Free «Odyssey» Essay Sample
Odyssey is an ancient Greek poem that was written by the poet Homer. This poem is classified under the genre of epic poetry. Odyssey tells the story of "Odysseus" who returned to his kingdom, "Ithaca", after 2 decades of disappearance. He disappeared after the "fall of Troy at the end of the Trojan War" ("Odyssey"). Homer involves Greek ethical values and religious beliefs in this poem. The main characters in this poem include: 1. "Odysseus": The king of "Ithaca". 2. " Telemachus": Odysseus's son. 3. "Penelope": Odysseus's wife ("Characters"). The main theme in this poem is "hospitality" ("Themes"). This essay will talk about two other themes which are the themes of family loyalty and civic duty. How Does the Theme of Family Loyalty Apply to Homer's 'Odyssey'?
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1. Family Loyalty: Queen Penelope is the character that showed loyalty the most in Odyssey. Suitors invaded the royalty palace to force her to choose a new husband from them after her husband's disappearance ("Odyssey"; "Plot"). But she stayed faithful to her husband and waited for him for 20 years. Also, when Odysseus returned to his kingdom, Ithaca, he was disguising as a beggar. She saw him and felt that this man looks like her husband. In order to find out if thit man is her husband or not, she "organizes an archery contest the following day and promises to marry any man who can string Odysseus's great bow and fire an arrow through a row of twelve axes—a feat that only Odysseus has ever been able to accomplish" ("Summary"). Even after the contest, she tries to find out if he knows some secrets that only Odysseus knew about.
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And that's to make sure that he really is Odyssey ("Themes"). Before he returned, Odysseus was imprisoned by a nymph called "Calypso" on an island called "Ogygia" ("Themes"). She was more beautiful than his wife and she loved him very much. The life on this island was very comfortable for Odysseus. Despite that, he wanted to return to his family ("Analysis"). After Odysseus retuned to his family, he showed faithfulness to his father by visiting him. They were attacked there, and Odysseus helped his father to face this attack. Also Odysseus's son, Telemachus, was faithful to his father and always was against the suitors ("Themes"). Although servants were not relatives of the royalty family, they showed loyalty to them. The servant, "Eurycleia", served the family when Odysseus was a child and stayed loyal for the family until he came back from his long journey. She hides the true identity of the beggar (which was Odysseus) after she discovered who he is. She also "keeps Telemachus's journey secret from Penelope" ("Characters"). The Shepherd, "Eumaeus", and the cowherd, "Philoetiu," stayed loyal for "their master and his possessions" ("Major Themes"). Eumaeus helped Odysseus to become the king again. Although he didn't know the beggar's true identify (he was Odysseus), he provided him "food and shelter" ("Characters"). How Does the Theme of Civic Duty Apply to Homer's 'Odyssey'?
Odysseus showed his commitment to his civic duty during the trip to Ithaca. He came back home from Ogygia using a ship with his "ship mates". The ship faced tough weather conditions. He wanted to survive to be able to save his ship mates. It was impossible to save them. Despite that, Odysseus tried what he could to fulfill his civic duty ("Themes"). Conclusion Loyalty is the common theme in Odyssey. The extraordinary relationship between Odysseus and his family was built on loyalty, and that helped them to face their enemies. Odysseus fulfilled his civic duty to his ship mates on his way home, and that's another shape of loyalty. From Odyssey, it is noticed that loyalty is "an important quality in the lives of ancient Greek citizens" ("Themes").

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