The Odyssey Essay

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Nadia Mendoza
Ms. Kittelson
English 9
March 14, 2011
The Odyssey
In the epic poem “The Odyssey” by Homer, the journey of a Greek king is traced. Though sailing can sound extremely easy like driving, in this epic poem things are slightly different. Odysseus the protagonist of this epic poem and his sailing crew face frequent temptations that not only determine their loyalty and strength to resist these temptations, but also how long-lasting their sail back home can be. The enlightened message portrayed through various literary elements is: Temptation can trace someone’s strength to accomplish goals and can serve as a loyalty obstacle. In order to portray this message Homer uses symbolism, tone, and setting as literal devices to transmit his central theme.

Homer uses symbolism to portray the theme throughout the epic poem, using food as a primary symbol. Food can be used as a symbol of hunger or healthiness in our logical minds, but the deeper meaning that is referred to in this poem is more complex. Symbolically, food is used in this epic poem to represent the lack of responsibility within the kings and queens eating and/or how important eating is to them in a daily basis. Though food is used symbolically to represent satisfaction in this epic poem it is also used as an element of temptation to Odysseus and his crew. For example, when Odysseus and his crew are with the “Lotus Eaters” they are offered “Fruit Lotus” which is a trap to make their journey back home longer. The fruit lotus is used as an object of attraction because obviously the crew men were hungry and with the fruit in front of them they didn’t have the strength to resist it. Not only are Odysseus and his crew tempted by food but also by women. Women serve as another example of symbolism, because throughout this epidemic poem they are used for pleasure. An example can be when Odysseus and his crew are being hosted by Circe for a year they aren’t there to work or anything related they are...
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