Descriptive Language In The Odyssey

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The Odyssey is one of two major ancient Greek epic poems attributed to Homer. It is, in part, a sequel to the Iliad, the other work ascribed to Homer. The story raises questions for both the readers of The Odyssey and the characters it’s story contains. In Zimmerman’s work viewers experience a simplified interpretation of Homer’s grand and verbacious text. As viewers experience characters like Agamemnon, Telemachus and Calypso exhibit emotion through actors in Zimmerman’s stage direction. Homer is able to use epithets and figurative imagery. Homer’s story placed an emphasis on the descriptive language that made Zimmerman’s actors successful, as his character development is there as her stage directions. In Book I the metaphorical stage is…show more content…
Zimmerman’s script of The Odyssey informs actors’ as she interprets her stage direction and dialog from Homer in a way he could not. In many ways, The Odyssey is about Telemachus’s homecoming as much as Odysseus, especially in Book I. As throughout Book I, the demeanor towards “young Telemachus” who is the “prince of the house” as his “god-like” father is assumed dead all while the suitors continue to take advantage of his required hospitality. Zimmerman’s dialog attempts to mimic Homer’s original characters’ dialog that is dense with imagery and epithets such as “thoughtful Telemachus” (Homer) are lost in translation. When Telemachus is tasked with interacting with the suitors in Zimerman’s play his awkward and naivete is highlighted as the suitors demean him. Even when Telemachus is in the presence of a God (Athena) according to stage direction, “the Suitors make a disturbance”, repeatedly. Then when Telemachus is talking to Athena he lives up to Homer’s epithet of “thoughtful” as he is the only character to hesitate in his dialog written by Zimmerman as well as having the humility to state “I don’t know”. Seeing an actor interpret Zimmerman’s dialog could possibly be superior to Homer, but as a reader, the emotion and artistic liberties are…show more content…
In Book V of Homer’s The Odyssey, Kalypso is immediately described as having a “sweet voice”. In compilation with Homer’s use of words like “flourishing” and “golden”, undoubtedly influenced Zimmerman’s play and the way the characters act in the stage directions. In both stories, Calypso (or Kalypso), is a dominating goddess who holds Odysseus captive for seven years in hopes of marrying him. Her introduction in Zimmerman’s play is a scene where Hermes, as a messenger for Zeus, demands she release Odysseus. With statements towards Calypso to “show more grace in your obedience” and stage direction where Calypso must “tag along”, Zimmerman’s rendition illustrates a woman, even a god, is placed below others. In Homer’s original text Kalypso has the epithet of “shining goddess” in the same passage where Zeus a more powerful and revered god is described with imagery of a “shining lightning bolt”. The contradiction between Kalypso’s godliness and her stature among other gods is a contradiction both works contain
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