Figurative Language In The Odyssey

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In the epic poem, The Odyssey, Homer displays vulnerability and human mortality during Odysseus’ journey back home to Ithica. Figurative language is used to do so in the story, among other reasons such as using visualization and helping the audience understand the key points of the story. In The Odyssey, Homer used figurative language to show the audience that humans are vulnerable and completely mortal.

In the scene of Polythemus and his cave, figurative language is used to help the audience understand that Odysseus and his men are mortal and vulnerable to the immense cyclopes. This is displayed with a simile. “Neither reply nor pity came from him, [Polythemus] but in one stride he clutched at my companions and caught in two hands, like squirming puppies, to beat their brains
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To save themselves, Odysseus and his men had to use their brains over their brawn. The depiction of mortality of humans and their vulnerability was used with figurative language, and another example of this can be found in the scene of Scylla. The scene is set, and Scylla is stirring up the water to threaten Odysseus and his men. “All the sea was like a cauldron,” (II. 110-112) This is used to show the audience that the ocean was so dangerous, and how if the men fell in, they would die right away. We have all seen a boiling pot of water, and just hovering your hand over the water feels like a threat. We are still faced with the statistics of death by water to this day, so this is relatable to the audience even now. The use of Homer’s figurative language shows how dangerous the products of the gods are to the humans. The final example of this is found in part 4 of the story. “Think if a catch that fishermen haul in to a halfmoon bay in a fine-meshed net from the whitecaps of the sea: how all are poured out on to the sand, in throes for the salt sea, twitching their cold lives away in Helios’ fiery air: so lay the suitors heaped on one another.” (IV.
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