top-rated free essay

Odyssey Epic

By sdfakjeriojakskdlf Dec 04, 2013 468 Words
An epic is a long, narrative poem in an elevated style that celebrates heroic achievement and treats themes of historical, national, religious, or legendary significance. To be qualified as an epic, the piece must contain these twelve stages: the ordinary world, the call to adventure, refusal of the call, meeting with the mentor, crossing the threshold, tests, allies and enemies, approach, the ordeal, the reward, the road back, the resurrection and the return with the elixir. Numerous stages were introduced in the first three books of The Odyssey such as the ordinary world, the call to adventure and meeting with the mentor.

To begin with, the initial stage is the ordinary world. The hero, uneasy and uncomfortable, is introduced to the audience with a dilemma; some of the hero’s personal history is presented. At the start of The Odyssey, Odysseus is introduced sympathetically. The setting reveals that he has not come back home for ten years after the Trojan War. His son, Telemachus, has grown up, and his wife, Penelope, has a mob of suitors courting her. By now, they have lost hope and convinced themselves that Odysseus is dead. This example proves the first stage because Odysseus is announced along with his predicament.

Moreover, the second stage is the call to adventure. Something unexpected occurs and the hero must adjust to the change. For instance, Athena, with the consent of Zeus, travels to Ithaca to tell Telemachus that his father is possibly still alive and will return soon. Although he is hesitant, Telemachus agrees to go search for Odysseus. Athena has Telemachus call for the suitors to leave and to begin setting off on a journey to Pylos and Sparta. The event demonstrated shows how unexpectedly, Telemachus’s father is now assumed alive. Now, he must go out and search for Odysseus.

Lastly, the fourth stage of an epic is meeting with the mentor. At that event, the hero comes across an experienced traveler who gives him or her training, equipment or guidance that will help on the journey. In this case, Athena is the mentor. As Telemachus prepares himself for his trip, Athena disguised as Mentor, encourages him on his journey, telling him it will be fruitful. She collects a crew to man his ship and gives him advice on how to find his father. This incident verifies the fourth stage of events. Athena, the mentor, advises Telemachus as well as finding him a crew.

In conclusion, an epic is composed of twelve stages with the same pattern of events. Homer’s, The Odyssey, is a prominent epic with many qualities of an epic. In the first three books, several of the stages were presented, including the ordinary world, the call to adventure and meeting with the mentor. More are presented later in the epic.

Cite This Document

Related Documents

  • The Odyssey

    ...Odysseus’s Odyssey Home “He saw the townlands and learned the minds of many distant men, and weathered many bitter nights and days in his deep heart at sea, while he fought only to save his life, to bring his shipmates home” (McDougal p. 1104). Odysseus, King of Ithica, was determined to get home with all of his men unscathed after t...

    Read More
  • The Odyssey

    ...The Odyssey What is the nature of free will? Are gods or humans responsible for what happens? The Odyssey is a poem which is about a man named Odysseus (also known as Ulysses in Roman myths) who is on his way back to Ithaca where his home is with his wife Penelope and his son Telemachus but is said to be dead. Telemachus goes on hunt for Odys...

    Read More
  • The Odyssey

    ...Homer's poem The Odyssey depicts the tendency of people to ignore the consequences of their actions. Odysseus punished Penelope's suitors without thinking of consequences that he would have to endure. He did not acknowledge the consequences because that would prevent him from doing what he wants to do. Odysseus wanted to kill the suitors; the...

    Read More
  • The Odyssey

    ...The Odyssey Reading Comprehension Questions Part 1 Part 1 1) Where is Odysseus located at the poem’s beginning? 2) What is a muse? And why is Homer asking the muse to, “sing in me?” 3) Who is lord Helios? 4) What did Odysseus’ men do to lord Helios? 5) Who is Odysseus’ father? 6) Where is Odysseus from?...

    Read More
  • The Odyssey Thesis

    ... In the Odyssey, temptation is defined as hunger- both literal hunger (temptation for food) and figurative hunger i.e. temptation for luxury, ambition, wealth, women, power, glory etc. This “hunger”, whether literal or figurative keeps Odysseus’s men from reaching their homes and uniting with their families. However, longing for family or...

    Read More
  • Epic Conventions in the Epic Odyssey

    ...EPIC CONVENTIONS IN THE EPIC ODYSSEY 1. Have an INVOCATION “Tell me, O muse, of that ingenious hero who travelled far and wide” . The Odyssey recounts the adventures of the Greek hero Odysseus during his ten-year voyage home after the Trojan War. Homer begins with a one-paragraph invocation requesting the Muses to ...

    Read More
  • Homer begins the Odyssey with the Telemacheia to add drama, colour and epic significance to the story

    ...Homer begins the Odyssey with the Telemacheia to add drama, colour and epic significance to the story. The first four books establish the desperate situation in Ithaca and at the same time we witness Telemachus’ coming of age. Homer also uses retardation of Odysseus’ character to build anticipation. Many other elements of the Telemacheia ...

    Read More
  • Xenia in the Odyssey

    ...The Importance of Xenia in The Odyssey and it’s Consequences One of the most important themes in The Odyssey is the concept of xenia, which is the old Greek word for hospitality. In modern times, hospitality is something we rarely think of, and the first thing that comes to mind is the hotel industry, but in ancient Greece, xenia was not abo...

    Read More

Discover the Best Free Essays on StudyMode

Conquer writer's block once and for all.

High Quality Essays

Our library contains thousands of carefully selected free research papers and essays.

Popular Topics

No matter the topic you're researching, chances are we have it covered.