- My Preferences
- My Reading List
- The Odyssey
- Literature Notes
- The Odyssey at a Glance
- Poem Summary
- About The Odyssey
- Character List
- Summary and Analysis
- Books 13-14
- Books 15-16
- Character Analysis
- Athena (Pallas)
- Polyphemus (the Cyclops) and King Alcinous
- Circe and Calypso
- Character Map
- Homer Biography
- Critical Essays
- Major Themes in The Odyssey
- Major Symbols in The Odyssey
- Literary Devices of The Odyssey
- Famous Quotes from Homer's The Odyssey
- Film Versions of Homer's The Odyssey
- Full Glossary for The Odyssey
- Essay Questions
- Practice Projects
- Cite this Literature Note
Character Analysis Odysseus
Odysseus is a combination of the self-made, self-assured man and the embodiment of the standards and mores of his culture. He is favored by the gods and respected and admired by the mortals. Even the wrath of Poseidon does not keep him from his homecoming. He is confident that he represents virtue even when a modern audience might not be so sure. He is also a living series of contradictions, a much more complicated character than we would expect to find in the stereotypical epic hero. We can contrast Odysseus, for example, with the great warrior Achilles in The Iliad .
Achilles himself is not a two-dimensional stereotype. He has a tragic flaw, which can best be identified as hubris (an overbearing arrogance or misguided pride) as one of several distinguishing traits. But Achilles is a simpler character. According to the myth the Homeric Greeks would have known, Achilles was given a choice by the gods to live a short, glorious life full of excitement and heroism or a long, tranquil life with little recognition or fame. Achilles, of course, chose the glorious life; therefore, he achieves a kind of immortality through valor and intense, honest devotion to a cause.
Odysseus, in The Odyssey, is much more complicated. He lives by his wiles as well as his courage. He is an intellectual. Often he openly evaluates a situation, demonstrating the logic he employs in making his choices. When it proves effective, Odysseus lies (even to his own family), cheats, or steals in ways that we would not expect in an epic hero. Although he is self-disciplined (refusing to eat the lotus), his curiosity is sometimes the root of his trouble (as with the Cyclops).
He is willing to pay a price for knowledge; for example, he insists on hearing the Sirens' call, even though to do so, he must have himself excruciatingly strapped to the mast of his ship so that he cannot give in to the temptation. Odysseus can be merciful, as when he spares the bard Phemius, or brutal, as he seems when dealing with the dozen disloyal maidservants. He creates his own code of conduct through his adventures. He is deeper than Achilles, more contemplative, but still capable of explosive violence; he is almost certainly more interesting. It is easy to see why some critics like to call him the first "modern man."
Victory motivates Odysseus. He wants to return home and live well in Ithaca; as a result, every step along the way is another test, sometimes, another battle. His concern with victory is also cultural, as well as practical. In Homer's world, where there are no police or justice systems, might usually makes right. The strong prevail. Odysseus often has only two choices: death or victory. Even when Athena intervenes on his behalf, she often leaves ultimate success or failure up to Odysseus. During the battle with the suitors, for example, she could easily and quickly prevail; but she makes Odysseus earn the victory.
Appropriately, Odysseus' development as a character is complicated. He is, in every way, "the man of twists and turns" (1.1). While he does seem to grow throughout his wanderings, the reader should not look at each event as a one more learning experience for the hero. The Odyssey is not a lesson plan for growth; the episodes are not didactic examples of the importance of prudence or anything else.
When Odysseus left for Troy, he had already established his reputation as a hero. His participation in the war was crucial to the Greeks' victory. It was he who disguised himself as an old beggar and infiltrated the enemy. As Menelaus tells Telemachus in Book 4, it was Odysseus' legendary ruse of the Trojan horse that led to the defeat of Troy.
Certainly Odysseus does grow in wisdom and judgment throughout his ventures. His self-control while dealing with the suitors' insults is exemplary and contrasts, for example, with his earlier irresistible urge to announce his name to the Cyclops in Book 9. In other ways, however, he seems slow to learn. The most notable example being his difficulty in controlling his men. After the victory over the Cicones, Odysseus wisely wants to take the plunder and depart quickly (9.50). His men prefer to stay, leading to a defeat at the hands of reinforcements. When Aeolus grants the Greeks fair winds to Ithaca, Odysseus falls asleep within sight of home, enabling his suspicious, undisciplined crew to open the bag of ill winds and let loose a tempest that blows them off course. Again, on the island of the Sungod Helios, Odysseus' men disobey strict orders and feast on the sacred cattle when he goes inland to pray and falls asleep. The struggles Odysseus faces make his growth as a character more realistic and more credible because it is not simple or absolute.
Previous Book 24
has been added to your
Removing #book# from your Reading List will also remove any bookmarked pages associated with this title.
Are you sure you want to remove #bookConfirmation# and any corresponding bookmarks?
“The Odyssey” by Homer Essay
The Odyssey is the story of an old man (Odysseus) returning home and a young man (Telemachus) venturing out in search of himself. Telemachus, throughout the story, considered the heroic Odysseus as his model.
Throughout the story, there is a constant struggle of the growing Telemachus to imitate the actions of his father and then eventually become like him that he comes to an end of his journey. In the beginning of the poem, Homer does not give any indication to the readers that Telemachus will eventually go on a journey like his father.
Telemachus’s headway towards this goal actually shows how difficult were the goals and ventures of Odysseus. The text of The Odyssey presents a single framed narration of the hero, Odysseys, and the journey of a child, Telemachus, into manhood. This essay will demonstrate the comparisons and contrasts the tale draws between the two central characters of father and son.
There are distinct similarities between the character of Odysseus and Telemachus. The resemblance are so close that in one account Penelope had to reverse the procedure in identifying the true identity of her visitor as Odysseus.
In Odysseus 4, Helen’s description of Telemachus actually shows the close physical resemblance between the two characters. However, as a character in the book, Telemachus is often found to move under the shadow of his father’s heroic feats.
Odysseus is hailed a hero for his heroic adventures and conquests in the battle of Troy. Telemachus too tries to emulate his father, and like him, goes out on a voyage, but fails to attain full respect like his father. Therefore, a continuous struggle is observed in the text wherein there is continuous comparison between the two characters.
The writer, the readers, does it and even by Telemachus himself who felt that, he could never match up to his father’s valor. In Odyssey 2 , the episode in which Telemachus leaves a sword in unlocked room that helped the suitors to possess arms to combat the former.
Odysseus, though had made mistakes, could not be expected of making such a careless mistake. Eurymachus states that Telemachus could never muster the courage and conviction to face the threats of the suitors. In another instance, Leocritus points out that Telemachus may not venture out in a journey even after continues encouragement from his elders.
Homer’s epic poem portrays the character of Telemachus as a son who takes change of situation due to an absent father. Only till the father returns to take back the reigns. Therefore, to a great extent the character of Telemachus and his adventures hs been belittled in the text. However, Telemachus does show a sense of pride in his family and blood when he says that he will not shame his family.
Odysseus is critical of Telemachus when they reunite after the former’s return to Ithaca. Telemachus expresses his doubt on their reunion if the man who had transgressed from a beggar to the state of a hero could really be his father, to which Odysseus answers with impatience that had he not been the real father he would not have returned to Ithaca after twenty years of toiling.
In general, the characters of telemachus and Odysseus reflects on that of an obedient son tied by his duties and a gentle father happy to reunite with his family.
The poem stresses on equality and a cordial relation between Telemachus and Odysseus. However, it cannot be overlooked that the poem is more about Odysseus, who fought at Troy, and his grand heroic adventures and that of a mediocre son who lived a mundane life in the island of Ithaca encompassed by his family duties.
- Short Summary
- Summary & Analysis
- Literary Devices and Symbols
- Questions & Answers
- Essay Samples
- Essay Topics
- Homer: Biography
- Chicago (A-D)
- Chicago (N-B)
IvyPanda. (2022, August 26). "The Odyssey" by Homer. https://ivypanda.com/essays/the-odyssey/
""The Odyssey" by Homer." IvyPanda , 26 Aug. 2022, ivypanda.com/essays/the-odyssey/.
IvyPanda . (2022) '"The Odyssey" by Homer'. 26 August.
IvyPanda . 2022. ""The Odyssey" by Homer." August 26, 2022. https://ivypanda.com/essays/the-odyssey/.
1. IvyPanda . ""The Odyssey" by Homer." August 26, 2022. https://ivypanda.com/essays/the-odyssey/.
IvyPanda . ""The Odyssey" by Homer." August 26, 2022. https://ivypanda.com/essays/the-odyssey/.
- “Odysseys in Psychotherapy” by Shay Joseph and Wheelis Joan
- Homer's Odysseus and Penelope: Who Is Wiser?
- The Odyssey by Homer: Comprehensive Analysis of the Character of Penelope
- Greek Culture in Homer's "The Odyssey"
- Telemachus Journey From Boyhood to Hero: Homer's The Odyssey
- Telemachus: The Son of Ithaca Tsar, Odysseus, and Penelope
- Manhood in Homer’s Poem The Odyssey
- Importance of the Book "The Odyssey" by Homer
- Odysseus Adventures and Fate
- The Journey to the Land of the Dead: Homer's "The Odyssey"
- Literary Analysis Susan Glespell's Trifle
- The Problem with Mr. Gunes
- Othello and Snow Country: Personal Opinion
- Gathering Blue by Lois Lowry
- Leo Tolstoy's "The Death of Ivan Ilyich": Characters Analysis
Odysseus Is A Hero Argumentative Essay
Homer wrote many great poems, one of which being “The Odyssey.” Homer’s main characters were those who are to be considered heroes. Odysseus especially is one of them. Being the person that he was, Odysseus displayed many of the values and qualities the Greeks believed. These characteristics include Glory, Intelligence, Loyalty, and superhuman abilities (i.e. Super Strength, Really high I.Q. Level.) Throughout Homer’s great poem, Odysseus, who is the main character, displays all of these traits, and more. Odysseus is a hero.
Intelligence, one of the many things some struggle to present appears to come easily to Odysseus, as on page 569, “My name is Nohbdy: mother, father, and friends, everyone calls me Nohbdy.” Here, we see Odysseus and his intelligence deceive the Cyclops, in doing so, they manage an escape from the horrible beast, Polyphemus. Had Odysseus not been so intelligent, he and his men most certainly would have died in the cave of the Cyclops.
Loyalty, giving or showing firm and constant support or allegiance to a person or institution, is something not everyone can be or do. Odysseus however, is not everyone, he displays loyalty by never giving up on his journey home to Ithaca, where he is King, page 574, “Laertes’ son, whose home’s on Ithaca!” Odysseus here is shouting to the Cyclops that he is from Ithaca, and is now journeying back to his home. This shows loyalty, as he has continuing his voyage home, even after all of the challenges, and extenuating circumstances he has been put through.
Glory, which one can feel after the sensation of completing a noble advancement or challenge. Odysseus was glorified when he came home. As stated on page 610, when he addresses the suitors, who have overrun his house, “You yellow dogs, you thought I’d never make it home from the land of Troy. You took my house to plunder….” This dialogue is showing how Odysseus has glory in the tone of his voice, upon returning home and discovering his wife was being overrun by the suitors. This is a moment of Glory, as one would feel glorious after proving people wrong and achieving something others would believe to be impossible.
Some may argue that Odysseus is not a hero, because of his arrogance, or his bluntness. But they forget one thing, the good outweighs the bad in Odysseus’ case, as he fulfills his destiny, returns home, and saves his wife from an unwanted marriage. However, through these pieces of evidence, Odysseus has shown that he has the characteristics, that of a hero. In conclusion, Odysseus is a hero.
- Macbeth Tragic Hero Essay Example
- The Story of an Hour by Kate Chopin Analysis
- Emerging Themes in Young Adult Dystopian Literature and Their Relation to the Themes of Fahrenheit 451 (Essay Sample)
- Much Madness is Divinest Sense Poem Analysis
- Warnings in The Odyssey by Homer Essay Example
- Hamlet and Antigone Comparative Essay Example
- Essay Sample on The Witches in Macbeth
- Advice to Youth by Mark Twain Essay Example
- Essay Sample on Fear in Lord of the Flies
- Savagery in Golding’s Lord of the Flies Essay Sample
Didn't find the perfect sample?
You can order a custom paper by our expert writers
Why Odysseus Is an Example of a Dynamic Character?
A dynamic character is a literary persona who experiences a significant inner change, such as a shift in personality or attitude. Odysseus, the primary character in Homer’s epic work “The Odyssey”, is no different. Odysseus maintains his strategic perspective despite the hardships of combat and the difficulties of the voyage home.
Odysseus is a dynamic character since he is away from home for years and misses his family. He achieves victory in battle and is helped by the gods. He has long been regarded as a literary hero. Also, he undergoes significant transformations throughout his journey.
Odysseus is the central character in the Odyssey. The epic tells the story of his journey back home to his wife Penelope. He possesses several characteristics. He is strong, friendly, and brave, but most importantly, he is exceptionally clever. The epic tells the narrative of a Trojan War warrior and the King of Ithaca. He is renowned for his knowledge, wisdom, and courage. The Odyssey highlights how different experiences can cause people to shift their identities or social statuses. Within the narrative, the main character experiences different kinds of adventures and enemies. They have a substantial impact on his identity.
The story begins with Odysseus the warrior. As previously said, Odysseus is renowned for his intelligence. Odysseus uses deceptive discourse or voices, as well as disguises throughout the story to fool or perhaps confuse people. He regularly altered his appearance and the way he spoke and sounded. For example, Odysseus informs the Cyclops Polyphemus that his name is ‘No one.’ Also, while thrashing Polyphemus, he yells, ‘No one is beating you,’ when the Cyclops questions who is doing so.
He did so when others asked Polyphemus what was wrong and he said, ‘No one is harming me.’ The others expected that, ‘If you are alone as you are [Polyphemus], no one will use violence against you. Furthermore, in the sonnet, when he first meets and addresses Nausicaa on the island of Scheria, his calm, soothing demeanor quickly earns her trust. He was able to persuade and influence his audience throughout the story.
Characters in Homeric literature are often static. Even though they are extremely intelligent and reasonable, they do not evolve throughout the work in the same way that characters in contemporary books and stories do. Regardless, the main character of The Odyssey, Odysseus, breaks this tradition. Odysseus, being headstrong and needing to be known, begins his adventure in the grotto of Polyphemus, getting a charge out of the free drain and cheddar he discovers, and is caught there when the Cyclops returns. He even disguises himself as a deprived individual. As a poor person, he is mistreated and beaten, yet he does not react quickly to the rivals’ mistreatment. He will rather take up the battering until he constructs a trap, and his connections place him in a position to successfully strike back.
However, the battle with Polyphemus taught Odysseus that his most powerful weapons were his intelligence and knowledge. Following his successful escape, Odysseus learned to adapt to new surroundings. During the story, Athena disguised himself to appear as a beggar. Odysseus favors Athena, the goddess of wisdom and battle strategy. She repeatedly spares him at an important crossroads. Like Odysseus, Athena dislikes Poseidon, the ocean god and competitor in the story.
He had to begin his new life as a nobody to become a noble king once more. Odysseus killed his wife’s suitors while returning to Ithaca. The incident restored his previous identity. Odysseus killed the suitor to symbolize the hero’s physical return.
When Odysseus returned to Ithaca, he struggled to identify himself to his family. Penelope assumed Odysseus had died because he had been missing for twenty years. She didn’t recognize him when he returned home. Penelope was motivated by Athena to take up an arrow-shooting mission. The goddess was confident that Odysseus would fulfill his duty. With her support, the family agreed to take Odysseus. He also restored his standing as king in society owing to her counsel. She orders the inhabitants of Ithaca to formally acknowledge Odysseus as king. Odysseus’ return to Ithaca restored his actual status.
Considering everything into account, Odysseus embarked on this remarkable self-absorbed warrior, knowing that he had no choice but to bite the bullet and that everyone knew his name, husband, and father.
Throughout the story, Odysseus’ response to the inquiry changes through foreshadowing and flashbacks. He grows and develops as a character throughout the story. By the end, he is progressively quiet and can put his pride aside. He becomes increasingly crafty, even lowering his stature as Lord of Ithaca, and masking himself as an ordinary man, allowing mistreatment from the suitors. In this way, Odysseus is a round figure who grows as a character.
What are the Different Types of Assembly Languages?
My Most Embarrassing Moment Essay
Odin Project vs. FreeCodeCamp: Which is the Best?
Leave a Reply Cancel reply
Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *
- Featured Posts
200 Impressive Business Essay Topics
175 unique bioethics topics to consider for academic paper, apa vs. mla: know the major differences between the citation styles, top 155 java project ideas for beginners and experts, know interesting facts about c language, 120 best classification essay topics and ideas, language analysis- definition, features, elements and techniques, how does assignment play a vital role in enhancing grades, how i sleep at night knowing i’m failing all my cl- tymoff, get help instantly.
Raise Your Grades with Great Assignment Help
Why is Odysseus not a hero?
Odysseus, who is the main character of the book “The Odyssey” written by Homer, would fit the dictionary’s definition of a hero. Odysseus is a Greek warrior who is well known for his intelligence and strong character. However, Odysseus is not a hero in the traditional sense. Odysseus acted out of self-interest when he easily left his men behind to die on Calypso’s island without any remorse or guilt. Odysseus also constantly made decisions based upon what was best for Odysseus’s own life and that of his family without considering how it would affect others around him, such as his men.
Odysseus constantly lied throughout the course of the book to achieve what was best for himself at the time which contrasts with traditional heroes who are honest to a fault. Odysseus’s wife Penelope was the only person Odysseus trusted fully throughout their marriage, Odysseus constantly lied to her. Odysseus also never considered the feelings of his men by leaving them behind on Calypso’s island which contrasted with traditional heroes who are loyal to a fault. Odysseus is not a hero in the traditional sense because he does not have morals or values that contrast with Homer’s “The Odyssey.”
Odysseus does not have morals since Odysseus leaves his men to die on Calypso’s island without feeling any guilt or remorse, Odysseus lies constantly to achieve what is best for Odysseus, Odysseus has no loyalty to anyone except Penelope. Odysseus also leaves every situation at the first sign of danger even if it means leaving someone behind who needs help such as when Odysseus left Polyphemus and his men behind after Odysseus blinding Polyphemus because he knew that if he waited until morning then Polyphemus would kill him and all of Odysseus’s men.
Why Odysseus is not a hero in the traditional sense because Odysseus does not have the traditional Greek values of bravery, loyalty, and honesty. Odysseus’s intelligence is his only admirable trait in “The Odyssey.” Odysseus is not a hero in the traditional sense because he does not have any traditional Greek values which define a hero. Odysseus is a liar and Odysseus leaves everyone behind at the first sign of danger which Odysseus does not have any loyalty to anyone, Odysseus also has no morals since Odysseus leaves his men on Calypso’s island without feeling any guilt or remorse. Odysseus is not a hero in the traditional sense because Odysseus does not have any Greek heroic values which define a hero.
A true hero shows bravery when rescuing someone from harm such as when Achilles rescued Briseis from Agamemnon’s hands after he stole her from Achilles even though he knew that if he did this then Agamemnon would steal Achilles’s war prize Chryses ‘ daughter whom Agamemnon did steal and was angered at his actions. Odysseus never did any brave acts in Homer’s “The Odyssey,” Odysseus is not a hero in the traditional sense because Odysseus does not have Greek heroic values which define a hero.
Odysseus also shows loyalty to Odysseus’s wife Penelope such as when Odysseus leaves every situation at the first sign of danger including leaving behind someone who needs help such as when Odysseus left Polyphemus and his men behind after Odysseus blinding Polyphemus because he knew that if he waited until morning then Polyphemus would kill him and all of Odysseus’s men.
Odysseus definitely does not have this because he kills people without any kind of remorse or guilt such as Odysseus’s father Laertes whom Odysseus kills with a poison arrow because Odysseus is angry at his father for not revealing Odysseus’ secrets which Odysseus had asked him not to. Odysseus also killed all of Penelope’s suitors whom Penelope rejected without any hesitation and after they were warned not to lay a hand on Odysseus ever again.
Odysseus does show this since Odysseus left Polyphemus behind when he knew that if he waited until morning then Polyphemus would kill him and all of Odysseus’ men. Odysseus’ intelligence is his only admirable trait in “The Odyssey.” Odysseus is not a hero in the traditional sense because Odysseus does not have Greek heroic values which define a hero. Odysseus is not a true hero because Odysseus never showed any bravery, Odysseus never showed any loyalty to Odysseus’s wife Penelope, and Odysseus also killed people without any kind of remorse or guilt. Odysseus is definitely not a true hero in the traditional sense because Odysseus does not have any Greek heroic values which define a true hero.
Odysseus is an interesting character in Greek mythology, but he is not a hero in the traditional sense. Odysseus lacks the traditional Greek values of bravery, loyalty, and honesty, which define a hero. Odysseus is intelligent, but his lack of morals and cowardice make him an unworthy hero. Odysseus is not a true hero in the traditional sense, and he does not have any Greek heroic values which define a true hero. Odysseus is an interesting character in Greek mythology, but he is not a hero in the traditional sense because he does not have any of the traditional Greek values which define a hero.
Odysseus is intelligent, but his lack of morals and cowardice make him an unworthy hero. Odysseus is definitely not a true hero in the traditional sense because Odysseus does not have any of the Greek heroic values which define a true hero. Odysseus is an interesting character in Greek mythology, he falls short of being called a hero in the traditional sense since Odysseus does not have any of the Greek heroic values which define a true hero.
Odysseus is interesting, Odysseus might prove himself worthy to be called Odysseus is Odysseus in Homer’s “The Odyssey,” but he certainly cannot be called Odysseus is a hero in the traditional sense. Odysseus’ intelligence is his only admirable trait, Odysseus definitely lacks morals and Odysseus never showed bravery which is all traits highly attributed to heroes. Odyssey, but he certainly cannot be called Odysseus intelligence is his only admirable trait, Odysseus intelligence is his only admirable trait in “The Odyssey.”
- Essay on Character Analysis Of Odysseus In The Odyssey By Homer
- The Odyssey, the hero Odysseus
- Character Analysis Of Odysseus In Homer’s Odyssey ‘ Essay
- Odysseus and Medea
- Odysseus & Aeneas
- The Odyssey by Homer
- Eminem As A Hero Essay
- Leopold Bloom anti-hero
- Odyssey and Woman Treatment
- Essay about The Role Of Death In The Epic Of Gilgamesh
Leave a Comment Cancel reply
Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment.
A Feminist Retelling of the Medusa Myth, for Middle Graders
In Katherine Marsh’s new novel, the girl with the snaky curls loses neither her head nor her wits.
- Share full article
By Nalini Jones
Nalini Jones, author of the story collection “What You Call Winter,” teaches literature seminars in the M.F.A. fiction program at Columbia University.
- Apple Books
- Barnes and Noble
When you purchase an independently reviewed book through our site, we earn an affiliate commission.
MEDUSA (The Myth of Monsters, Book 1), by Katherine Marsh
When I teach contemporary rewritings of Greek mythology, I begin with a warning: The world these myths conjure is especially brutal for women. We read fiction about Iphigenia, sacrificed by her father, Agamemnon; about Clytemnestra, duped into sending her daughter to her death; about Briseis and the Trojan women, captured by Greek invaders and subjected to every imaginable horror. We see the lonesome drudgery of Penelope at her loom and of her doomed maids, hanged upon Odysseus’ return. The rape and banishment of Persephone, the grief of her mother, Demeter.
So it’s a treat to encounter a fearless heroine in Katherine Marsh’s “Medusa (The Myth of Monsters, Book 1).”
Ava is a seventh grader coping with wild brown curls; an older brother, named Jaxon, who always seems to outshine her; childhood friends turned mean girls; and flares of anger her mother urges her to control.
When a classmate pushes her too far, the intensity of Ava’s rage literally freezes the boy in place and sets in motion an unexpected journey for Ava and Jax.
Within days, they’re enrolled in their mother’s alma mater, the Accademia del Forte — a boarding school founded by Zeus, Poseidon and Hades — where they’re informed that they, and all their fellow students, are the descendants of “monsters.” Not to worry, the smooth-talking headmaster, Mr. O’Ryan (a.k.a. Orion, Poseidon’s son), assures them; their education will prepare them to control any unseemly powers that develop in their adolescence, quash monstrous impulses and “be forces of good, rather than evil.”
Choosing their own destiny doesn’t sound too bad, although early on a fiery Irish girl named Fia demands to know why there aren’t any goddesses in the frescoes on the Great Hall’s ceiling.
Ava is eager to follow her mother’s example and “fit in to normal mortal society.” For the first time she’s a top student; even myth enthusiasts might wonder at her encyclopedic knowledge of all things Greek. She’s eclipsing Jax. She’s making true friends. She doesn’t want the lonely life of a monster.
But slowly Fia’s outbursts, Ava’s own questions and glimpses of her mother’s surprising history reveal a more sinister agenda at the Accademia, where Orwellian conformity shores up the power of male gods.
When Fia is harmed, she and Ava team up with their friends on a quest to find Medusa. Instead of slaying her (as Perseus did), they must restore her.
Greek mythology is a pillar of both Accademia coursework and this middle grade saga, but the novel is most inventive when Marsh (a 2023 National Book Award finalist for “The Lost Year” ) finds lively ways to disrupt its familiar narratives.
The school is not in Greece but in a Venetian palazzo — an eccentric and invigorating choice. The adventurers make their escape during Carnevale. Poseidon lurks in canals and lagoons, sending floods to discipline unruly students.
Descendants of Scylla and Charybdis show up as malevolent swim team members but also reveal an unexpected twist: The sight of Medusa (and her wild-haired descendants) petrifies only boys and men.
Athena, the traditional ally of male heroes, from Perseus to Odysseus — and Medusa’s nemesis — is hostile in this retelling. It’s Demeter, the nurturing health teacher, who offers counsel and gifts. “The world we live in isn’t fair,” Ms. Demi tells her students. “Maybe someday that will change.”
Here is a novel that casts young people as agents of that change, while acknowledging the risks they face when adults, or a pack of patriarchal gods, lie in wait to silence those who speak truth to power.
At first only Fia intuits that what the school calls monstrous might actually be “a superpower.” But Marsh does well to let Ava find her voice gradually, because this book hinges on the power of storytelling. It’s only through piecing together Medusa’s secret history that the children can save themselves.
Among Marsh’s most satisfying choices for upending established versions of Greek myths is her omission of Perseus. The golden boy of the standard narrative is pushed to the margins, hinted at in sly references to Ava’s fear of sharp objects and in her mother’s warning that “it’s important not to lose your head.”
Instead, Marsh shines a light on the hearth goddess Hestia, whose tiny form reflects how rarely she figures in stories of the pantheon. Hecate and Metis emerge as mothers with transformative love for their daughters. Persephone may be seasonally confined to the underworld, but she’s more than capable of managing Hades.
In this feminist retelling, girls take the lead while boys support and trust them.
At the heart of the adventure are the bonds Ava forms with her friends and the evolving dynamics of both her ancestral family and her relationships with her mother and Jax.
I wish Marsh had done more with Ava’s father, who barely registers. But many Olympians also haven’t made memorable appearances yet — and Athena’s arc offers intriguing possibilities for Book 2.
MEDUSA : The Myth of Monsters, Book 1 | By Katherine Marsh | Ages 8 to 12 | Clarion | 288 pp. | $19.99
Explore More in Books
Want to know about the best books to read and the latest news start here..
In Lucy Sante’s new memoir, “I Heard Her Call My Name,” the author reflects on her life and embarking on a gender transition in her late 60s.
For people of all ages in Pasadena, Calif., Vroman’s Bookstore, founded in 1894, has been a mainstay in a world of rapid change. Now, its longtime owner says he’s ready to turn over the reins .
The graphic novel series “Aya” explores the pains and pleasures of everyday life in a working-class neighborhood in West Africa with a modern African woman hero.
Like many Nigerians, the novelist Stephen Buoro has been deeply influenced by the exquisite bedlam of Lagos, a megacity of extremes. Here, he defines the books that make sense of the chaos .
Do you want to be a better reader? Here’s some helpful advice to show you how to get the most out of your literary endeavor .
Each week, top authors and critics join the Book Review’s podcast to talk about the latest news in the literary world. Listen here .
Home — Essay Samples — Literature — Odysseus — How Odysseus is not a Hero He Seems to Be
How Odysseus is not a Hero He Seems to Be
- Categories: Odysseus The Odyssey
About this sample
Words: 674 |
Published: Dec 16, 2021
Words: 674 | Page: 1 | 4 min read
Cite this Essay
Let us write you an essay from scratch
- 450+ experts on 30 subjects ready to help
- Custom essay delivered in as few as 3 hours
Get high-quality help
- Expert in: Literature
+ 120 experts online
No need to pay just yet!
2 pages / 1112 words
2 pages / 931 words
2 pages / 807 words
4 pages / 1738 words
Remember! This is just a sample.
You can get your custom paper by one of our expert writers.
121 writers online
Still can’t find what you need?
Browse our vast selection of original essay samples, each expertly formatted and styled
Related Essays on Odysseus
Odysseus exemplifies adventure, courage, and the values of the Greeks, is Odysseus a hero? This essay proves that an epic hero is not only a personification of that culture but also the best version of that culture. The Odyssey [...]
The relationship between male and female is a key theme in the Odyssey and has been increasingly popular in recent scholarship. This essay will explore the representation of three types of relationship in Odyssey: husband and [...]
Odysseus is an effective leader by the way he positively motivates, delegates, and innovates his men but struggles a little bit on communication.Odysseus demonstrates effective delegation in the task he gives to his men. When [...]
Being a leader is a very honorable and important status. In order to serve as a good leader one must have certain qualities about their personality and abilities. Leaders must fall above their followers in certain ways, like [...]
The Odyssey is a story about Odysseus’ return home, and the struggles he faces. Odysseus is a king who is deeply respected for his combat triumphs and heroism in the trojan war. He is missing for 10 years and his wife Penelope [...]
The Epic of Gilgamesh and The Odyssey both deals with characters that question their mortality due to death. Gilgamesh and Odysseus are motivated by attaining glory and honor. Both of these stories show how fame can interact [...]
By clicking “Send”, you agree to our Terms of service and Privacy statement . We will occasionally send you account related emails.
Where do you want us to send this sample?
Be careful. This essay is not unique
This essay was donated by a student and is likely to have been used and submitted before
Download this Sample
Free samples may contain mistakes and not unique parts
Sorry, we could not paraphrase this essay. Our professional writers can rewrite it and get you a unique paper.
Please check your inbox.
We can write you a custom essay that will follow your exact instructions and meet the deadlines. Let's fix your grades together!
Get Your Personalized Essay in 3 Hours or Less!
- Instructions Followed To The Letter
- Deadlines Met At Every Stage
- Unique And Plagiarism Free