The Odyssey Critical Lens Essay

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Throughout Homer’s The Odyssey, characters develop opinions on others based on how they perceive them. As well as viewing others in certain ways, these characters perceive themselves in certain ways. Based on how characters view themselves and are viewed by others, the characters make certain decisions to drive the story of The Odyssey forward. Primarily, near the beginning of the book, in the stories that Odysseus recounts to Alkinoos, Odysseus tells of his past self, who identified himself as a hero who would always prevail. In the retelling of past events, Odysseus talks of sailing home from the Trojan War and landing on the Island of the Kyklopes. When his crew is bustling to leave a cave on the island, after sacking it, Odysseus tells Alkinoos “..., I refused. I wished / to see the caveman, what he had to offer - / no pretty sight, it turned out, for my friends” (9. 248-250). Odysseus, seeing himself as a hero character, led to him to be arrogant, making the decision to stay in the cave, putting his crew in harm’s way. And in turn, driving the story forward. In a …show more content…

471-473). By mentioning the swineherd’s care for Penelope and Telemakhos, Athena piques Odysseus’ interest and eventually persuades him by making him more open to suggestion. Considering all of the evidence above, identity and self-identification affect the way the characters act furthers the story, so it can be said that the story is furthered by epithets, and how they help characters be identified. Identity and self-identification drive The Odyssey’s story. Through these topics, even characters who do not have much action in the story can have major effects on

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