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The end of the Odyssey - Essay Example

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The book is a composition of 24 books with over 12,000 lines. The book gives chronicles of king of Ithaca, Odysseus. The book places a key focus on the nobility, resourcefulness,…
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The end of the Odyssey
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THE ODYSSEY Introduction The Odyssey is termed as one of the greatest literary works ever written on western civilizations. The book is a composition of 24 books with over 12,000 lines. The book gives chronicles of king of Ithaca, Odysseus. The book places a key focus on the nobility, resourcefulness, honor, and bravery of the king. Many critics have viewed Homer’s odyssey as an inferior structure compared to his other epic compilation, Iliad. However, the epic poem has been praised for its sophistication in structure, complexity in characterization and consistency in its thematic aspects (Bloom, 1988). There are various theories, criticisms, interpretations, and opinions on the ending of Homers epic poem, The Odyssey. Some have unique theories such as the solar eclipse theory, others are historically possible, as if the oral tradition and the lost scrolls, while some are theoretical that leave the audience with an immortal image of the text. In this easy, we will have a critical review of the ending of the epic chronicle.
At the end of the chronicle of The Odyssey, the author, Homer refers to the occurrence of the total eclipse. The core phrase that by the then seer, Theoclymenus, depicts a foresight of the death of untamed and unruly men who had sought the hand in marriage of Penelope at the time Odysseus was at war. The seer makes reference the sun obliteration from the sky, with a cloud of bad luck invading the whole world (Homer & Lattimore, 1967). This idea is symbolic of the occurrence of a total eclipse, a situation where the moon blocks the sunrays. Although, this is not new it was up to the early years of the 1920 that astronomers were able to calculate the occurrence of such an eclipse over Greece. The eclipse had a possibility of occurrence in the month of April in the year 1178 BC (Homer & Lattimore, 1967). However, many individuals are convinced that the passage that has a reference of the solar eclipse is just but a mere mythical total solar eclipse. This argument supports the claims a poetic license as the Odyssey was written by Homer several centuries after the said events had taken place. On the other side, many modern scholars and critics are convinced by the possibility of the April 1178 BC solar eclipse occurrence (Bloom, 1988). This claim is supported by other passages in then poem that have a reference to other four independent astronomical events that occur independently to each other. Instead of just having a historical view of the occurrence of a solar eclipse, several astronomers have investigated the timing of the new moon. The book indicates the appearance of mercury and Venus and the simultaneous appearance of two stellar constellations during the evening sky. This has given the various critics a second way of estimating the purported date of the return of Odysseus return to get rid of his wife’s suitors (Homer & Lattimore, 1967).
The timelines in the theory are supported by the Homers chronology of events. In the poem, Homers showed that six day before the slaughter of Penelope suitors, Odysseus returns home with the star of the dawn and reference for the planet Venus that is visible at sunrise (Homer & Lattimore, 1967). In addition, the poem indicated that Odysseus sets sails for Ithaca 29 and half days earlier when the constellations, Bootes and Pleiades were visible in the twilight sky. These stars were noted to aid in navigation by the ancient Greeks. Magnasco and Baikouzis, charters in the piece indicate the presence of a new moon before the day of the slaughter of the suitors. The new moon is a prerequisite for total solar eclipse. More text to support this fact is seen 33 days before this fateful day, Homer describes the god if Hermes, a reference for mercury. Mercury is seen high at dawn and close to the western end of mercury’s trajectory (Bloom, 1988). In addition to the evidence that is brought forward by the evidence put across by astronomy of the, lunar eclipse in the book is indicative of a dark emotion that filled that air due to the execution of the suitor of Penelope.
In conclusion, with this chronological evidence in play, it is enough evidence to prove the occurrence of the events in the Odyssey. If the death of the suitors in the text happened on this fateful day, all doubt that the events in the odysseys are cleared. This makes the epic poem historical chronology not just a mere feeble.
Bloom, H. (1988). Homers the Odyssey. New York: Chelsea House.
Homer., & Lattimore, R. (1967). The Odyssey of Homer. New York: Harper & Row. Read More
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