Imagery In The Odyssey

In Homer's Odyssey, what is an example of imagery from book 12?


In book 12 of Homer’s Odyssey, an example of imagery is the extensive description of Odysseus's ship's travels between Kharybdis and Skylla. Through developed personification of both monsters, as well as graphic diction, short similes, and one epic simile, the poet recreates the scene through visual, auditory, and tactile details. This well-developed example of imagery is found in lines 283 to 306 of Robert Fitzgerald’s translation of this epic poem.

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Throughout his epic poem the Odyssey, Homer uses vivid imagery to illustrate the harrowing adventures of Odysseus and his men on their journey. An extensive example of imagery in book 12 is Homer’s description of Odysseus’s ship sailing between Kharybdis and Skylla in lines 283–306 (Fitzgerald translation):

when she
vomited, all the sea was like a cauldron
seething over intense fire, when the mixture
suddenly heaves and rises.
The shot spume
soared to the landside heights, and fell like rain.
But when she swallowed the sea water down
we saw the funnel of the maelstrom, heard
the rock bellowing all around, and dark
sand raged on the bottom far below.
My men all blanched against the gloom, our eyes
were fixed upon that yawning mouth in fear
of being devoured.
Then Skylla made her strike,
whisking six of my best men from the ship.
I happened to glance aft at ship and oarsmen
and caught sight of their arms and legs, dangling
high overhead. Voices came down to me

(The entire section contains 4 answers and 1141 words.)

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Last Updated by eNotes Editorial on September 28, 2020