Literature Studies: The Odyssey by Homer
When I began to read The Odyssey, I had some background knowledge of the events and characters described by the author. For example, as a student, I read about the myths created in ancient Greece, and the characters always described by Homer fascinated me.
For example, I can speak about Ajax, Achilles, and Odysseus. However, I learned about them through other sources that were adaptations of Homer’s texts. Moreover, in the past, I watched a movie depicting the adventures of Odysseus and Achilles.
Overall, I can say that this cinematographic work closely follows the narrative created by this author. Furthermore, I had some background knowledge of the selections that I was asked to read. For instance, I can mention Odyssey’s stay with Calypso. These are some of the issues that I can distinguish.
The first twelve books of The Odyssey present several story lines. For instance, one can mention the experiences of Penelope and Telemachus. These characters resist the efforts of people who want to usurp his throne. In turn, Athena encourages Telemachus to defend Ithaca and take active steps in order to withstand Penelope’s suitors. Secondly, it is possible to speak about the dispute between Olympic gods who decide the fate of the main character.
Finally, the author gives an account of Odyssey’s struggles to return to Ithaca. For instance, the readers can learn about his encounter with Polyphemus and his meeting with Circe. Overall, Homer creates a complex and comprehensive narrative that throws light on various characters.
In my opinion, Telemachus’s encounter with Athena is one of the most engaging selections. This section of the book can be distinguished among others because it vividly demonstrates the experiences of a person who does not want to abandon hope even despite the insurmountable difficulties that he faces. Telemachus has never seen his father. He says, “I’ve not set eyes on Odysseus or he on me” (Homer 84).
Moreover, he understands that many people try to take control of the Odyssey’s kingdom. The author prompts the readers to emphasize with this character, and he successfully achieves this goal. This is why this part of this epic can be singled out among others.
In turn, my least favorite selection is the book that depicts Odysseus’s encounter with a giant, named Polyphemus (Homer 224). Certainly, this part of the narrative portrays a breath-taking account of Odysseus’s ingenuity and courage. Homer’s Polyphemus lacks psychological depth. The author does not show what kind of motives drive this character and why he is so hostile to Odysseus. This is one of the limitations that should be considered.
Overall, while I was reading these parts of The Odyssey, I thought about the movies which were based on the works of Homer. In particular, one can mention the film Troy released in 2004. Odysseus is one of the characters depicted in the film. I can argue that the film-makers failed to illustrate the complexity of this character. This is one of the things that I can now identify.
Furthermore, in many cases, modern adaptations of this work do not reflect the motives that drive the characters created by Homer. This argument is particularly relevant if one speaks about Odysseus. I can say that the scope of this text and the depth of characters have produced a profound impression on me.
Homer. The Odyssey. London, New York: Penguin Classics, 1997. Print.