The Odyssey Essay - Critical Essays

Sample Essay Outlines

  • Topic #1

    Hospitality is a central motif of the Odyssey that focuses on the behavior of both hosts and their guests. Discuss examples of host-guest relations as they exist throughout the poem.

    Outline
    I. Thesis Statement: Homer suggests both positive and negative commentary on his own world through the examples of hospitality that pervade the Odyssey.

    II. Scenes of Positive Hospitality
    A. Telemachus’ treatment of Athene (Book I)
    B. Nestor’s reception of Telemachus (Book III)
    C. Menelaus’ reception of Telemachus (Book IV)
    D. Odysseus among the Phaeaceans (Books VI-VIII, XIII)
    E. Eumaeus’ reception of Odysseus (Book XIV)

    III. Scenes of Negative Hospitality
    A. The suitors in Odysseus’ house (I, II, XVIII-XXII)
    B. Polyphemus’ cave (Book IX)
    C. Circe’s abode (Book X)

    IV. Common elements of both types of hospitality scenes

    V. Subtle and overt contrasts between both types of hospitality scenes

    VI. Homer’s implied messages about his society in both types of hospitality scenes

  • Topic #2

    Deception and the revelation of identity are two motifs that accompany each other throughout the Odyssey....

(The entire section is 612 words.)