The Odyssey by Homer

The Odyssey book cover
Start Your Free Trial

What are some examples of epithets from books 10-12, 22, and 24 of The Odyssey?

Expert Answers info

D. Reynolds eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2016

write9,777 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, History, and Social Sciences

Epithets are a tag word or adjective used to describe someone or something. I will pull a few out of three of the chapters you mention. It's important to note that the repetition of epithets is a characteristic of Homer's writing style.

In chapter 10, dawn is referred to as "fair-haired Dawn" and "rosy-fingered dawn," both epithets describing the beauty of the sunrise. Interestingly, Circe is also called "fair-haired Circe," suggesting that this epithet was a stand-in for beautiful. Fair-haired is a far more vivid image, however, than beautiful.

In chapter 22, Odysseus is repeatedly described by the narrator as "shrewd Odysseus."

After Odysseus reveals his identity to the suddenly terrified crowd of suitors in chapter 22, the narrator begins heaping more praise on Odysseus, calling him by such...

(The entire section contains 2 answers and 431 words.)

Unlock This Answer Now


check Approved by eNotes Editorial

ophelious eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2009

write429 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, Science, and History

check Approved by eNotes Editorial


childofgod13 | Student

1. grey-eyed Athena

2. Odysseus the great tacticion

3. Zeus who views the wide world

4. Zeus the summoner of the cloud

5. Clear-headed Telemakhos

6. Zeus the lightning's joyous king

7. gently born Eurykleia

check Approved by eNotes Editorial