An Analysis of Loyalty in Homer’s Odyssey
In short, The Odyssey is a story of the war hero Odysseus’ pain and suffering caused by the extensive separation from his family and home during the chronicle of events after the fall of Troy. In the unraveling of these adventures, the reader is immersed in a world of heroic feats, strange creatures and lustful gods. However, behind all the myths and legends, there are a wide variety of underlying themes and concepts, which not only develop the plot and characters, but also leave lasting implications on the audience. One of the most striking themes presented in The Odyssey is loyalty. Loyalty is recurs time and time again throughout the epic poem and is portrayed through the loyal relationship between god and men, the loyalty of Odysseus’ subjects until his death and most importantly Penelope unyielding faith in Odysseus’ return. Through the use of these characters and their devotion to Odysseus, Homer demonstrates the importance he places on loyalty while also developing an endearing and palpable epic. Greek Gods are an integral part of Greek mythology and play an essential role in its culture and literature. All the events which occur in the Odyssey, including Odysseus’ fate, are decided by the Gods. Despite the many trials and tribulations presented to Odysseus, he still remains loyal to the Gods he worships and in return, the Gods provide him aide and protection throughout his journey. In the first few pages of the poem, Athena, the daughter of Zeus begins the tale by supporting Odysseus’ loyalty to the Gods in the statement, “Did he never win your favor with sacrifices burned beside the ships on the broad plain of Troy?” after Zeus revealed that he does not favor Odysseus and is “dead set” against his success. This scene essentially shows that Odysseus’ loyalty to the Gods have a direct effect on his fate. Due to Odysseus’ past sacrifices, Athena is able to convince Zeus to allow her to aid Odysseus and his...
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