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The Odyssey (Essay Sample)


The assignment involved answering several questions about "The Odyssey" and other short stories and plays. The sample provides answers and opinions to questions submitted by the customer.

The Odyssey
1. How is “The Odyssey” an epic?
The first characteristic of “The Odyssey” that makes it an epic is that it is a long narrative poem based on Odysseus’s vast mythical experiences. As Odysseus journeys across the sea, he interacts with many people and mythical creatures. In his journey, Odysseus comes to Ogygia, Aeolys Island, and the land of Cyclopes that are mythical creatures. Odysseus is also forced to visit the Underworld to seek Tiresias. The blind Tiresias has the powers to foresee the future and tell Odysseus whether his journey back to Ithaca would be successful or not. The second characteristic that makes “The Odyssey” an epic poem is supernatural powers and wisdom of its main character. Odysseus succeeds in stringing the bow that had all the other suitors failed to string. His ability to pull the bow’s strings shows that he had unmatchable and supernatural strength. Odysseus also uses great strength and wisdom to resist the beautiful Calypso, who imprisons him on Ogygia. Odysseus fights and defeats Polyphemus, a Cyclops, who is also Poseidon’s son. Another feature that makes “The Odyssey’ an epic poem are the conversations involving the gods and goddesses. The deities meet at Mount Olympus to discuss Odysseus’s future, and this demonstrates that Odysseus was important to both mortals and immortals.
2. Hospitality in “The Odyssey”
Hospitality is well demonstrated in “The Odyssey” on several occasions. For instance, Nestor and his subjects welcome Telemachus to their feast at Plyos although he was a stranger to them. Nestor asks Telemachus to identify himself after the feast and demonstrates how generous Nestor was. Later, Nestor gives Telemachus expensive gifts while his daughter, Polycaste, treats Telemachus kindly. Telemachus is also treated well by Menelaus, the Spartan king, when he visits the latter’s kingdom, and he receives gifts from his generous host. Odysseus meets Nausicaa, King Alcinous’ daughter, who treats him with great hospitality on the Phaeacian’s island. King Alcinous and the other lords of Phaeacia offer Odysseus numerous gifts although they do not know him. King Alcinous later inquires about Odysseus’s identity after treating him well.
3. The interaction of gods/goddesses and human in “The Odyssey” and “The Epic of Gilgamesh”
The gods/goddesses play an important role in influencing the lives of the characters in both stories. In “The Odyssey,” the goddess Athena decides to help Telemachus to ward off suitors bothering Penelope. Athena also assists Telemachus to travel to Sparta and Pylos. Zeus intervenes to have Odysseus released from Ogygia by sending Hermes to convince Calypso to release her captive. When Poseidon tries to kill Odysseus, Athena intervenes and rescues Odysseus from Poseidon’s fury. Gods/goddesses also interact with people in “The Epic of Gilgamesh” on several occasions. For instance, the goddess Aruru creates Enkidu after Gilgamesh’s subjects complained about his leadership. The god Shamash helps Gilgamesh and Enkidu to defeat the ogre, Humbaba.
4. How the biblical story of Joseph differs from The Koran’s version. What is the significance of the difference?
The biblical version of Joseph's story has several differences from the Koranic version of the story. For instance, the biblical version indicates that Jacob wept for his dead son upon seeing Joseph’s torn and bloodied shirt while the Koranic version indicates that Jacob lamented for his sons' souls. The difference is significant because the biblical version suggests that Jacob did not understand the evil nature of his sons while the Koranic version suggests that Jacob knew that his sons had killed their brother due to their evil nature.
The biblical version of the story points out that Jacob sent Joseph to meet his brothers while the Koranic version points out t...
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