Odysseus In Homers Odyssey

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Odysseus In Homers Odyssey

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The Odyssey by Homer - Book 5 Summary and Analysis

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There are other theories that Zeus started the Trojan War to kill off some of the population — especially of demigods. This is because Zeus had many relationships that resulted in the birth of many demigods, and he felt that the earth was overpopulated, and he wanted to depopulate it as much as possible. The Trojan War can be said to have started shortly after the abduction of Helen. Agamemnon was able to get other Greek heroes, such as Odysseus, Ajax, Nestor, and Achilles, to join him on this adventure. The Trojan War, which was punctuated by battles and skirmishes, lasted for ten years. It finally ended when the Greeks retreated from camp and left behind a large wooden horse outside the gates of Troy.

The wooden horse was a plan made by Odysseus to end the war. The wooden horse was designed to be hollow in the middle so that soldiers could hide inside and then was wheeled in front of the city of Troy. After the Trojan Horse was left at the gates, the Greeks sailed away from Troy to the island of Tenedos, leaving behind one double agent named Sinon. He was able to convince the Trojans that the Greeks had retreated from the war and that the horse was a parting gift that would ultimately give the Trojans a fortune. However, once nighttime fell, the horse opened up and out came the Greek soldiers. From the inside of the city, the Greeks were able to destroy the city of Troy and win the war.

The surviving Greek heroes learned the hard way that gods never forget and hardly forgive because even though they were victorious in the war, most of them were punished for their transgressions. Even fewer were welcomed back to their homes because they were killed by their loved ones or they were exiled into oblivion — there were some cases where both incidents happened. The Trojan War was a huge and important war in Greek mythology. Hopefully, from this summary of the Trojan War, you were able to learn enough about the war that you are able to understand why it happened and how it ended.

Image via commons. Trojan War Background The beginning of the Trojan war began with a prophecy regarding the order of the Olympians and a divine love contest. Ominously for Troy, the gods on the Greek side, notably Hera queen of the gods , Athena goddess of wisdom and war , and Poseidon god of the land and sea , represent a much more powerful force than the divine supporters of Troy, of whom Apollo the archer god and god of afar is the main figure. The Iliad is only one poetic work focused on the war for Troy; many others have not survived. But such is its quality and depth that it had a special place in antiquity, and probably survived for that reason. We know virtually nothing about Homer and whether he also created the other poem in his name, the Odyssey , which recounts the return journey of Odysseus from the Trojan War, to the island of Ithaca.

The Iliad was probably put together around BC, or a bit later, presumably by a brilliant poet immersed in traditional skills of oral composition i. This tradition of oral composition probably reaches back hundreds of years before the Iliad. Early epic poetry can be a way of maintaining the cultural memory of major conflicts. The Iliad was composed as one continuous poem. In its current arrangement most likely after the establishment of the Alexandrian library in the early 3rd century BC , it is divided into 24 books corresponding to the 24 letters of the Greek alphabet.

Likewise the Greek attack on Troy was a collective quest drawing on forces from across the Greek world. Pan-Hellenism, therefore, is central to the Iliad. A central idea in the Iliad is the inevitability of death as also with the earlier Epic of Gilgamesh. The poignancy of life and death is enhanced by the fact that the victims of war are usually young. Achilles is youthful and headstrong, and has a goddess for a mother, but even he has to die. We learn that he had been given a choice — a long life without heroic glory, or a short and glorious life in war. His choice of the latter marks him out as heroic, and gives him a kind of immortality. But the other warriors too, including the Trojan hero Hector, are prepared to die young. But they can be affected by death.

After his death, she will lead an existence of perpetual mourning for him. Immortality in Greek mythology can be a mixed blessing. The Iliad also has much to say about war. The atrocities in the war at Troy are committed by Greeks on Trojans. Achilles commits human sacrifice within the Iliad itself and mutilates the body of Hector, and there are other atrocities told in other poems. The Trojan saga in the early Greek sources tells of the genocide of the Trojans, and the Greek poets explored some of the darkest impulses of human conduct in war.

In the final book of the Iliad, Achilles and Priam, in the most poignant of settings, reflect upon the fate of human beings and the things they do to one another. A knowledge of Homer became a standard part of Greek education, be it formal or informal. Ancient writers after Homer, even the rather austere Greek historian Thucydides in the 5th century BC, assume the historicity of much of the subject-matter of the Iliad. One can only imagine its value today had it survived. In the Roman world, the poet Virgil BC set out to write an epic poem about the origins of Rome from the ashes of Troy.

My own view is that Virgil knew Homer by heart, and he was probably criticized in his own life for the extent of his reliance on Homer. See all the latest news from Greece and the world at Greekreporter. Contact our newsroom to report an update or send your story, photos and videos. Follow GR on Google News and subscribe here to our daily email! Sign in.

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