What themes from The Odyssey influenced today's society?

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Personally, I would suggest that The Odyssey's greatest and most powerful influence has been over literature and the arts (an influence which reaches across millennia, stretching from the ancient world into the present day). It represents one of the oldest works of world literature still surviving, and in that capacity it has had a profound role in shaping and defining many of the storytelling structures and devices that have become commonplace ever since.

First, consider that The Odyssey is probably the ancient world's greatest work of heroic literature (though it is not the earliest, nor is Odysseus by any means its greatest or most accomplished hero). One can easily find parallels between The Odyssey and other heroes of Greek tradition (the story of Jason and the Argonauts, for example, is the most obvious parallel), but The Odyssey remains the most iconic and revered work of its kind (with a direct influence on Virgil's Aeneid) . In this, it stands as one of the defining works in all of...

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