How does homer bring his stories to life?

My analytical essay on how Home brings his stories in the Odyssey to life

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  • Created by: rita
  • Created on: 27-05-13 16:11
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How Does Homer Bring His Stories to Life in `the
Odyssey'?
In his Odyssey, Homer employs a wide range of techniques to keep the
audience absorbed by the adventures of its hero Odysseus.
In order to bring his stories to life Homer uses amazing description of
scenes and images throughout the book. Homer often uses very detailed
gruesome imagery when describing horrific events in the story. For
example in book 9 home describes the Cyclops' eye being stabbed " we
handles our pole with its red hot point and twisted it in his eye till the
blood boiled up round the burning wood. The scorching heat singed his lids
and brow all round, while his eyeball blazed and the very roots crackled in
the flame." By using very powerful figurative writing Homer manages to
engage his reader and play with his emotions. Homer also uses many
metaphors and similes in order to bring his stories to life, "the Cyclops' eye
hissed round the olive stake in the same way that an axe or adze hisses
when a smith plunges it into cold water in order to quench and strengthen
the iron." The similes and metaphors help the reader to imagine what
Homer is describing and that makes the story all the more exciting. Also it
helps the reader relate to what is being described as, for example, they
might not know what sound would come out of an eye being stabbed with a
hot wooden stick whereas they would be quite familiar with the sound of a
hot axe being plunged into water, and by comparing one to the other it
becomes easier for the reader to imagine this actually happening and so
the story begins to come to life for them.
Homer not only uses gruesome detail in his Odyssey but also description of
beauty and scenery. For example when describing Calypso's cave in book 5
Homer uses very precise detail in order to convey the image to the reader "
The cave was sheltered by a copse of alders and fragrant cypresses, which
was the roosting-place of wide-winged birds, horned owls and falcons and
cormorants with long tongues, birds of the coast, whose business takes
them down to the sea." By using imagery and describing the senses Homer
gets the desired effect on the reader. Homer also describes the looks of
character very precisely; "the Nymph dressed herself in a long silvery
mantle of a fine and elegant material, with a splendid golden belt round
her waist, and a scarf over her head." Through such careful description of
the characters the reader has a very clear image in their head and the
story appears to be more realistic as it is easier to imagine everything.

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Throughout the Odyssey Homer continuously uses epithets in order to
describe characters; for example "fresh and rosy fingered Dawn",
"enduring Odysseus", "formidable goddess" and many, many more. The use
of epithets throughout the stories helps the reader understand the most
important characteristics of the characters at the point of time.…read more

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