The Odyssey: Close Reading and Critical Analysis

Date:  2021-12-19 01:59:55
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The setting of The Odyssey resembles the other sacred texts such that it is written as a poem for useful and deeper understanding. Many stories can fit inside taking the parables format discussing various dimensions of morality and tradition. Poetry is most preferred in the sacred texts. For instance, the Bible has psalms and proverbs that take the poetic format as in many other holy books. The Odyssey also shifts locations and characters throughout its chapters. Like the Bible, every book and chapter has a different subject, but they all add up to one concrete idea or belief framework (Van Nortwick). The sacred texts also have different subject matters individually explaining various human aspects, morality and ethics and guidelines in worship.

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Many hints and indirect references on the Greek deity and tradition can be found in The Odyssey. The ancient tradition can be seen to correspond to what the modern society lives by. Majority of the religious people usually venerate a supreme power, and it varies according to race and tribe. For instance, the Christians, Muslims, and Judaists regard God as the supreme being who is omniscient, omnipresent and omnipotent. The hierarchy of the deity and their rivalry both internally and to the mortals in control of the earth are contained in The Odyssey (Van Nortwick). This is attributed to the holiness of the several sacred texts also existing. The poem rolls out with Athena playing intercessor by making pleas on behalf of Odysseus to Zeus and fellow Olympians. They have a rift over what they should do with Odysseus. Many people believe in their ability to impose their will on the mortals as it the case in many sacred texts.

At the start of this poem The Odyssey, there is a perfect illustration of the power the deity reserves. For instance The grey-eyed goddess Athena answers him: O Majesty, O Father of us all, if it now pleases the blissful gods that wise Odysseus reaches his home again... let the steadfast man depart for home (Pg. 4). It is an excerpt from the Zeus and Athena dialogue as they negotiate Odysseus fate. Zeus who is the king of the gods gives his ruling that Odysseus who was a good man has to go home. Odysseus went back to what was seen as a sanction by the gods (Minchin). The power of the deity as seen in The Odyssey in its setting gives it the attribute of a sacred text.

Along the Odyssey, there are stories on morality as in other sacred texts. Jesus parables and commandments in the Bible teach how to live well and coping with different people. The faith foundation of the Buddhist is in philosophy and morality. All sacred texts point to a supreme power that is in control of morality, just like in The Odyssey. A tradition framework also prescribes a conventional way in which people should behave.

The Odyssey lays a basis of the morals people should adhere to. The last book in the Odyssey, the XXIV, and Athena says Son of Laertes and the gods of old, Odysseus, master of land ways and seaways. Call off this battle now, or Zeus who views the wide world may be angry (Pg. 462).

From the quote, the theme of restraint from violence is seen to be recurrent even in the other sacred scriptures. Fights against enemies are uncalled for. However, many people dispute this argument, people who typically believe that there is no supreme authority and there is no sacredness in the mentioned texts.

The question of the sacredness of a text should be on an individual scale. It should not be about whether or not it is a sacred text but whether it could be holy. One can say it is sacred by subscribing to the beliefs contained therein. Others may dispute saying the arguments in the text are weak and therefore not sacred in their form. However, this is nullified by saying that all holy texts have their distinct structures and styles that make their sacred identities. Like the Bible, The Odyssey has different independent books which qualify it to be a sacred text. The final opposing argument is that The Odyssey is not holy because it does not make use of specific statements as in other holy books like the Bible. It instead implicates things, therefore, making a person search for moral elements deep into the themes of stories.

While the argument has some elements of truth, it can, however, be seen that some of the moral counsel can be derived right from some explicit statements found in The Odyssey especially the dialogue involving Athena and Zeus. So it is not true that all the moral concepts should be dug from a thematic angle. In The Odyssey, readers are taken through an epic literal journey of adventure, lots of love, without forgetting loss and tribulation.

The Odyssey furthermore, has a significant benefit of programming someone to stand for something if they take to heart the values and beliefs captured inside. This is made possible by grasping the theme and weighing the statements made by the characters throughout the text. The deity is the foundation of worship, a perception of a supreme authority that can influence the lives of the followers and guide them. The believer replicates by having trust in the supreme deity and looking up to them for reprieve and pathway through every situation. The different books in The Odyssey give room for various ideas crafted differently which provide many concepts. These concepts add up to one big idea that brings about faith and belief.

The moral principles in The Odyssey and all the other sacred texts give direction on how to live well. The argument for ordaining The Odyssey as scared is also in support of the induction of other different upcoming literal works and poems that seek to influence lives for the better through precise themes and subject matter (De Jong). People are currently building a culture centered on literature which upraises the creative utilization of ideas, subject matter, and values. These when employed correctly as in the case of The Odyssey result in a moral and peaceful society. Above a successful integration of these critical aspects may bring in more discipline and a sense of belonging. By subscribing to a specific supreme authority be it a deity or God, the society is strengthened socially and morally, and this translates to a peaceful co-existence and prosperity. The question that remains is that, will humanity be able to pull off such an achievement? Creating a stable and adhesive culture and a belief system directly from a collection of stories and poems like The Odyssey?

Work cited

De Jong, Irene JF. A narratological commentary on the Odyssey. Cambridge University Press, 2001.

Minchin, Elizabeth. "Homer and the resources of memory: some applications of cognitive theory to the Iliad and the Odyssey." (2001).

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