What are the major themes of Homer's Odyssey?

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rrteacher | College Teacher | (Level 2) Educator Emeritus

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One major theme in the epic is that of guile and cunning as a means of survival and triumphing over brute force. This is perhaps most clearly seen in the encounter with Polyphemus, the Cyclops that Odysseus vanquishes with trickery. Odysseus is renowned for his wits, and it is his cleverness, demonstrated again when he remains in disguise after his return to his palace, that allows him to survive. Another theme is that of loyalty and perseverence. Odysseus's wife Penelope, for instance, remains loyal to him, and so does his son and a handful of others. Odysseus, for his part, perseveres in his journey despite multiple chances to give up or to live in peace and luxury with Circe or Calypso. Finally, another important theme is the journey itself, representing a departure from the bloody world of war in Troy and to a lifetime of peace at home. 

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