m Homer Odyssey EssaysThe Odyssey as Epic Poem



“The Odyssey” is an epic poem. In “The Odyssey”, the reader can find at least four characteristics, which help prove it is an epic poem. One characteristic is the vast setting that Odysseus experiences throughout his journey. Another is Odysseus’s larger-than-life, imposing stature. So are the superhuman deeds Odysseus completes on his long arduous journey. Also, “The Odyssey” is based around a central hero whose actions determine the fate of his kingdom.


Throughout “The Odyssey” the reader is given thorough details of the vast setting that Odysseus experiences. During Odysseus’s journey across the sea he experiences many lands and people previously unknown to him. In “The Odyssey”, Odysseus leaves his known world of Ithaca and enters the Unknown World. There he finds the land of the Cyclopes, Aeolys Island, and Ogygia. While on his journey Odysseus must travel to the Underworld to find Tiresias. The blind man will tell him whether he will return home to Ithaca or not.


Another characteristic is Odysseus’s larger-than-life, imposing stature. When Odysseus returns to Ithaca, he strings his bow and continues to slaughter the suitors who threatened his rule. Stringing his bow and shooting it repeatedly, while even the strongest suitor could not pull it shows great strength. It proves he is a larger-than-life man of unmatchable strength. Also throughout his journeys Odysseus is recognized as a man of wisdom and strength. Odysseus must have been an epic hero as he was recognized by the gods on numerous occasions. For instance when Hermes appears and gives Odysseus the magical herb, Moly to protect him from the magical powers of Circe’s. Throughout “The Odyssey” Athena shows herself to Odysseus and gives him advice.


When Odysseus is attempting to return to Ithaca, Circe tells him he must visit the blind Tiresias, who will tell him his fate. Odysseus is one of only two men who enter the Underworld and live. Odysseus performs many superhuman deeds throughout “The Odyssey” perhaps the most important is when he entered the Underworld.


One of the main characteristics of “The Odyssey”, which proves it is an epic poem, is that it is based around a central hero whose actions determine the fate of his kingdom. While suitors threaten the role of Ithaca the reader is uncertain whether the rule of Ithaca will remain under Odysseus’s power. Odysseus confirms that the rule will remain under him by killing all the suitors.


In “The Odyssey”, four characteristics can easily be found. One is the vast setting Odysseus travels through. Odysseus’s larger-than-life, imposing stature is also one. So are the superhuman deeds Odysseus accomplishes during his journeys. But the main characteristic is that “The Odyssey” is based around a central hero who determines the fate of his kingdom. These characteristics help prove “The Odyssey” is an epic poem.