Annotated Bibliography: The Odyssey

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Annotated Bibliography De Romilly, Jacqueline. A Short History of Greek Literature. Translated by Lillian Doherty, The University of Chicago Press, 1985, pp. 16-21. Originally published as Précis de littérature grecque, © Presses Universitaires de France, 1980. The author outlines the developments of Greek literature throughout history, as well as the times and individuals of the era of their creation; she begins with Homer, the epic poem, and the traditional ideal of a hero. “The men who people the epic are heroes, and almost all are kings. Even in the Odyssey, where humbler people appear — the swineherd, the nurse, the beggar — these belong to the entourage of a prince” (17). De Romilly outlines the core belief that honor is achieved by the aristocracy through exploits upon the battlefield. However, The Odyssey does not focus on the heroism of the Trojan war; it deals in the aftermath. Odysseus, a man of great glory, wealth and power, is forced on…show more content…
113, no. 4, 1992, pp. 489–518. JSTOR, JSTOR. Accessed on 10 January 2018. According to Segal, though the gods hold different reasons for their contempt, it is above all else Odysseus’ hubris that prevents his voyage home. Though intelligent, Odysseus lacks the wisdom to control his nature. “He comes to grief because he cannot resist the temptation to gloat over his victory and make sure that his enemy knows the identity of his vanquisher” (494). Over the course of his journey for self knowledge, Odysseus slowly becomes more and more aware of his fault in character. He finds himself allowed to return to his native Ithaca after remaining on Calypso’s island for years. In a sense, his imprisonment there had served as penance. Following his service of time, Odysseus finds himself able to reach home and seize it from the hands of the wretched men who have attempted to claim his power. “ […] he succeeds because he identifies his purposes with the gods’ ways of justice and vengeance”

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