An Introduction to The Odyssey

An Introduction to The Odyssey
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Character and Trancate Analysis

In literature, works of art stories and other forms of writings are used to present major ideas and major concepts in a flexible and understandable manner that enables people, particularly children to understand important matters. This is done by telling the story in a way that allows the audience to gain important lessons at various highpoints of the narrative. This paper will examine important elements of Odysseus by critically assessing the interaction between Odysseus, Calypso and Circe and the conflict surrounding the Heroic Code and the desire for Home and Family. The elements and aspects of literature will be evaluated and analyzed in order to draw conclusions on how this piece presents an emblematic and key moment of work that creates the main picture for the work.

Section Analysis

This section of the story is an extract from the situation between Calypso and Circe. This involved Odysseus’ connection with two of the strongest desires of men – love/pleasure and wealth/comfort and his goals of returning to his homeland alive. Thus, this section presents the strongest of temptations and the climax of Odysseus’ challenges. This is shown in the fact that he was able to get so much power to induce Circe to do whatever he wanted and he lived happily with her in a palace which could be said to be much better than wherever he could get. As a reader, I feel this strong sentiment when I read about Circe because her passions and influence was particularly strong and most people would accept it.

Circe’s features indicate that she was a strong woman with so much power who could improve the life of any man. Therefore, it occurs to me as a reader that there is a major conflict in the story that should get him to reconsider his position of going back to his homeland. In Greek mythology, Circe was the daughter of Helios and her brothers include Aeetes, the keeper of the Golden Fleece and Perses another powerful god. This means she had all the power and influence (Montiglio, 2012). Thus, Odysseus had all the power and all the connections through Circe that could guarantee him a happy and successful life. However, Circe did not want to live his life there but moved on to other islands where he met other characters like Calypso. This makes me think that there is a conflict in the situation that is intense and it provides a difficult dilemma for Odysseus.

Calypso’s name meant “cloak” or “concealed” which means she had various intentions that were not obvious (Morden & Lupton, 2013). Therefore, she was connected to many actions that did not seem obvious and were meant to seduce and attract Odysseus to live with him and have a happy life. In Greek mythology, Calypso is described as a “nymph” that suggests a woman who wants to please a man and as such, the story sought to provide a picture of a goddess who was doing everything in her power to woo and attract Odysseus. This again tells me how intense the conflict is and how difficult Odysseus’ decision is affected.

The story was able to present Odysseus as a man who was in a dilemma and conflict between Odysseus’s ability to get a happy life in an immortal situation or being back with Penelope in the mortal life. Penelope, on the other hand, kept his suitors away and waited patiently for Odysseus. This added to the conflict and provided a broad view and idea that allows the reader to appreciate the struggle and challenge of the situation.


The section of Odysseus that discusses the interaction between him and Circe and Calypso provides an important and vital picture of the story. It is the central conflict and the denouement of the story and it presents the characters and the main picture of the story that links the background of Odysseus as a man who the oracles had predicted will stay away from his homeland for a long time if he fought on one side of the Trojan war and his end as a man who had major challenges and died in the face of all the challenges and difficulties he was going through. This utilizes various literary devices by presenting the most challenging aspect of the conflict and also informs the reader through the use of various literary devices on the important aspects of the conflict.

Montiglio, S. (2012). From Villain to Hero: Odysseus in Ancient Thought. Detroit: University of Michigan Press.
Morden, D., & Lupton, H. (2013). The Adventures of Odysseus. Cambridge, MA: Barefoot Books.