Themes are the fundamental and often universal ideas explored in a literary work. Characters emerge as worthy or despicable based on their degree of competence and bravery in battle. Achilles, on the other hand, wins eternal glory by explicitly rejecting the option of a long, comfortable, uneventful life at home.
The reader learns about the characters through the themes. The more complicated a character is, the more he or she engages these major themes.
Therefore, the most complicated character, Odysseus, appropriately embodies each of the themes to one degree or another. Thinking of hospitality as a major theme in a literary work may seem odd to modern readers. In Homer's world, however, hospitality is essential.
Fagles and Knox p. Often, however, strangers are but wayfarers, probably in need of at least some kind of help. Similarly, the residents themselves — or their friends or kin — may, at some time, be wayfarers. Civilized people, therefore, make an investment in hospitality to demonstrate their quality as human beings and in hopes that their own people will be treated well when they travel.
Furthermore, communications are very primitive in Homer's world, and strangers bring and receive news. It was through visitors that the Homeric Greeks learned about and kept abreast of what was happening in the world beyond their local areas.
Hospitality, or the lack of it, affects Odysseus throughout the epic, and the reader can judge civility by the degree of hospitality offered. Odysseus' own home has been taken over by a horde of suitors who crudely take advantage of Ithaca's long-standing tradition of hospitality.
Telemachus and Penelope lack the strength to evict them, nor can they hope for much help from the community because the suitors represent some of the strongest families in the area. In his wanderings, Odysseus receives impressive help from the Phaeacians and, initially, from Aeolus.
Circe is of great assistance after Odysseus conquers her, and the Lotus-eaters might be a little too helpful. On the other hand, the Sirens are sweet-sounding hosts of death, and Cyclops Polyphemus makes no pretense toward hospitality.
In fact, Polyphemus scoffs at the concept and the gods that support it. Zeus himself, king of the gods, is known as the greatest advocate of hospitality and the suppliants who request it; yet even he allows the sea god Poseidon to punish the Phaeacians for their generous tradition of returning wayfarers to their homelands.
The most striking example of loyalty in the epic is, of course, Penelope, who waits faithfully for 20 years for her husband's return.
Another example is Telemachus, who stands by his father against the suitors. Odysseus' old nurse, Eurycleia, remains loyal to Penelope and her absent master. Eumaeus, the swineherd, and Philoetius, the cowherd, are exemplary in their loyalty to their master and his possessions.
Also an excellent if humble host, Eumaeus makes his king proud as he speaks respectfully of the royal family and abhors the invasion of the suitors.
In contrast are goatherd Melanthius and maidservant Melantho. Melanthius has become friendly with the suitors and insults Odysseus while the king is still in disguise. The loyal servants are rewarded; those who betray their master are dealt with more harshly.Iliad Influence on Western Civilization; Theme Analysis In Homer’s Iliad, war is Homer’s last comments on the futility of war come at the end of the Iliad.
The Epic of Gilgamesh (/ ˈ ɡ ɪ l ɡ ə ˌ m ɛ ʃ /) is an epic an analysis of the futility of war in the iliad an epic poem by homer poem from ancient Mesopotamia that is .
Struggling with the themes of Homer's The Iliad? We've got the quick and easy lowdown on them here. Homer's Epic Poem, The Odyssey Essay Words 5 Pages In Homer's epic poem, the Odyssey, the recurring theme of intelligence is important because through intelligence, Odysseus is able to utilize wit and cunning to suit his needs and wants, as well as defeat bigger and stronger opponents than he.
Homer’s “Iliad,” the first great work of western civilization, is a rich and complex tale of anger, fate, war, humanity, and what we can, and cannot, hope to know, or control. It is also a commentary on wartime leadership, and on the virtues and vices of commanders.
Use a list of the major themes of Homer's Iliad to understand the epic poem: anger and hatred, betrayal, fate and chance, honor, love, patriotism, shame, revenge, war, glory, mortality, and loyalty.
In his Iliad, Homer uses the character of Diomedes to personify his definition of effective leadership, often juxtaposing him with the unproductive and cowardly Agamemnon.
Homer believes that the bravery to assert one’s opinions and the willingness to act independently, even against authority.