If there is an obvious theme in the Odyssey, what is it?

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kriskress's profile pic

kriskress | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Adjunct Educator

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I would say the most prevalent theme in The Odyssey is the relationship between father and son and the inevitable maturation/development of both. Seeing the two men from Book 1 to 24 proves major changes and significant character development. Telemachus goes from boy to man, from very timid and shy to ready to rule the country while Odysseus himself goes from rash and arrogant to calculated and humble. Together, their relationship develops from estranged family to unstoppable team.

bmadnick's profile pic

bmadnick | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Senior Educator

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The most obvious theme is heroism and the epic journey of the hero. Odysseus shows us the qualities a hero needs off the battlefield. Homer broadens the definition of a hero by having Odysseus face new difficulties in his struggle to get home. On his journey, he meets up with a sorceress, a Cyclops, and Scylla and Charybdis, unusual enemies for a soldier. In overcoming these difficulties, Odysseus must use his intellect as well as his physical strength.
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