Epic Similes in the Odyssey
Legendary similes are literary comparisons suggested to distract the reader from the story. In The Odyssey, the author Homer utilizes legendary similes to detract the reader from the brutality present in fight. These similes demonstrate the festal and barbaric qualities that guys adopt when they are in battle and often compare warriors to majestic animals, like lions, attacking prey. When it is time for the battle between Odysseus and the suitors to begin, the suitors, mad with the fear of death, storm like stampeding livestock at Odysseus and his guys.
In this simile Odysseus and his men are compared to falcons: “After them the attackers wheeled, as terrible as falcons from eyries in the mountains diverting over and diving down with talons wide unsheathed on flights of birds, who tremble down the sky in chutes and bursts along the valley.” (Book XXII, L 337-340) This scene is a referral to Penelope’s dream in which an eagle came down from a mountain to kill all of the geese feeding at Odysseus’s palace (Book XIX, L622-626). Odysseus’s men have actually submitted for several years, sustaining the vile behavior of the suitors and waiting on Odysseus to return from Troy.
After enjoying the suitors make use of the palace and cattle of their king, Odysseus’s guys can finally launch the anger and resentment they feel towards the despicableness of the suitors, as shown in the fierceness of the battle; they take no mercy on the suitors and slaughter them. The men are portrayed as hawks, eager birds that are intent on capturing their victim and ripping it apart with their “talons.” When the battle in the hall is over, Odysseus calls Eurykleia to help perform his plans.
But when she gets in the hall, Eurykleia discovers Odysseus covered in blood and surrounded by the dead suitors: “In the shadowy hall ull of deadmen she discovered his dad spattered and caked with blood like a mountain lion when he has gorged upon an ox, his kill– with hot blood glistening over his chest, smeared on his jaws, baleful and terrifying.” (Book XXII, L 448– 453) The comparison of Odysseus to a mountain lion is made several times in the impressive. Here, Odysseus is offered a savageness that indicates that he is not yet all set to rule the serene individuals of Ithaca, despite the fact that his long journey back to Ithaca has considerably civilized him.
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The sheer bloodiness and mood of the scene reveal that just like his guys, Odysseus has actually been reducing his anger and aggravation the entire time he was far from Ithaca. However, unlike that of his men, Odyseus’s anger stems from losing all of his males from the Trojan War due to the fact that they lost trust in him and having the suitors exploit his home and household. In this battle, Odysseus treats the suitors as his real prey. “With hot blood glistening over his chest/ … baleful and terrifying” (L 452– 453).
There is the implication that Odysseus put all his anger and disappointment into this fight so that he could lastly ignore the atrocities that were dedicated in Troy and start a brand-new civilized life as king of Ithaca. In The Odyssey, Homer regularly uses epic similes during battle scenes. In these similes, Homer indicates that war brings out the savagery in Odysseus and his men. Since of this absence of civility, the men treat the suitors like their victim. Ultimately, both acts of bloodshed were intensified by disappointment indirectly brought on by Odysseus’s long voyage far from Ithaca.