The Odyssey

In the epic the Odyssey by Homer (translated by Robert Fitzgerald)
one of the most descriptive and best written passages in the entire epic is
The Slaying of the Suitors (book 23 lines1-62). This is a good passage
for many reasons, one of these is that it is a part of the story that has
been built up and anticipated by all. Another is the vivid imagery used by
Homer. There is one more reason, this being the tone of the passage. The
tone of this passage is very important to it and adds very much to it.

One of the most talked of conflicts in the Odyssey is the suitors
ravaging the possessions and house of Odysseus. They were able to do this
because he was presumed dead and they didn’t worry about him coming to
protect his house and family. The impact of the passage in question is so
important because it is when Odysseus returns to his home and kills the
suitors. This is a large part of the final resolution, it al begins with
this, for once the suitors are gone Odysseus is free to reclaim is post in
society. It also gives the reader a great feeling of elation that the
suitors who are terrorizing the house of Odysseus. A quote that really
gives a good idea of the overall impact and resolution that this passage
gives is as follows You yellow dogs, you thought I’d never make it home
from the land of Troy. You took my house to plunder, twisted my maids to
serve your beds. You dared bid for my wife while I was still alive.

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Contempt was all you had for the gods who rule wide heaven, contempt for
what men say of you hereafter. Your last hour has come. You die in blood.

(page 410 lines 37-43). This quote gives a good impression of the closure
that is given by this passage, included for this purpose, because it give
Odysseus his revenge, the suitors will die in disgrace, Odysseus has
finally returned to claim his place. The dominant impression created by
this passage is summed up in the quote above, vengeance, elation at the
deaths of the suitors and the felling that Odysseus is back and he’s not
going to stand for what the suitors have done. This point of Odysseus not
standing for what they had done is further driven home by the fact that
Odysseus immediately turns away a bribery attempt made by a groveling

There is also a great amount of imagery in this passage that adds
very much to the overall impression of the passage. Homer uses a great
amount of imagery that creates a vivid image of the vengeful slaughter that
took place in that hall. This is symbolized in several pieces of the
passage, one of them being Now as they craned to see their champion where
he lay the suitors jostled in uproar down the hall, everyone on his feet.

Wildly they turned and scanned the walls in the long room for arms; but not
a shield, not a good ashen spear was there for a man to take and throw.

All they could do was yell in outrage at Odysseus. (page 410 lines 22-27).

The vivid picture painted by Homer in this passage is enhanced by the
choice of very descriptive words and phrases for example the first part of
the above quote. The description of the suitors craning to see their
fallen champion and jostling the room into an uproar paints a picture that
one can easily see with little effort. There is another quote that gives
an even clearer image to the reader than the last As they all took this in,
sickly fear pulled at their entrails, and their eyes flickered looking for
some hatch or hideaway from death. (page 410 lines 44-46). This quote
gives amazingly high quality mental pictures to the reader, especially when
Homer uses phrases like, sickly green entrails, or their eye flickered.

The image is so strong of the suitors becoming mortally afraid and
frantically looking the entire room over for some refuge from this force
that they had never dreamed would come back. Shock and amazement, mortal
fear, these are the images conjured by the words used to describe the
beginning of the battle between Odysseus and the suitors.

The tone of this passage is serious, very serious indeed, the tone
has many aspects in this passage. The first is vengeance, the tone of
vengeance is one of the strongest in this passage, and this quote
accurately portrays that tone of vengeance So much for that.Your
clean-cut game is over (page 409 line 5).This overtone of vengeance is
carried throughout the passage by Odysseus, nearly everything he says is
said in a way such that he seems to be happy to finally see to it that the
problems his family suffered through in his absence would finally be
destroyed. The other tone is one of fear and shock, this tone is mainly
exhibited by the suitors, being that their worst nightmare has seemingly
come true. A quote that shows the shock and fear that the suitors
experience is As they took all this in, sickly green fear pulled at their
entrails, and their eyes flickered looking for some hatch or hideaway from
death. Eurymakhos alone could speak. (page 410 line 44-47). The suitors
are so shocked that they cannot even speak, save Eurymakhos, and they are
so frightened that they desperately seek some sort of hiding place, this
seems to add a bit of urgency to the selection. The attitudes and feelings
that the characters in a passage exhibit give the passage its tone, and in
this passage we see shock and fear, maybe some urgency expressed by the
suitors and revenge from Odysseus. Those are the tones of this passage,
they give it more life, a more vivid realization of what is happening, they
add to this passages impact immensely. Giving a feeling of elation to see
the suitors finally meeting their end and a feeling of urgency to this

In conclusion, the passage is made infinitely better by the amount
of imagery used by Homer to create a vivid picture in the mind of the
reader. The tone of this passage is also very important to the overall
effect that the passage is meant to have on the story as a whole. The tone
is very important because it gives the passage yet another dimension that
gives it even more impact in the entire book. The passage is very
important in the book because it gives a beginning to the end sort of
situation, the killing of the suitors prepares the reader and Odysseus for
the end of the book. Where Odysseus comes home and reclaims his glory,
vanquishes his enemies and ends his odyssey, that is why this passage is
important to the book. This passage is enhanced by the tone and imagery
used and in the end the magnitude of the events taking place are expressed
very expertly by Homer.
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The Odyssey

The Odyssey
Odysseus was always considered to be a great man and a great hero. He was known for his brain as well as his muscle. He was an epic hero of a narrative poem about the deeds of gods or heroes. He possesses qualities superior to those of most men, yet remains recognizably human. These heroes have a tragic flaw. This is what makes them a hero instead of a god. Gods are perfect. Odysseus is the hero in The Odyssey, an epic attributed to Homer. His tragic flaw is hubris, occasional occurrences of excessive, overbearing pride. Odysseus is considered a hero because he is a skilled warrior, and a leader of outstanding wisdom, resourcefulness, courage, and endurance. Odysseus’ actions during three events that take place in The Odyssey show his better traits. The encounters with the Lotus-Eaters, the Cyclops, and Scylla and Charybdis all demonstrate his heroism.

Odysseus’ brilliance is shown upon his ships arrival on the coastline of the Lotus-Eaters. Instead of letting his entire crew off of the ship to explore this mysterious area, Odysseus only allowed two picked men and a runner to learn who lived on the land. After some time, none of the three cared to report, nor to return to the boat. This was because they ate the Lotus plant, which was a drug that the Lotus-Eaters offered to the men. It caused them to lose all desire to reach home again. Singlehandedly, Odysseus forced all three men back, tied them down under the rowing benches, and ordered the crew to row away. In this incident, his strength and care for his men is shown.
Odysseus’ encounter with the Cyclops demonstrated his resourcefulness and courage. After Odysseus and his twelve best men first talked to the Cyclops, two men were devoured by this beast just because he was hungry. This may have shaken up his remaining men, but Odysseus wouldn’t let his crew turn and run. Instead, he devised a plan to get what they had wanted, the Cyclops’ rams, which were fat with heavy fleeces. The plan included making the Cyclops drunk, blinding him by driving a pointed six foot pole through his lone eye, and hiding beneath the rams to avoid any confrontations with the Cyclopes. The encounter with the Cyclops was another test of Odysseus’ heroism. Once again, he came out on top and proved that he was a hero.

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The encounter with Scylla and Charybdis was Odysseus’ greatest challenge up to that point. If he were to fail to escape from this encounter safelly his journey home will be greatly delayed.
Scylla was a sea monster of gray rock with six heads, and Charybdis was an enormous and dangerous whirlpool. Unfortunately, to reach their home, they were forced to sail directly between these two dangerous hazards. Odysseus was left with a huge dilemma. Should he sail closer to Scylla or Charybdis? He chose to go closer to Scylla, and this showed how he could make major decisions under great pressure anticipating a succesful out come. If they had gone near Charybdis, all of them would have most likely drowned. Since they were forced to go towards Scylla, it was almost certain that six men would be snagged by the monster, but this would be better than everyone in the crew dying. Odysseus chose not to tell his crew of this risk though. He did this for the welfare of everyone. If he had told them, they all would have gone and hid under the deck, leaving the ship to be sucked in by the whirlpool. Odysseus did what he had to do as the leader. Even though this was deceitful, he only lost six men compared to everyone. This event highlights many of his heroic qualities, such as bravery, foresight, intelligence, and leadership.

All of these events obviously show what made Odysseus a great epic hero. Some of the characteristics that make up an epic hero are great fighting skills, intelligence, bravery, strength, and resourcefulness. Odysseus has shown all of these qualities, and was able to avoid the wrath of the Gods because he was a hero. He refused to back down to anyone. Odysseus kept on fighting for twenty straight years just to make it back home, and he succeeded in doing this.
Had Odysseus’ overbearing self-pride not affronted the gods, the many obstacles placed in his path to prevent he and his crew from arriving home in a timely manner would never had existed. By his ability to overcome the many difficulties created by the gods, he showed that his pride may not have been misplaced.


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