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In The Odyssey, what is the importance of Odysseus' physical, emotional, and heroic...

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ccsimons5 | Student, Grade 9 | eNoter

Posted January 19, 2011 at 6:52 AM via web

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In The Odyssey, what is the importance of Odysseus' physical, emotional, and heroic journey?

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mshurn | College Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted January 20, 2011 at 8:38 AM (Answer #1)

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The Odyssey is an epic poem, and epic poems demonstrate certain literary conventions. They relate the deeds of an epic hero--a courageous man, physically strong, who pits himself against dangerous enemies to accomplish a worthy goal, one that will benefit others. Also, the epic hero demonstrates the values of his culture. Through his actions, he represents what his people admire in human behavior and what they aspire to be.

An epic poem centers around a journey, or a quest, that the hero undertakes against seemingly impossible odds. The epic hero is not superhuman and does not possess supernatural powers. He is not a man without fear; he is heroic because he puts his fears aside and acts with courage, strength, intelligence, and perseverance to complete his journey and achieve that which is good.

Odysseus' journey is essential in the overall work because it defines The Odyssey as an epic poem. In his quest to return home to Ithaca, Odysseus' travels and many dangerous experiences become an epic journey in which he functions as the epic hero.

In writing The Iliad and The Odyssey, Homer enhanced and enriched the conventions of the traditional epic poem by developing his epic heroes in terms of their individuality. They are not epic hero stereotypes. His characters are presented as complex human beings with distinct personalities. This is true of Odysseus as he is presented in The Odyssey. While he struggles to bring his ship and his men home from the Trojan War, Odysseus experiences an emotional journey, as well--feeling at various times all the emotions one would expect a man in his position to feel: anger, pain, determination, despair, and always, hope. His emotional journey ends when he finally is reunited with his wife and then his aged father. Homer's depiction of Odysseus in these two tender scenes shows a depth in Odysseus' character that surpasses that of the conventional epic hero.

Odysseus' particular journey, in all respects, makes The Odyssey a poem that addresses the conventions of the epic poem genre, while creating an epic hero who is an unforgettable human being.

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alfredowp95 | Student , Grade 10 | eNoter

Posted January 19, 2011 at 8:54 AM (Answer #2)

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the promt is telling you to talk about how the journey of odysseus in the odyssey is central to the book. if there was no journey, there would be no book.

the physical journey is odysseus's journey from troy to ithica, which takes him across all of greece, creates an atmosphere that is perfect for the telling of a story, or an epic as in this case. it is probably the most central and key aspect of the novel, mainly because it is where the narrator derives his material to tell the story of odysseus.

the emotional journey is that which involves any emotions of odysseus, such as when he is in crete with circe, his frustration when the winds he carries in his bag are let loose, the loss when he remains on calypsos island for seven years, and the universal emotion of love which compels odysseus to return home to penelope

the heroic journey is the epic, the blood and gore and awesomeness of odysseus: how he escapes from each and every place, how he battles different creatures, and how he is able to survive poseidon's damnation

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