The Odyssey and Its Themes
Homer’s great literary classic, The Odyssey, represents and illustrates many emotional and mental values. All of these values can be classified under three different main themes that are constant throughout the epic tale. These themes are: A boy’s struggle to be a man, a king’s struggle to reclaim his kingdom, and a man’s struggle to return home. As one reads this book it will become more and more evident to them that a man’s struggle to get home is the most important theme throughout Homer’s adventure. In The Odyssey, Odysseus’s longing for his home and family is what drives the story. That is his one goal in the entire book, and that really states something about his character. In Book 5 we are first introduced to the character Odysseus. The strange thing is that he is weeping to himself when we first meet him. He is weeping because he pines for his family and home as stated in lines 327 and 328, “Yet it is true, each day I long for home, long for the sight of home.” As he plainly states, Odysseus greatly misses his home, and his tears show us just how much he misses it. In the duration of the story Odysseus has to make several sacrifices in order to get to the home he longs for so much. In Book 12, Circe foresees that Odysseus will have to let some of his men die. “The Ithacans set off. But Odysseus never reveals to them Circe’s last prophecy – that he will be the only survivor…” This shows how much he’s willing to do and sacrifice in order to get home. There are many obstacles that stand in Odysseus’s way of getting home. Some of the obstacles included the Lotus-Eaters, Cyclops, Sirens, Scylla, and Charybdis. In many ways these creatures and temptations represent all obstacles that get in the way of goals. They are the classic feat that the protagonist, Odysseus, must overcome to get to his goal, home. One of the most...
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