By Kevin Knight
Literary Elements and Themes
Homer also uses Epithets, which are used to characterize the nature of a character, over and over again to repeat and try and get that characteristic to stick in your head. He will use some thing like, Odysseus conquer of men, to show that Odysseus is powerful.
There are many themes used in this book by Homer. He uses the theme marital fidelity to show the culture of Greece back then to show that the wife had to be loyal no matter what. This is very comparable to society today because the husband and wife, both, are supposed to remain faithful to the other no matter what.
Temptation is also a large theme in this story. Penelope is tempted by the suitors trying to court her younger than Odysseus kings and rulers. Odysseus is tempted by gifts and honor. He will risk his and his men's lives to try and get honor or see what gift he can get. In addition, Odysseus's men are tempted often by many things, mainly the cattle because Odysseus is not there to stop them and protect them from their temptation, they are also tempted by the Lotus flowers when they eat it wanting to stay and by staying to raid more of Ismaros. This can be compared to our time today because many people often fall to temptation. People can not control themselves much like Odysseus's men without someone around to make sure they do not do something wrong. When no one is around.
Odysseus is the hero in this story. We follow him on his journey to return home for 20 years. He is known all over the world for his courage, strength, and his intellect. His quick-thinking and wits get him out of the most troubling of situations. He wants to come home, but the gods delay his travels. He changes throughout the story. When he comes back he has changed not only physically, by becoming older, but mentally, he becomes much more patient while being disgusted not revealing himself right away.
Penelope, Odysseus's wife and mother to Telemachus, is a person that shows a theme throughout this story. She shows martial fidelity in many ways while Odysseus is gone. She stays loyal to him even though the suitors are trying to court her for twenty years. One of the greatest symbols for this from her is when she weaves and unweaves the shroud for three years. She does this because she believes he is still alive and on his way back to her to save her from the suitors.
Telemachus is the son of Odysseus. He grew up without his father almost for birth. He had to teach himself and never felt like he had a father he had never met him he had only heard about him. One obstacle he faced was the suitors. He had to try and act like the man of the house and while these men were desperately trying to court his mother. He could not do anything to stop them because he needed his fathers help. Telemachus is most comparable to Argos, Odysseus's dog, because Telemachus and Argos were new right before Odysseus left and they did not grow up the same because of his not being there. The both were supposed to be trained and learn from Odysseus, but never had the opportunity.