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The odyssey – Homer

“The Odyssey” is a book written by Homer. Considered one of the most prestigious and read books in literature. However, there are not enough data about its author, it is only known that it lived at the end of the 8th century and the beginning of the 9th century.


Characters from “The Odyssey”

The central character of the story is Ulysses, who represents a Greek hero. Her husband is Penelope, who is waiting for her husband for a long time. Prince Telemachus is the son of both. Laertes, is the father of Odysseus, Eurycleia, is his faithful nurse. On the other hand we find one of the suitors named Antinous, who plans to kill Telemachus. Nausicaa, the Feacian princess; Menelaus, King of Sparta.

Similarly, there are Eurimaco, who was a deceitful suitor. Amphinomus, a decent suitor who asks for Penelope’s hand; Eumeo, a loyal pastor; Melanthius, who was the brother of Melantho, the palace maid; Polyphemus is one of the Cyclops; Tiresias, who was a Theban prophet who lived in the underworld; Nestor, the King of Pylos.

On the other hand we find Helen, the wife of Menelaus and queen of Sparta; Agamemnon, the ancient king of Mycenae and brother of Menelaus; Alcinous, the King of the Phaeacians, Arete, who was the queen of the Phaeacians and wife of Alcinous and mother of Nausicaa.

Mythological characters also appear, among the most relevant are the nymph Calypso, who has Odysseus imprisoned due to his love spell towards him; Zeus, King of gods and men, who mediates the disputes of the gods on Mount Olympus; Poseidon, God of the sea; Athena, goddess of wisdom, who wants to help find Ulysses and rescue him, and Circe, the beautiful goddess witch who turns the entire crew of Odysseus into a pig when she arrives on her island.

Summary and synopsis of the work

The story unfolds ten years after the fall of Troy, and the Greek hero Odysseus has yet to return to his kingdom in Ithaca. Therefore many suitors of his wife Penelope, have been given the task of invading the palace of Ulysses and looting his land. But she has remained steadfast and faithful to her husband. In this situation, the son of Ulysses, the prince wishes to get them all out of there. But he doesn’t feel confident that he can fight them.

Antinous, is one of the suitors who is in the palace and has plans to assassinate Telemachus in order to dominate the palace. But what the suitors don’t know is that Odysseus is still alive, and was imprisoned on his Ogygia island by the nymph Calypso, who was possessed of love for him. Odysseus longs to see his wife and son, but he has no chance of leaving that place because he has no ship or crew to do so.

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Athena, was a strong defender of Odysseus and decides to help Telemachus. So he disguises himself as Laertes, who was a friend of the prince’s grandfather, to make a meeting with the suitors, where he exposes his reproach towards them.

In the palace, Antinous and the other suitors are preparing a trip to assassinate Telemachus when he arrives at the port.
Zeus is on Mount Olympus and sends Hermes so that he can rescue Odysseus from Calypso. He convinces her to release Odysseus, and he can build his own ship and leave the place. When he finishes it, he manages to leave, but the sea god, Poseidon, sends him a Storm, since he is very resentful for having blinded his son, the Cyclops Polyphemus.

But Athena manages to save him and Odysseus disembarks in Scheria, which was the home of the Phaeacians. Nausicaa, the Feacian princess, shows him the royal palace, and welcomes him. But before letting him continue his journey, they ask him to narrate his adventures. When his narrative ends, the Phaeacians return Odysseus to his palace in Ithaca, and Athena disguises him as a beggar.

After this he meets his son Telemachus, who has returned from Pylos and Sparta, and confesses his true identity. Both organize a plan to assassinate the suitors and to be able to control the palace. Penelope is struck by this rare beggar, because she suspected that it was her husband. And since Penelope was very cunning, she plans an archery competition the next day and gives her word to marry the man who wins. She knew that only Odysseus could do it.

In competition, each person tries to string the bow and fails. Odysseus, without a doubt, manages to win this competition. So this one together with Telemachus, they manage to kill all the suitors. And then he meets his wife and travels to see his father Laertes, but they were attacked by the relatives of the dead suitors. But Laertes manages to kill Antinous’s father and thus ends the attack and Odysseus was able to reunite with his family in peace.

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Analysis of the work

This magnificent work “The Odyssey” is a poem belonging to the epic genre. It is written in ancient Greek and the exact date of its writing is unknown. The plot begins where the Iliad ends, 10 years after the fall of Troy.
In this book, the main character must flee from the island where he is captive to be with his wife Penelope and their son Telemachus. He must also fight with the suitors who want to take over the Palace and his wife. So this one together with his son Telémaco fight and kill all the suitors.

In this sense, in this work we observe the presence of gods and goddesses that determine the destiny of the characters and turn out to be, in some cases, obstacles to the achievement of their purposes. Therefore they must be brave and fight against all those barriers, such is the case of Poseidon that caused Odysseus a Storm.

In this way, in “The Odyssey” different themes are exposed where the value of cunning is highlighted, the traps as obstacles, the temptations during the trips of Odysseus, the force when fighting, and above all highlights the force of love, which he held Penelope firm before all the suitors.


“But it is for the prudent Odysseus that my heart is distressed, for the unfortunate person who has been away from his family for a long time and suffers on an island surrounded by current where the navel of the sea is”

 “Nothing raises the earth as flimsy as man of all beings that breathe and walk through it. While the gods lend him virtue and his knees are agile, he believes that he will never receive misfortunes in the future; but when the happy gods bestow miseries on him, even these he has to bear with a patient spirit against his will ”

 “While the timbers are held by the pegs, I will continue here and suffer the evils that I will suffer, and after the waves undo the raft I will start swimming, because I cannot think of anything more profitable.”
 “The same baseness is committed by the one who encourages his guest to leave, when he does not want to, as the one who prevents him when he wants to. You have to entertain the guest when he is at home, but also fire him if he wishes. ”