The Odyssey Themes

The Odyssey key themes:

  • In the Odyssey, creativity and guile are themes that are apparent in Odysseus’ clever tricks; he finds imaginative ways to deceive those around him and uses his intelligence to overcome obstacles.

  • Homer uses Odysseus to illustrates the characteristics of a true hero: Odysseus has a privileged relationship with the gods and acts heroically both on and off the battlefield.

  • Penelope and Odysseus portray the theme of love and loyalty in Penelope’s devotion to her husband and Odysseus’ resolve to return home.

  • Resisting temptation is a key idea in the Odyssey; Odysseus and his men have to overcome their natural urges in order to achieve their goal of returning to Ithaca.

  • The women of the Odyssey are well-developed characters: Penelope and Calypso in particular are multi-dimensional and more realistic than female characters in other epic poems.


Creativity, Imagination, and Deception
You might say that "Creativity" or "Imagination" is Odysseus's stock-in-trade. In...

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