Historical background[ edit ] Approximate central regions of tribes mentioned in Beowulf, with the location of the Angles in Angeln.
Odysseus fought among the other Greek heroes at Troy and now struggles to return to his kingdom in Ithaca. Odysseus is the husband of Queen Penelope and the father of Prince Telemachus.
Though a strong and courageous warrior, he is most renowned for his cunning. He is a favorite of the goddess Athena, who often sends him divine aid, but a bitter enemy of Poseidon, who frustrates his journey at every turn.
Read an in-depth analysis of Odysseus. An infant when Odysseus left for Troy, Telemachus is about twenty at the beginning of the story. He is a natural obstacle to the suitors desperately courting his mother, but despite his courage and good heart, he initially lacks the poise and confidence to oppose them.
His maturation, especially during his trip to Pylos and Sparta in Books 3 and 4, provides a subplot to the epic. Athena often assists him. Read an in-depth analysis of Telemachus.
Penelope spends her days in the palace pining for the husband who left for Troy twenty years earlier and never returned.
Homer portrays her as sometimes flighty and excitable but also clever and steadfastly true to her husband. Read an in-depth analysis of Penelope. Athena assists Odysseus and Telemachus with divine powers throughout the epic, and she speaks up for them in the councils of the gods on Mount Olympus.
She often appears in disguise as Mentor, an old friend of Odysseus. Read an in-depth analysis of Athena. He despises Odysseus for blinding his son, the Cyclops Polyphemus, and constantly hampers his journey home. Ironically, Poseidon is the patron of the seafaring Phaeacians, who ultimately help to return Odysseus to Ithaca.
He sometimes helps Odysseus or permits Athena to do the same. Antinous leads the campaign to have Telemachus killed. Unlike the other suitors, he is never portrayed sympathetically, and he is the first to die when Odysseus returns. Amphinomus sometimes speaks up for Odysseus and Telemachus, but he is killed like the rest of the suitors in the final fight.
Even though he does not know that the vagabond who appears at his hut is Odysseus, Eumaeus gives the man food and shelter. Eurycleia is well informed about palace intrigues and serves as confidante to her masters. Like her brother, Melantho abuses the beggar in the palace, not knowing that the man is Odysseus.
She is having an affair with Eurymachus.
Calypso holds him prisoner there for seven years until Hermes, the messenger god, persuades her to let him go. Polyphemus imprisons Odysseus and his crew and tries to eat them, but Odysseus blinds him through a clever ruse and manages to escape.
Tiresias meets Odysseus when Odysseus journeys to the underworld in Book He shows Odysseus how to get back to Ithaca and allows Odysseus to communicate with the other souls in Hades. Like Odysseus, Nestor is known as a clever speaker. He offers Telemachus assistance in his quest to find Odysseus when Telemachus visits him in Book 4.
Her beauty is without parallel, but she is criticized for giving in to her Trojan captors and thereby costing many Greek men their lives. She offers Telemachus assistance in his quest to find his father. Agamemnon was murdered by his wife, Clytemnestra, and her lover, Aegisthus, upon his return from the war.
He was later avenged by his son Orestes. Their story is constantly repeated in the Odyssey to offer an inverted image of the fortunes of Odysseus and Telemachus. Arete is intelligent and influential.
Nausicaa tells Odysseus to make his appeal for assistance to Arete.Melvyn Bragg and guests discuss the Austrian princess Maria Antonia, child bride of the future French King Louis XVI.
Their marriage was an attempt to bring about a major change in the balance of power in Europe and to undermine the influence of Prussia and Great Britain, but she had no say in the matter and was the pawn of her mother, the Empress Maria Theresa.
Joseph Campbell, an American mythological researcher, wrote a famous book entitled The Hero with a Thousand Faces.. In his lifelong research Campbell discovered many common patterns running through hero myths and stories from around the world.
An Analysis of the Literary Heroes Beowulf and Odysseus PAGES 2. WORDS View Full Essay. More essays like this: beowulf, odysseus, the literary heores, ideas of heroism.
Not sure what I'd do without @Kibin - Alfredo Alvarez, student @ Miami University. Exactly what I needed. - Jenna Kraig, student @ UCLA. From Odysseus to Aeneas, from Beowulf to King Arthur, from the Mahâbhârata to the Ossetian "Nart" tales, epic heroes and their stories have symbolized the power of the human imagination.
Drawing on diverse disciplines including classics, anthropology, psychology, and literary studies, this product of twenty years' scholarship provides a detailed typology of the hero in Western myth: birth.
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