The Relationship Between Reality And The Supernatural In Homer's The Odyssey

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Discuss the relationship between reality and the supernatural in the Odyssey In Homer’s “The Odyssey” reality and the supernatural are beautifully blended. These two separated worlds, in Homer’s epic poem become one in a fascinating, but also simple and acceptable way. The interaction between reality and fantasy, between humans and gods is admittedly present from the beginning until the end of the epic.
To be more specific, we are introduced to a realistic environment of that era, the life in the palace of Ithaca. Firstly, the social system is patriarchal and women hold an inferior position in society. In book two, one of the suitors tells Telemachus how they forced his mother, Penelope, to finish weaving the burial shroud. Ancient Greek society had very specific gender roles, expecting men to be masculine and domineering while women were passive and obedient. Secondly, slaves serve family and the guests’ needs, for example the household’s slaves were used to entertain the suitors. They are expected to serve the suitors and put up with their rude demeanor. Furthermore, social traditions like xenia for example are strong, important and sacred. That is the most important reason why Penelope and Telemachus can’t take the suitors out of the palace, despite their disgraceful behavior. This typical realistic scene of Ancient Greece blends with the supernatural throughout the epic. In fact, there are many examples in the Odyssey when fantasy is present in the epic’s reality:

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