Personification In The Odyssey

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Katrina Mayer once said, “A book is a magical thing that lets you travel to faraway places without you ever leaving your chair.” This quote clearly applies to The Odyssey; this ancient greek epic (The Odyssey by Homer) follows the story of Odysseus of Ithaca and his lengthy voyage home following the Trojan war. The book itself is an ageless classic, however it wouldn't be the same without Homer’s unique use of figurative language to depict this story. His two most effective literary tools were his epic similes and personification. His epic similes gave a romantic description of critical, emotion filled scenes. Homer’s use of personification gave a new sense of life to ordinary ideas, which gave a new layer of depth of to the story. Both of …show more content…

An example of this can be found in lines 177-188 of The Odyssey. These lines read, “Now from his breast into his eyes the ache of longing mounted, and he wept at last, his dear wife, clear and faithful, in his arms, longed for as the sun warmed earth is longed for by a swimmer spent in rough waters where his ship went down under Poseidon’s blows, gale winds and tons of sea. Few men can crawl, clotted with brine, on kindly beaches in joy, in joy, knowing the abyss behind: and she too rejoiced, her gaze on her husband, her white arms round him pressed as though forever.” This beautiful simile demonstrates, in depth, how much he cares for his wife. He goes as far as to compare someone who longs for shore after a shipwreck, to how much he longed for his wife. This is shown again earlier in the book when Odysseus is desperately clinging on to a tree branch over a deathly whirlpool waiting for his raft: “And ah! How long, with what desire I waited! Till, at the twilight hour when one who hears and judges pleas in the market place all day between contentious men, goes home to supper, the long poles at least reared from sea…” This simile gives a clear picture of Odysseus’s exhaustion and enduring strength. This helps the audience better relate to Odysseus, and develop a deeper relation with this book.
The other critical literary device most effectively utilized by Homer in the story of The Odyssey was personification.

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