Role Of Storyteller In The Odyssey

1112 Words5 Pages
In The Odyssey, references to musicians or poets like the author, Homer, are often used to enhance the story and the character of the poem’s hero, Odysseus. Homer inserts himself and his identity as a storyteller into his story this way, creating a comparative relationship between himself and his hero. Homer’s comparative relationship, expressed through the use of the character Demodokhos, the use of deities, and descriptions of Odysseus himself, stresses the importance of storytellers as most fit to understand heroes and their stories. As directed by the poet, storytellers in the poem are most able to provide insight into those they speak about because of the similarities between them and their heroes. Directly embodying Homer and other poets,…show more content…
Poets in The Odyssey are truly able to feel as the heroes did in their tellings to provoke strong emotions from…show more content…
Previously, Homer inserted his character into less major roles, but, when Odysseus becomes a storyteller, Homer is able to show his understanding of the character in the most in-depth way possible. For instance, Odysseus spends Books Nine to Twelve acting as a minstrel would, recounting detailed tales of adventures at sea and the moving story of a hero’s hardships to the Phaiakian court. When Odysseus is finished with his storytelling, “no one stirred or sighed in the shadowy hall, spellbound as they all were” (13.1-2), as his account of his story moved all to silence. Homer’s understanding of Odysseus is spotlighted, as the four chapters are told through Odysseus’s narration of events and the hero is put into the mindset of the speaker. He finishes by telling the court, “Those adventures made a long evening, and I do not hold with tiresome repetition of a story” (12.578-580), suggesting that, instead of simply conveying a story without thought, Homer told his stories with investment, understanding, and emotion the way Odysseus does. Furthermore, Odysseus is again characterized in comparison to figures like Homer through epic simile. As the hero prepares to complete the difficult trick of shooting an arrow through twelve axeheads before the suitors, the poet describes him, “like a musician, like a harper, with quiet hand upon his
Open Document