Odysseus Journey To The Underworld In Homer's Odyssey

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Odysseus and Aeneas visit the Underworld at crucial points in each story. They both seek answers and knowledge not available in the mortal world. Odysseus’s and Aeneas’s experiences had many differences, and some similarities as well. Odysseus visits the Underworld after his grueling experience at Troy, and is confronted by his past. Odysseus sees Elpenor, and is hit with the guilt of her body being unburied. The emphasis of The Odyssey is to exemplify the woes of men, whether it be sex, marriage, murder, lust, stealing, or lying. Odysseus travels to the Underworld to be cleansed for his return home. A lot of the details of the Underworld in The Odyssey are left to the audience’s imagination. We are led to believe that it is much worse than the physical world by Achilles’s quote in Book 11. He says, “I’d rather be a slave on earth for another man--/some dirt-poor tenant farmer who scrapes to keep alive--/than rule down here over all the breathless dead.” This is very intriguing to me because Achilles is in a position of power over the Underworld, and is still in agony. Homer’s idea of The Underworld is pretty similar to the ideology of the…show more content…
The Odyssey just focused on the people that effected Odysseus’s personal life, while in The Aenid there are many political influences. Aeneas travels to the many sections of The Underworld, and sees many assortments of people. He visits the swamp of suicides, unborn children, the heroes, the mourning fields, and the place for those awaiting reincarnation. The reoccurring theme of Roman superiority is even evident in hell when Aeneas is shown the souls that are going to be reincarnated, and go on to be glorious, powerful roman men. Aeneas also gets shown the future from a prophet. The outlook of the Underworld is completely different to Aeneas than it is to Odysseus. This is because Odysseus is a mere mortal, and Aeneas is

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