Essay Sample on Greek Characterization

Paper Type:  Creative writing
Pages:  3
Wordcount:  776 Words
Date:  2022-08-15


Odyssey, the epic Greek poem symbolizes Greek literature in its fullest. Homer's works in the Iliad and the Odyssey are a work of art and characterize Greek literature rather well. In the poems, we do not think of Homer especially in the Odyssey, however, Odysseus, Troy, the Trojan horse, and the Trojan War. Most of the Greek characterizations are heroic and godly figures that perform miraculous acts and control the universe. Indeed, these underline the importance of characters and characterization in a narrative. Indeed, it goes without mention that character is somewhat of an undefined concept. Literary theory has over the years lacked a comprehensive theory that characterizes character. This paper aims at presenting an outline of Greek Characterization.

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Early Greek Literature

Greek literature is writings composed in Greek influential areas although not all in the Greek dialects. These have been in existence all through the existence of Greece and the Greek. Early writings written before 700BC by Homer as explained in the previous paragraph bring to focus the importance of Greek literature to world literature. Hesiod, the first didactic poet, also feature among the early epics. Mythological poems with mythological subjects and characters are found in the Homeric Hymns dated 800-300 BC. It is only a few of early Greek poems and by Greek poets

Greek Drama and Comedy

Greek drama then moved from the typical song and dance particularly during Dionysus honoring at Athens. Tragedy came to life in the 5th cent BC developed by Sophocles, Aeschylus, and Euripides, the greatest dramatist in theatre history. Aristophanes, the Attic Old Comedy was also exalted. These brought to life comedy in the classical period and set the stage for rowdy humor, which opened up the way for Middle Comedy and then to the New Comedy. Menander is the best known Greek New Comedy.

Historical Writings and Philosophical Thought

Historical writings came of age in Greece particularly by Herodotus and Thucydides accounts and not forgetting the rushing Xenophon narrative. Athenian literature period gave way to the unprecedented breadth of philosophical writing with the works of Plato and Aristotle having a huge impact and effect in the shaping and forming of Western thought about existence and the universe. Oratory Greek literature was perfected with celebrated orators such as Lysias, Isocrates and Demosthenes gaining immense fame. Demosthenes particularly was so important that his death and that of Aristotle around 322 BC marked the end of "Classical" Greek literature according to the beliefs of many. The works of these writers had common characteristics such as; the subtlety of words, the economy of words, attention to form and expressed directly.

Hellenistic Alexandria and Roman Influence

In Hellenistic Alexandria was where Greek moved towards in its literacy characterization. Major philosophers, poets, critics, historians, and librarians wrote and taught literature and philosophy. Scholarly editions gained preeminence during this period. Poems of Callimachus, the epic of Apollonius Rhodius are recognized as important works of art and literature. As the Romans took control of the Mediterranean, Greek literature, thoughts and cultures were introduced by slave tutors to the Roman aristocracy. Dio Cassius, Polybius, and Josephus, as well as Plutarch's biography, are works of these periods.

Christianity also had an influence on Greek literature and writings of Greek Fathers of the Church denoted the new turn that Greek literature took. The Byzantine Empire had a dominance of religion in its literature, and a huge chunk of literature unknown to the West was written.


In conclusion, Greek characterization has undergone a metamorphosis although much of its work have formed the core and foundation of literature as we know it. Indeed, Greek characterization and conceptualization were done according to the periods in times that they were based in and are the best-known forms of literature to date.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) for Essay:

Who are some of the famous Greek poets mentioned in early Greek literature?

Homer and Hesiod are among the renowned Greek poets referred to in early Greek literature, best known for writing epic poems such as Iliad and Odyssey respectively. Hesiod was known as one of the first didactic poets.

What is the significance of tragedy in Greek literature and who are some prominent tragedians?

Tragedies were an integral component of Greek literature, with Sophocles, Aeschylus and Euripides among its foremost representatives. Their plays explored themes related to human suffering, fate and its consequences.

How did oratory and rhetoric contribute to Greek literature?

Oratory and rhetoric were highly valued in Greek literature, with notable orators like Lysias, Isocrates, and Demosthenes becoming famous for their effective speeches and public speaking skills - having an enormous effect on shaping political and social dialogue in ancient Greece.

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