DIALETICAL NOTES

Topics: Odyssey, Odysseus, Epic poetry Pages: 2 (451 words) Published: December 8, 2013
While reading the Odyssey, you will keep a dialectical journal. A dialectical journal is used to arrive at the “truth” of a written work through the written response to quotations from that work. The journal is meant to help your understanding of the epic as you read through it. Your dialectical journal will include entries on themes, symbols, motifs, and literary devices. Your task will be to identify the themes, symbols, motifs, and literary devices as you read, offering commentary on them.

Themes:
1. Cunning and guile can be both an asset and detriment in our life journey. 2. Family, and the bonds it creates, is the ultimate prize in a person’s life. 3. Temptation beckons humanity at every turn, and our resistance to it reveals the type of person we are.

4. The ability to control one’s arrogance and hubris is a life-long battle humanity must wage to better ourselves.
Motifs:
a. Story Telling/Lying
b. Battles (both literal and figurative)
Symbols:
I. Food
II. Disguises
III.Weaponry
IV.The Wedding Bed
Literary Devices:
AA. Epic Simile- a simile that is expansive over many lines. BB. Epithets- a term or phrase used to characterize the nature of a character, object, or event. Example: “Rosy-fingered dawn.”
CC. Catalogs- long lists (in this case, of heroes and villains) Archetypes/Hero’s Journey:
Refer to your Cornell Notes on Archetypes and the Hero’s Journey for these entries. Sample Dialectical Journal Evidence (quotation and context) Analysis – Commentary
Quotation: “‘Cyclops, / you ask my
honorable name? Remember / the gift you
promised me, and I shall tell you. / My name
is Nohbdy” (270-274).
Context: Theme 1; Motif a.
Odysseus conceals his identify by telling the
Cyclops that his name is “Nohbdy.”
Changing his name is a way to conceal
identity, a practice used by Odysseus to
outwit the beast. The ease with which
Odysseus comes up with this lie is both
brilliant and terrifying because the habit of
lying...
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