knocking the bread and meat to soak in dusty blood" (1420-1425). This gives off a dark mood of Antinous' death.

Homer's use of imagery can make the reader feel the mood of what is going on. He can use it to set the mood of a setting. Homer also uses imagery to show emotion. And Homer uses imagery to set the mood of death.
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