Thoughts on The Odyssey

My first reaction when I finished The Odyssey, was disappointment in how it ended.  I expected a longer ending that would tell what happened to Odysseus in his old age.  However, I do acknowledge the fact that since Odysseus’s odyssey is over, Homer had no reason to elaborate.  Prior to reading The Odyssey, I’ve only read abridged versions in books such as Daulaire’s book of Greek myths, which captured the essential plot of The Odyssey, but lacked in detail.  What I enjoyed the most about The Odyssey was the epic scale of it.  Homer did take me to mythological Greece, the age of monsters and heroes.   It only makes me admire Homer more for taking me, a modern human and plunking me into this saga.  What I loved most about the Odyssey was the fascinating imagery, the cast of characters, gods and creatures that all aided to create a riveting story that had me hanging at the edge of my seat at moments.  Odysseus’s journey, was a true hero’s journey.  His trials at Polydorus, Poseidon, Circe and Calypso, do inspire pity in me, but at the same time, how he handled them (or at least the effort he took to handle them) made me admire his character.  My other favorite character was Telemachus.  His intelligence, how he took charge of his house, made a name for himself and  him assisting his father, made him a very likable character.  Some things I noticed in The Odyssey was that some of the imagery and description was repeated and often re-used, this helped me to associate the correct image or title with the characters, acting like a tag.  These tags helped me a lot because the cast of The Odyssey is huge and some of the names are extraordinarily difficult to pronounce and spell. I also found reading The Odyssey enlightening to me because it showed how religion played a role in people’s beliefs in Ancient Greece.  It was quite entertaining (in a cathartic way aka glad that’s not happening to me way) reading about Poseidon throwing punishment upon punishment on Odysseus and various characters fearing that any person could be a god in disguise.

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