85 Odyssey Essay Topic Ideas & Examples

Looking for the Odyssey essay examples and writing tips? This article contains the Odyssey literary analysis how-to guide, prompts, title ideas, outlining tips, and examples.

💡 The Odyssey Essay: Themes & Ideas

❗ the odyssey thesis statements, 🎣 hooks for the odyssey essay, 📜 odyssey essay: how to write, 🏆 the odyssey essay examples, 👍 the odyssey essay topics, ❓ odyssey essay questions.

Homer’s Odyssey remains one of the most impressive masterpieces of the Greek literature. It’s not surprising that students often are assigned to write an essay on this poem.

Brainstorm the ideas you’re willing to discuss in the paper and make a list of all the key points. Look through the essay samples represented below for inspiration or check the list of the Odyssey themes and ideas below.

  • Symbolism in the Odyssey. What do Odysseus struggles symbolize? How can you compare the Odysseus trials and adventures to our lives? Can we say that our lives are similar to the hero’s journey when we’re on the way to achieve something we desire.
  • Hospitality theme in the Odyssey. How do people welcome strangers? Explore the ways Odysseus was welcomed when he returned home and when he was welcomed by the king and queen.
  • Theme of loyalty in the Odyssey. Think, why loyalty is important. Explain why Penelope and Telemachus stayed loyal to Odysseus even when they received the message about his death.
  • Theme of revenge in the Odyssey. Why does the theme of vengeance is important in the poem? Analyze it from the point of view of Odysseus and Poseidon. You can also compare and contrast vengeance in “Odysseus” and Christian teachings. Think if it is acceptable to kill in the name of vengeance.
  • The role of women in the Odyssey. Discuss how does the female characters influence the plot of the story. What roles do they play in Telemachus and Odysseus journeys?

A thesis statement is the main point of your paper summarized in one sentence. It usually appears in the introductory paragraph of the text.

Below you’ll find a list of the Odyssey thesis statements that you might want to use for inspiration.

  • There are parallels between the Odyssey and Near Eastern mythology, especially the Epic of Gilgamesh .
  • The central themes of the Odyssey are wandering and homecoming.
  • Women in the Odyssey are presented as inferior to men; even goddesses are described as angry and short-sighted.
  • The key symbols in the Odyssey are the bow, the sea, and the shroud.

When writing your paper introduction, keep in mind that you have to engage your reader and make them want to read the entire text. Avoid phrases like “In this essay I’m going to discuss…” at the beginning of the paper.

A good idea is to start your Odyssey essay with an interesting fact about the epic poem or a quote. For instance, if you’re planning to focus on Odysseus as an epic hero, you can use a quote about heroic qualities of a person.

Below you’ll find a list of the Odyssey hook ideas.

  • “A hero is someone who has given his or her life to something bigger than oneself.” (Joseph Campbell)
  • “Show me a hero and I’ll write you a tragedy.” (F. Scott Fitzgerald)
  • “Nobody – that’s my name. Nobody — so my mother and father call me, all my friends.” (the Odyssey)

Regardless of what Odyssey essay topic you will choose, you should tell your readers about the background and event developments of the poem.

Analyze the content and provide connections between the events or/and characters and your essay key idea. Make sure that all the paragraphs are logically connected.

When writing the Odyssey essay conclusion, make it bright and clear. Restate the thesis statement and add your personal impressions on the poem.

After you finish your paper read it again carefully and add some touches you might miss during the writing. Proofread the essay and get rid of all grammar, style and spelling mistakes. Did you know that some professors can cut out up to 20% of grade because of errors?

Still not sure how to complete your essay on Homer’s Odyssey and get the best grade? Check IvyPanda’s essay examples below, written by professionals for your convenience!

  • Examples of Hospitality in The Odyssey by Homer: Review While the tale has various mythical and magical motifs in the form of Gods, Goddesses, nymphs, witches, and magic; one of the most interesting and a rather unusual aspect of the story was the astounding […]
  • Father-Son Relationship in The Odyssey by Homer In Odyssey therefore, it is expected that the relationship of Odysseus and Telemachus is as admiring as it is; the father is proud of his son, who is courageous and the son is proud of […]
  • Deception Role in “The Odyssey” by Homer He also pretended to be a beggar to test the loyalty of others and to devise his plan of overthrowing the other suitors.
  • The Ghosts in Homer’s The Odyssey I find the ghost one of my favorite because of the hope and information he gives Odysseus.”The ghost reveals to Odysseus that Poseidon was busy punishing and killing the Achaeans “. From the encounter with […]
  • “The Odyssey” by Homer 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.
  • Roles of Women in “The Odyssey” by Homer Of course, she is not a mortal woman as she is a nymph and is beyond the laws of human society. Of course, the woman is meant to be devoted to her husband and her […]
  • Disguise in “The Odyssey”: Character Development & Athena’s Impact Athena also had to pour a sea fog around Odysseus to protect him, and then she assumed the shape of a little girl and showed him the way to the palace.
  • Homer’s “The Iliad” and “The Odyssey”: Main Themes The Iliad and the Odyssey are anti-war poems, even though the actions in the stories are mainly conflict-oriented. They are anti-conflict because the aftermath of the fights is tragic, and every individual always engaged in […]
  • Role of Fate and Divine Intervention in Oedipus and The Odyssey This is because while the gods are obviously responsible for choosing the path that one’s life is to take, it still takes the free will of the involved person to follow that path.
  • Odysseus as Husband Being a good father and an excellent husband, Odysseus did everything he could to return home, however, there were a number of barriers, however, having returned home Odysseus killed all people who wanted evil to […]
  • Gender Role Expectations in “The Odyssey” by Homer The reason is that many behaviors of these female characters are masculine in their nature, and they need to be further discussed with reference to examples.
  • Women in Literature: Oedipus the King and The Odyssey Two major works of literature, ‘Oedipus the king’ and ‘The Odyssey’, provide some of the best examples of how the role of female characters is portrayed in different ways and how these women influence the […]
  • Women in The Odyssey and The Epic of Gilgamesh In particular, the women’s power in the story was shown in their ability to influence significantly men, who were depicted as the wisest and most powerful beings.
  • The Symbol of Weaving in the Poem “The Odyssey” The Penelope image is associated with the goddess of the house, the keeper of the hearth, and all households. During his wanderings, the goddess is the patroness of Odysseus.
  • An Exemplary Hero: Homer’s “The Odyssey” The masterpiece describes the life of Odysseus and his journey especially after the infamous fall of Troy. One outstanding fact about Odysseus is that he is the main hero of the epic.
  • The Meaning and Impact of the Closing Book of The Odyssey Critics such as William Merritt Sale argue that Homer’s purpose in creating the mythic poem of The Odyssey was to represent the inherent struggle of the human condition when faced with the choice between the […]
  • Varying Moral Worlds in The Odyssey and Aeneid Some of the issues that differ between the two societies, as highlighted in the two poems, include marital love, representation of the underworld, the idea of fate, and pride/hubris. It is believed that the intention […]
  • Divine Comedy and The Odyssey as Epics It is a poem about the supernatural more than about a hero, which is the first difference between the current poem and ‘The Odyssey’.’Divine Comedy’ has 14, 233 lines, the number that is almost equal […]
  • Telemachus Journey From Boyhood to Hero: Homer’s The Odyssey As described by Arnold van Gennep in “The rites of Passage,” the concept of the rites of passage is a ritual event used to signify the process of transition of a person from one social […]
  • Importance of the Book “The Odyssey” by Homer It is a book with a story that has lasted for ages due to its major themes such as the relation between father and son, the role of women, the significance of hospitality and the […]
  • The Journey to the Land of the Dead: Homer’s “The Odyssey” Homer is regarded as a legendary Greek due to his great works of literature such as “The journey to the Land of the Dead”.
  • The Plays “The Iliad,” “The Odyssey,” and “Agamemnon”: Understanding of Leadership Finally, the story of Agamemnon told in The Iliad and Agamemnon taught us that a capable leader must remain humble and self-aware.
  • Sophocles II and The Odyssey: Book Analysis Penelope’s hand is one of the allusions in The Odyssey that offers the reader a comprehensive picture of who Odysseus was and how powerful he was.
  • Culture of Ancient Greece in The Odyssey by Homer The Odyssey is one of the oldest and most well-known epics in the world. This can be attributed to Homer’s ability to describe the culture and life of the people of the ancient era with […]
  • The Poems “The Song of Roland,” “The Epic of Gilgamesh,” and “The Odyssey” The emphasis on bravery and dignity in Roland represents a stark contrast to the characters of Odysseus and Gilgamesh. Therefore, Roland as a character is vital in the evolution of heroic characters in epic narratives.
  • “The Odyssey” by Homer as a Vehicle for Creative Works One of the characters that can be interesting to examine in a more broad way is Telemachus. It works well to tie in a sense of loss and longing for a father with Telemachus, allowing […]
  • Community Conflict in The Odyssey The Iliad heroes, Diomedes and Glaucus, provide a glimpse into the constructs of community and conflict. Such a story is that of Glaucus and Diomedes who recognized their ancestors as heroes, resulting in mutual respect […]
  • Characters in The Odyssey: Athena, Poseidon, and Polyphemus In the epic poem The Odyssey by Homer, Odysseus encounters Athena, Poseidon and Polyphemus are surrounded by unique myths and occupy a distinct place in Odysseus’ journey.
  • Deception in King Lear, The Odyssey and Gilgamesh The forms of deception in the book seem to come effortlessly to Odysseus, and the stories he tells throughout the book serve to protect him and his family.
  • The Oldest Epics of Ramayana and The Odyssey Thus, the main similarity is the narrative about the difficulties of the protagonists, and the difference is the presence of magical characteristics.
  • Heroism and the Spirit of Adventure: The Odyssey and Gilgamesh Interpretation In fact, the ancient epic is famous nowadays mainly due to the fact that some of the works are considered as the first official mentioning of a hero.
  • The Role of Women in Great Epic Works: “The Odyssey” and “Gilgamesh” To summarize the influence of both women on Gilgamesh, it is possible to cite Kelley to describe Gilgamesh’s advice to him during one of the toughest period of the epic: When the gods created man, […]
  • The Power of “The Iliad” and “The Odyssey” Nowadays The significance of Iliad and Odyssey in the modern world can be explained by the fact that they are the first ancient epics, which have survived to this day.
  • Plot Analysis of Homer’s The Odyssey Through the meeting of Telemachus with Menelaus, the author emphasizes the significance of hospitality as a primary value and develops such features and discretion, leadership, and heroism of the son of Odysseus.
  • The Relevance of the Book “The Odyssey” The book’s central motif is the adventurous journey, the complete transformation of the king of Ithaca from the Trojan battle.
  • Manhood in Homer’s Poem The Odyssey From the point of view of the author of the poem, the heroism of Odysseus lies in the fact that he remains faithful to his homeland, the island of Ithaca, nothing scares him in achieving […]
  • “The Odyssey” by Homer and Its Legacy: A Romantic Vision of the State Odysseus is known all over the world as one of the most outstanding models of leadership anthemed in the literature of the ancient world.
  • The Odyssey by Homer: Comprehensive Analysis of the Character of Penelope Penelope is believed to be the faithful wife of Ulysses and she stood really strong in his absence. She had a lot of persistence and composure, her image had been overshadowed because of Ulysses, and […]
  • “Bhagavad-Gita”, “The Odyssey” and “The Epic of Gilgamesh”: Contrast and Comparison The sole aim of all the religions is to make the people realize the value of life and to make the most of the same but doing holy acts and by not indulging in undesirable […]
  • Themes in Books VIII-XI of Homer’s “The Odyssey” For instance, Retief and Cilliers argue that Book XI of The Odyssey largely shaped the perception of Hades, or the Greek land of the dead, as well as of the Ancient views on death and […]
  • The 11 Book of Homer’s “The Odyssey” The 11th book of the Odyssey tells about the trip of Odysseus to the Underworld. He expresses pity that Odysseus is also in the land of the dead and tells about his journey in Hades […]
  • Comparative Literature: “The Odyssey” and “The Aeneid” The Odyssey and The Aeneid are some of the major epics created by the western civilizations. On balance, it is possible to state that the two epics share a lot of features as Virgil’s work […]
  • “The Odyssey” by Homer Discussion With this knowledge, it is necessary to examine the role played by the other characters in the poem. On the other hand, Penelope knows that she is expected to remain faithful to her husband.
  • ‘Homer’s The Odyssey’ by Bernhard Frank Literature Analysis Bernhard makes use of clear words and concrete examples as well as numerous quotes to articulate his belief that the cause and sequence of the events in this book were created on purpose by Homer […]
  • Monstrous and Human Relationship in “The Odyssey” In each stage of the adventure readers are introduced to an ever increasing similarity between what is monstrous and what is man to the point that the line between the two blurs resulting in actions […]
  • “The Odyssey”: The Relationship Between the Monstrous and the Human When looking at the relationship between the monstrous and the human in Odyssey, it can be seen that monsters represent, in many instances, the darker side of humanity.
  • The Expression of Sarcasm in The Odyssey The suitors laughed and teased Telemachos of his struggles to defend the beggar. Odysseus simply examines the bow and one of the suitors mocks him saying he is a connoisseur.
  • The Comparison of Gilgamesh and Odysseus This paper is aimed at discussing the journeys undertaken by the main characters; in particular one should focus on their motives of the protagonists and the way in which both Gilgamesh and Odysseus were transformed […]
  • Greek Culture in Homer’s “The Odyssey” Therefore, a critical analysis of the story enlightens the contemporary society on the aspect of hospitality in relation to the people of Greece.
  • The Role of Hospitality in the Homeric World-Odyssey None the less the Homeric world gives a glimpse of the noble men and women who live within that society, they appreciate and acknowledge the little favors and hospitality extended to them and in some […]
  • Human Potential in Rig Veda, Genesis and Homer’s The Odyssey Human beings need to meditate from time to time to find out specific modes of behaviour they need to observe. The value of hard work is used to explain how human beings need to be […]
  • Greek/Roman Humanities: Epic of Gilgamesh and The Odyssey The earliest works of fiction included the work of fiction the Epic of Gilgamesh that dates from the beginnings of civilization in Mesopotamia and Homer’s Odyssey, greatest ancient works of literature attributed to Homer.
  • Analysis of Job’s and Odysseus The strong character traits of the main characters Odyssey and Job in the epic The Odyssey and The Story of Job help develop their plots from the beginning to the rise of conflict and their […]
  • Gods and Humans in “The Odyssey” by Homer For instance, the journey of Odysseus back to Ithaca feature him as an important figure to Calypso therefore helping in building up the story as his return remains the center of all agony that begets […]
  • The Concept of Moral Principles in Literature Works He formulated the trick of the great wooden horse to give victory to the Greeks. The prince was also supposed to strike a balance of generosity to the citizens.
  • What Is an Example of Alliteration From “The Odyssey”?
  • What Does “Odyssey” Mean in Greek Mythology?
  • What Occupation Did Eumaeus Have in “The Odyssey”?
  • Where Did the Cyclops Live in “The Odyssey”?
  • How Is “The Odyssey” Book Written Based on the Flaws and Imperfections of the Main Characters?
  • What Is the Land of Death in “The Odyssey”?
  • Did Atreides Make It Home in “The Odyssey”?
  • How Does Odysseus Feel About Telemachus in “The Odyssey”?
  • How the Greeks Portrayed God in “The Odyssey”?
  • Are Women the Source of Many Difficulties for Odysseus in “The Odyssey”?
  • What Is the Main Message in “The Odyssey”?
  • How Does Hubris Affect Odysseus in “The Odyssey” Epic Poem?
  • How Does “The Odyssey” Relate to Life Today?
  • How Did Odysseus Display the Characteristics of a Hero in “The Odyssey”?
  • How Does “The Odyssey” Represent the Importance of Family?
  • What Did Homer Want to Say in “The Odyssey”?
  • Whether the Olympians Prefer War or Peace in “The Iliad” and “The Odyssey”?
  • Did Odysseus Bring the Trouble on Himself in “The Odyssey”?
  • Which Epic Has Most Relevance to a Twenty-First Century Reader, Virgil’s “Aeneid” or Homer’s “The Odyssey”?
  • What Does “The Odyssey” Teach Us About Greek Culture?
  • Did Odysseus Prove to Be a Good Leader or No in “The Odyssey”?
  • What Can We Learn From “The Odyssey” Journey?
  • How Telemachus Evolved From a Boy to a Man in “The Odyssey”?
  • How Fate and Free Will Play a Part in “The Odyssey”?
  • How Does Homer Use Suspense to Make the Story of “The Odyssey” More Interesting?
  • How Women Are Portrayed in Homer’s “The Odyssey”?
  • How Was the Divine Represented in Homer’s “The Odyssey”?
  • How the Star Crossed Lover Theme Appears in the “Aeneid” and “The Odyssey”?
  • What Is a Good Thesis Statement for “The Odyssey”?
  • Why Does Odysseus Fit the Epic Hero’s Mold in Homer’s “The Odyssey”?
  • Lord of the Flies Research Ideas
  • Into the Wild Titles
  • Call of the Wild Questions
  • Letter From Birmingham Jail Titles
  • The Glass Menagerie Paper Topics
  • Canterbury Tales Research Ideas
  • Romeo and Juliet Research Topics
  • The House on Mango Street Research Topics
  • Chicago (A-D)
  • Chicago (N-B)

IvyPanda. (2024, March 2). 85 Odyssey Essay Topic Ideas & Examples. https://ivypanda.com/essays/topic/odyssey-essay-examples/

"85 Odyssey Essay Topic Ideas & Examples." IvyPanda , 2 Mar. 2024, ivypanda.com/essays/topic/odyssey-essay-examples/.

IvyPanda . (2024) '85 Odyssey Essay Topic Ideas & Examples'. 2 March.

IvyPanda . 2024. "85 Odyssey Essay Topic Ideas & Examples." March 2, 2024. https://ivypanda.com/essays/topic/odyssey-essay-examples/.

1. IvyPanda . "85 Odyssey Essay Topic Ideas & Examples." March 2, 2024. https://ivypanda.com/essays/topic/odyssey-essay-examples/.


IvyPanda . "85 Odyssey Essay Topic Ideas & Examples." March 2, 2024. https://ivypanda.com/essays/topic/odyssey-essay-examples/.

Just Great DataBase

Experience the Joy of Learning

  • Just Great DataBase
  • Study Guides
  • The Odyssey

The Odyssey Essays

Within the four walls of the Ancient Greece, somewhere around 2,500 years ago, Homer’s exquisite power of words gave birth to one of the largest and most enduring of all time Epic, Odyssey. Odyssey is marked by an immense panorama of wondrous journey of a man through the lands of magic and mystery...

1 840 words

The Odyssey In The Odyssey, Odysseus had to face many challenges during his travels; a few of these difficulties were a cannibalistic Cyclops, huge whirlpools, determined suitors, along with many hardships. Odysseus fought constantly to return to his homeland of Ithaca, but to accomplish this...

The Odyssey Report In The Odyssey , Homer uses guest-host relationships as an ethical norm against which behavior is measured. When the ritual is preformed correctly by guest-host, good results ensue. In contrast, the violations of this ethical norm results in misfortune. This idea was taken very...

1 355 words

The Odyssey The Odyssey was full of wonder, power, and surprises. It is packed with epic heroes, creatures, gods, and goddesses. The gods, goddesses, and creatures had supernatural powers that effected the lives of Odysseus, his crew, and his family. Their actions proved to be powerful, beneficial ...

The Odyssey: Telemachus Telemachus recounts his confrontation with the Old man of the sea who could change his appearance in order to escape danger. Telemachus reveals the information which he obtained from the Old man of the sea to the reader. The Old man told Telemachus of the sorrowful tale of...

The Greeks, as portrayed by Homer, are a very vengeful people. Throughout The Odyssey, a theme of vengeance is dominant. These displays of retribution come from different entities for fairly different reasons. So why is revenge such a factor in The Odyssey? Fear and the overwhelming feeling of...

The Odyssey is the product of a society in which the dominant role was played by men. In ancient Greece, just as in the whole of the ancient world, and in America and Western Europe until the last century, women occupied a subservient position. Society was organized and directed by men, and all of...

When one ponders the Greek mythology and literature, powerful images invariably come to mind. One relives the heroes’ struggles against innumerable odds, their battles against magical monsters, and the gods’ periodic intervention in mortal affairs. Yet, a common and often essential...

1 539 words

The Odyssey and Its Themes Homer’s great literary classic, The Odyssey, represents and illustrates many emotional and mental values. All of these values can be classified under three different main themes that are constant throughout the epic tale. These themes are: A boy’s struggle to...

Loyalty to family, community, and the gods is an important quality in the lives of ancient Greek citizens. These qualities are clear demonstrated in The Odyssey through Penelope, Telemakhos, and Odysseus. Penelope shows her loyalty in several ways. She shows loyalty to Odysseus by waiting for his...

Relationships in the Odyssey Essay Throughout the Odyssey, there are many relationships that represent love between two people. These relationships show loyalty, compassion, and the wanting to be near one another. Two of these kinds of relationships are between Odysseus and Telemakhos, and...

"There is no safety in unlimited hubris" (McGeorge Bundy). The dictionary defines hubris as overbearing pride or presumption; arrogance. In The Odyssey, Homer embodies hubris into the characters Odysseus, the Suitors, and the Cyclopes. Odysseus shows hubris when he is battling the Cyclopes, the...

The Odyssey and The epic of Gilgamesh (Similarities and Differences) Both The Odyssey and the Epic of Gilgamesh are two incredible stories written long ago everyone knows this but what a lot of people don't is that these two epics share many of the same concepts. Such as the nostro (the Greek term...

The Odyssey has much to teach us about the feminine psyche. The feminine psyche is the way that the female mind and soul react to and process situations. Females are generally faithful, giving, and respectful to their mates. We have an insight into the feminine psyche in several things that...

Homer, name traditionally assigned to the author of the Iliad and the Odyssey, the two major epics of Greek antiquity. Nothing is known of Homer as an individual, and in fact it is a matter of controversy whether a single person can be said to have written both the Iliad and the Odyssey...

Homer's poem The Odyssey depicts the tendency of people to ignore the consequences of their actions. Odysseus punished Penelope's suitors without thinking of consequences that he would have to endure. He did not acknowledge the consequences because that would prevent him from doing what he wants...

1 018 words

In the epic the Odyssey by Homer (translated by Robert Fitzgerald) one of the most descriptive and best written passages in the entire epic is "The Slaying of the Suitors" (book 23 lines1-62). This is a good passage for many reasons, one of these is that it is a part of the story that has been...

1 179 words

The Women of the Odyssey Many people regard Homer's epics as war stories? stories about men; those people often overlook the important roles that women play in the Odyssey. While there are not many female characters in the Odyssey, the few that there are, play pivotal roles in the story and one...

1 489 words

The Odyssey Odysseus was always considered to be a great man and a great hero. He was known for his brain as well as his muscle. He was an epic hero of a narrative poem about the deeds of gods or heroes. He possesses qualities superior to those of most men, yet remains recognizably human. These...

Everyone has a home. Regardless of its location, it is a place of acceptance and belonging. In a sense it's where the heart is. Though in The Odyssey, the concept of home is blurry and for the most part incomplete, it is the most important thing to Odysseus, and he is willing to go through utter...

In any discussion concerning roles of male and female in the “Odyssey,” it seems natural to concentrate mainly on the evidence having to do with the situation on Ithaka, both because Ithaka is the most complex and the most fully described society in the Odyssey. All the women met...

A long time ago people believed that gods ruled the world. Each god was responsible for a certain element of nature, and all those gods are described in the well-known “Odyssey.” In this article, we’ll provide you with the way Poseidon was described in the poem. Poseidon was...

The feeling of self-confidence is a positive feature as long as it does not turn into arrogance. Hubris is one of such traits when people have too much pride in themselves, and this leads to disasters or problems. Odyssey is a great example of a character whose actions are sometimes ruled by his...

Recently, an approach of researchers to problems of the Homeric epic has changed significantly. In the field of their view, new problems are increasingly emerging. One of the widely discussed topics is a theme of hospitality in the “Odyssey”. From our perspective, this is one of the...

In the novel The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald, Daisy Buchanan is an important woman character, but only in relation toga Gatsby dream. Ever since Gatsby had come back from the army, he had longed to have Daisy back in his life, and so everything he did and built up was in some way for her (e...

1 667 words

An epic is best described by the Merriam-Webster Dictionary as a long narrative poem in elevated style recounting the deeds of a legendary or historical hero. Epics like "Beowulf" and "The Odyssey" are perfect examples of this definition; they are each centered on the deeds and triumphs of their...

2 689 words

Many of the tragic pitfalls of Odysseus and his men were from their own weaknesses to women. The temptations that the crew submits to always either anger the gods or distract them from their goal- returning home. In The Odyssey, by the legendary poet Homer, Odysseus and his crew desire to complete...

Pankaj Selvam English 10 Honors Joseph Campbell’s Monomyth Chosen Monomyth: The Odyssey 1. Hero introduced in his ordinary world Odysseus is a strong ruler of Ithaca (Greek city-state), however lacks experience in war. He is also the son of Laertes 2. The call to adventure He wins the Trojan war...

Joel Schain Period 2 3/28/10 Book 9: In the Eyes of Polyphemus This morning was like any other day. I got up to see the sun rise, and then I went into the forest to find something to eat for breakfast. Most days were quiet in the land of the Cyclopes. All you could hear were your own thoughts, and...

Reflective journal 1 The Odyssey Date due MB and ME: 23rd January 2014 at 8:30am – via Blackboard – – Submission to VeriGuide – Choose ONE of the following question groups and write a short essay, about 400-600 words in English or 700-900 characters in Chinese. (* A question may break down into a...


The Odyssey

The odyssey essay questions.

Argue against the claim that The Odyssey ought to be read as a tragedy because of all the pain inflicted upon its protagonist, Odysseus.

Although Odysseus' name means "Son of Pain" and he is made to suffer greatly before achieving his nostos (homecoming), the fact remains that he ultimately does achieve nostos. When he returns to Ithaca, he finds that his immediate family has remained faithful to him, and is able to reclaim his rightful place as the king of Ithaca. Although the amount of hardship he has had to endure may make such an outcome seem implausible, the implausibility is better explained by the epic nature of the work, rather than by calling it a tragedy.

Works like The Odyssey offer us insight into the customs and beliefs of the ancient cultures that produced them. Describe one such custom that The Odyssey makes clear was important in ancient Greece.

One example of such a custom is that of hospitality: it was thought that guests might always be gods in disguise, and therefore ought to be treated with the utmost respect. To this end, guests were often fed, clothed, and so forth, prior to the host asking after their lineage and purpose in their land.

Is Odysseus a just man? Provide evidence to support your answer.

Although Odysseus has character flaws and may not hold what we consider a modern conception of justice, he does seem to act justly in most regards. He only deceives Polyphemus after Polyphemus has rejected the custom of a guest-gift and eaten several of Odysseus' men; he only disguises himself in Ithaca in order to test his family and the suitors. And, perhaps the most important piece of evidence in favor of his being just, he only punishes those servants and suitors who wronged his household while he was away; he lets the innocent live.

Discuss fidelity in the poem. Was Odysseus faithful to his household?

Although Odysseus has many affairs on his journey home, the implication is always that he had to do so in order to progress towards home; there were many moments when it would have been easier for him to give up or surrender, but he never truly lost sight of home. (The year he spent with Circe might be seen as a counterexample to this; nonetheless, the fact remains that he returned to his quest and did not forsake his homeland). At minimum, it is evident that the text's notion of fidelity is not reducible to something as simple as sexual relations.

Discuss fidelity in the poem. Was Odysseus' household faithful to him?

Many servants of Ithaca betrayed Odysseus and sided with the suitors, but the "principle players" of his homeland -- the Swineherd, Telemachus, Penelope, Argos, and Laertes -- remained faithful to him despite his absence. This fidelity is symbolized best by Argos, who seemingly staved off death until he could see his master home safely. Penelope, too, could easily have remarried, and was under tremendous pressure to do so; yet she employed every possible means of keeping the suitors at bay in order to continue waiting for her true husband to return to her.

GradeSaver will pay $15 for your literature essays

The Odyssey Questions and Answers

The Question and Answer section for The Odyssey is a great resource to ask questions, find answers, and discuss the novel.

What universal themes does Homer explore in the Odyssey?

Check out these themes below:

What do you learn about the character of Odysseus through the poet's introduction in Book 1?

In Book I, we learn that Odysseus fought in the Trojan War, that he has been on the island of Ogygia for eight years, that Poseidon is planning to make his journey home extremely difficult because Odysseus blinded his son, and that his Odysseus'...

summarize terisias' prophecy in the odyssey?

In the Odyssey, Circe sends Odysseus to Tiresias to advise him how to get home. The prophet tells him that he will survive the trip, but if his crew touches the cattle of Helios, they will not. His crew ends up eating the cattle and subsequently...

Study Guide for The Odyssey

The Odyssey study guide contains a biography of Homer, literature essays, a complete e-text, quiz questions, major themes, characters, and a full summary and analysis.

  • About The Odyssey
  • The Odyssey Summary
  • Character List

Essays for The Odyssey

The Odyssey essays are academic essays for citation. These papers were written primarily by students and provide critical analysis of The Odyssey by Homer.

  • The Underworld in The Aeneid Versus The Odyssey
  • A Musing Contrast
  • Homeric Formalism
  • The Evolution of Civil Justice
  • Modus Operandi - The Ways of Greek Literature

Lesson Plan for The Odyssey

  • About the Author
  • Study Objectives
  • Common Core Standards
  • Introduction to The Odyssey
  • Relationship to Other Books
  • Bringing in Technology
  • Notes to the Teacher
  • Related Links
  • The Odyssey Bibliography

E-Text of The Odyssey

The Odyssey e-text contains the full text of The Odyssey by Homer.

  • Books 13-16

Wikipedia Entries for The Odyssey

  • Introduction

good hook for an essay about the odyssey

  • Craft and Criticism
  • Fiction and Poetry
  • News and Culture
  • Lit Hub Radio
  • Reading Lists

good hook for an essay about the odyssey

  • Literary Criticism
  • Craft and Advice
  • In Conversation
  • On Translation
  • Short Story
  • From the Novel
  • Bookstores and Libraries
  • Film and TV
  • Art and Photography
  • Freeman’s
  • The Virtual Book Channel
  • Behind the Mic
  • Beyond the Page
  • The Cosmic Library
  • The Critic and Her Publics
  • Emergence Magazine
  • Fiction/Non/Fiction
  • First Draft: A Dialogue on Writing
  • The History of Literature
  • I’m a Writer But
  • Lit Century
  • Tor Presents: Voyage Into Genre
  • Windham-Campbell Prizes Podcast
  • Write-minded
  • The Best of the Decade
  • Best Reviewed Books
  • BookMarks Daily Giveaway
  • The Daily Thrill
  • CrimeReads Daily Giveaway

good hook for an essay about the odyssey

Why The Odyssey is the Perfect Book for High School English

On the surprising relevance of the world's first novel.

I’ve taught English in a public high school in Los Angeles for over two decades. Years ago, I tackled The Odyssey. I love its stories (they’re still fun to read), and it’s a pillar of Western literature, the foundation behind most quest and fantasy novels. Teaching Homer to underserved city kids seemed like a hard sell, but it really wasn’t; in fact, it was surprisingly more rewarding than many of my other adventures, like Kafka’s Metamorphosis , or The Catcher in the Rye, for example. Why? Because Kafka’s German-Jewish Prague of the 1920s, and Salinger’s 1950 Manhattan, were, for my students, even more fantastic and alien than Homer’s mythic monsters.

In my 12th-grade class, many students had heard of the Cyclops and Ulysses, but experiencing the entire Odyssey was new territory for most of them. Tie yourself to the masts, kids! You’re about to read the world’s first novel!

The Odyssey has 24 books, so we analyzed and discussed the arc of the entire epic, reading several of the key books. The first four books recount the story of Odysseus’s son, Telemachus, and how he must try to protect his mother and be the man of the house until, if and when, his father returns. Could my students identify with Telemachus? Are they grappling with growing responsibility in their families? Is mom or dad not in the picture or gone too much, physically or emotionally? You bet. I would’ve been happy to spend a month just on this one theme, and we were only getting started.

Once I guided my kids—their humble Tiresias—just a bit below the text, they began to see Homer as more than story and myth; The Odyssey was a fun-house mirror, an endless Rorschach blot in which we could see, not just ourselves and family, but the world too.

We journeyed with Odysseus and made his story, his life, our own. The goddess Athena was born from Zeus’s head. Without sex? my students asked. Like Jesus? Literature often explores not the what-ifs, but the why-ifs: setting aside faith, why do these tales omit women from the stories of conception? Adam ate knowingly from the apple because he loved Eve, and Odysseus triumphed over the siren’s temptations because he loved Penelope. Like Zeus’s head, Homer was blowing their minds.

Classroom Odysseus’s all, we wandered deep into our own explorations. The Lotus Eaters: the perils of addiction, hedonism vs. monogamy. Circe and Calypso: traditional vs. independent roles for women. The Underworld: does a belief in an afterlife undermine this life?

We learned heroes are strong and brave, but more importantly, they are wise and sometimes cunning. Odysseus always uses his wits to get closer to home: he is a master of argument, appealing to the gods’ and enchantresses’ highest moral instincts. Craft and disguise are second in his arsenal; how do we use metaphorical masks in our world? For Odysseus, violence is always the last resort; isn’t that the measure of a real man, instead of the machismo that too often infected young lives?

Homer’s songs are all of our songs. We shared Don Quixote’s feverish quest for chivalry and glory amid enemies and giants; the sirens and free-will in Komunyakaa’s brilliant poem The Cage Walker ; traveling salesman Edward Bloom (a nod to Joyce’s Ulysses ), enthralling his distant son Will with his fabulous tales, in the film Big Fish ; Eminem, Dr. Dre, and Tupac Shakur were fellow travelers too—Homer’s words were songs, passed down by singers, the rappers of their day.

I gave my students a short list of final projects to choose from. My favorite was a map they had to chart of their house and neighborhood. They were Odysseus and had to get home. Along their map, they plotted four or five key Homeric scenes, but reincarnated the myths into LA, into our world. They showed me one-eyed monsters peeping behind window-blinds; Calypsos in nail salons; Lotus Eaters loitering, dealing drugs in parks; Scylla a monstrous puddle that spins-out speeding cars.

Finally, we were done, home like Odysseus. The great poet had taught us what life is: a journey, compassion for others, home and family. The world had thrown everything against us, but couldn’t stop us from returning safe, tested and stronger than ever, to the ones we love.

  • Share on Facebook (Opens in new window)
  • Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)
  • Click to share on Google+ (Opens in new window)
  • Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)
  • Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)
  • Click to share on Tumblr (Opens in new window)
  • Click to share on Pinterest (Opens in new window)
  • Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)

A.G. Lombardo

A.G. Lombardo

Previous article, next article, support lit hub..

Support Lit Hub

Join our community of readers.

to the Lithub Daily

Popular posts.

good hook for an essay about the odyssey

Follow us on Twitter

good hook for an essay about the odyssey

Crossing a Bridge With Nowhere to Go

  • RSS - Posts

Literary Hub

Created by Grove Atlantic and Electric Literature

Sign Up For Our Newsletters

How to Pitch Lit Hub

Advertisers: Contact Us

Privacy Policy

Support Lit Hub - Become A Member

Become a Lit Hub Supporting Member : Because Books Matter

For the past decade, Literary Hub has brought you the best of the book world for free—no paywall. But our future relies on you. In return for a donation, you’ll get an ad-free reading experience , exclusive editors’ picks, book giveaways, and our coveted Joan Didion Lit Hub tote bag . Most importantly, you’ll keep independent book coverage alive and thriving on the internet.

good hook for an essay about the odyssey

Become a member for as low as $5/month

Home — Essay Samples — Literature — Poems — The Odyssey

one px

Essays on The Odyssey

When it comes to writing an essay about The Odyssey, the epic poem by Homer, there is a wide range of potential topics to explore. The story of Odysseus' ten-year journey home from the Trojan War offers plenty of material for analysis and discussion. However, with so many options, it can be challenging to narrow down a specific topic. This article will discuss the importance of choosing the right topic, offer advice on selecting a topic, and provide a detailed list of recommended essay topics, divided by category.

Choosing the right topic for your essay on The Odyssey is crucial for several reasons. First, it's essential to select a topic that you are passionate about and interested in exploring further. This will make the writing process more enjoyable and result in a more engaging and well-researched essay. Second, selecting a specific and focused topic will help you to develop a clear thesis and argument for your paper. Finally, choosing a unique and thought-provoking topic will set your essay apart from others and capture the reader's attention.

When choosing a topic for your essay on The Odyssey, consider your interests and the aspects of the poem that intrigue you the most. Think about the themes, characters, and literary devices that you find most compelling. Additionally, consider the scope of your essay and the length requirements. It's important to select a topic that is neither too broad nor too narrow, allowing for in-depth analysis within the confines of your assignment.

Recommended The Odyssey Essay Topics

Writing an essay on The Odyssey by Homer? Here's a list of essay topics to help you get started. These topics are categorized to make it easier for you to find the perfect one for your assignment.

Themes and Motifs

  • The theme of hospitality in The Odyssey
  • The role of disguise and deception in the epic
  • Revenge and retribution in The Odyssey
  • The significance of loyalty in the story
  • The concept of fate and destiny in The Odyssey
  • The motif of homecoming in the epic
  • Power and authority in The Odyssey
  • The portrayal of women in the epic
  • The importance of storytelling in The Odyssey
  • The theme of heroism and courage in the narrative

Character Analysis

  • Odysseus: A hero's journey
  • Penelope: The strength of a faithful wife
  • Telemachus: Growing up in the shadow of a hero
  • Athena: The goddess of wisdom and warfare
  • Poseidon: The god of the sea and his role in the story
  • Circe: The enchantress and her impact on the narrative
  • Calypso: Love and longing in The Odyssey
  • The Suitors: Arrogance and greed in the epic
  • Eurycleia: The loyal servant in the household of Odysseus
  • Eumaeus: The swineherd and his loyalty to Odysseus

Symbolism and Imagery

  • The significance of the bow in The Odyssey
  • The symbolism of the sea in the narrative
  • The imagery of the underworld in the epic
  • The meaning of the olive tree in the story
  • The role of dreams and prophecies in The Odyssey
  • The symbolism of the epic's title
  • The imagery of light and darkness in the narrative
  • The significance of the scar on Odysseus' leg
  • The symbol of the lotus-eaters in The Odyssey
  • The imagery of the sirens and their allure

Comparative Analysis

  • Comparing and contrasting the portrayal of Odysseus in The Odyssey and other ancient texts
  • Comparing the themes of The Odyssey with other epic poems
  • Exploring the similarities and differences between The Odyssey and The Iliad
  • Comparing the portrayal of gods and goddesses in The Odyssey and other ancient literature
  • Examining the role of women in The Odyssey and other ancient texts

Historical and Cultural Context

  • The portrayal of ancient Greek society in The Odyssey
  • The significance of the Trojan War in the context of the poem
  • The political and social implications of Odysseus' return to Ithaca
  • The role of religion and spirituality in ancient Greek culture
  • The influence of mythology on the narrative of The Odyssey

With these recommended essay topics, you'll have plenty of options to choose from when writing about The Odyssey. Whether you're interested in exploring the themes, characters, literary devices, or historical context of the poem, there is a wealth of material to dive into. Remember to select a topic that resonates with you and allows for a focused and engaging analysis. Happy writing!

Selfishness in The Odyssey

The villains of odysseus in homer's the odyssey, made-to-order essay as fast as you need it.

Each essay is customized to cater to your unique preferences

+ experts online

Epic Similes in Homers The Odyssey

The odyssey and its relevance today, the role of women in the odyssey, "the odyssey" analysis, 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

Fate and Choice in Homer's Odyssey: an Analysis

Humanity and immortality in the iliad and the odyssey, how odysseus proves to be a hero in the odyssey, the odyssey: the role of gods in human lifes, get a personalized essay in under 3 hours.

Expert-written essays crafted with your exact needs in mind

A Study of The Theme of Self-identification in The Odyssey

A relationship between the guest and the host in the odyssey by homer, "homegoing" and "the odyssey": hope towards coming back, analysis of odysseus as an effective leader in the odyssey, odysseus: an epic hero and a timeless character, analysis of odysseus as a good leader, why odysseus does not deserve to be called a hero, women's history through literature: analysis of plato, homer and dante, odysseus – a perfect example of an epic hero, how odysseus is not a hero he seems to be, a hero's journey in "the adventures of huckleberry finn" and "the odyssey", depiction of penelope's sorrow in the odyssey, xenia and hospitality in the odyssey, 1001 arabian nights, and taking of joppa, ways in which polytheism and monotheism affect gender roles, suffering a human existence in the odyssey, what characteristics make odysseus a hero, female characters subverted by men in the odyssey, the odyssey: how the distribution of power impacts societal order, equity, and the oppression, consuming everything: the symbolic use of food in the odyssey, crossing the border between civilian and warrior in the odyssey by homer and the things they carried by tim o'brien.

c. 8th century BCE

Epic Poetry, Epic

Ancient Greek

Odysseus, Telemachus, Penelope, Athena, Poseidon, Zeus, Antinous, Eurymachus, Amphinomus, Eumaeus, Eurycleia, Melanthius, Melantho, Calypso, Polyphemus, Circe, Laertes, Tiresias, Nestor, Menelaus, Helen, Agamemnon, Nausicaa, Alcinous, Arete

Relevant topics

  • Sir Gawain and The Green Knight
  • The Tell Tale Heart
  • Bartleby The Scrivener
  • Romeo and Juliet
  • Frankenstein
  • Raymonds Run
  • The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde

By clicking “Check Writers’ Offers”, you agree to our terms of service and privacy policy . We’ll occasionally send you promo and account related email

No need to pay just yet!

We use cookies to personalyze your web-site experience. By continuing we’ll assume you board with our cookie policy .

  • Instructions Followed To The Letter
  • Deadlines Met At Every Stage
  • Unique And Plagiarism Free

good hook for an essay about the odyssey


  1. 85 The Odyssey Essay: Examples, Topics, Tips, & Hooks for ...

    Odysseus is known all over the world as one of the most outstanding models of leadership anthemed in the literature of the ancient world. The Odyssey by Homer: Comprehensive Analysis of the Character of Penelope. Penelope is believed to be the faithful wife of Ulysses and she stood really strong in his absence.

  2. The Odyssey Critical Essays

    SOURCE: A dedication to the Odyssey, in Chapman's Homer: The "Iliad," the "Odyssey," and the Lesser Homerica, Vol. 2, edited by Allardyce Nicoll, Pantheon Books, 1956, pp. 3-8. [A successful ...

  3. The Odyssey Suggested Essay Topics

    Suggested Essay Topics. PDF Cite. Book I. Examine the various epithets that are constantly associated with the various characters: "thoughtful" Telemachus; "circumspect" Penelope ...

  4. The Odyssey Essays for College Students

    The Odyssey. The Odyssey The Odyssey was full of wonder, power, and surprises. It is packed with epic heroes, creatures, gods, and goddesses. The gods, goddesses, and creatures had supernatural powers that effected the lives of Odysseus, his crew, and his family. Their actions proved to be powerful, beneficial ...

  5. The Odyssey Critical Evaluation

    Odysseus is the model of the worldly, well-traveled, persevering man who overcomes obstacles. He has courage, stamina, and power, but his real strength lies in his brain, which is shrewd, quick ...

  6. How Odysseus Proves to Be a Hero in The Odyssey

    Prompt Examples for "The Odysseus" Essay. Epic Heroic Qualities: Analyze the epic hero qualities exhibited by Odysseus in "The Odyssey," discussing traits such as courage, intelligence, leadership, and resilience. Heroic Journey: Examine Odysseus's hero's journey throughout the epic, and discuss the challenges he faces, his growth as a character, and the lessons he learns along the way.

  7. The Odyssey Essay Questions

    The Odyssey Essay Questions. 1. Argue against the claim that The Odyssey ought to be read as a tragedy because of all the pain inflicted upon its protagonist, Odysseus. Although Odysseus' name means "Son of Pain" and he is made to suffer greatly before achieving his nostos (homecoming), the fact remains that he ultimately does achieve nostos.

  8. The Odyssey

    The Odyssey is the story, the epic of Odysseus or Ulysses in some texts. His journey begins when the city of Troy falls. Odysseus, the Grecian hero, does not return to Ithaca, his kingdom, in ten days as per the journey schedule takes almost ten years.Assuming Odysseus is dead, his wife, Penelope, is hounded by unruly and rowdy suitors wanting to marry her.

  9. The Odyssey Essay Topics

    The Odyssey Essay Topics. Clio has taught education courses at the college level and has a Ph.D. in curriculum and instruction. Homer's ''The Odyssey'' is one of literature's great classics, and ...

  10. Why The Odyssey is the Perfect Book for High School English

    Because Kafka's German-Jewish Prague of the 1920s, and Salinger's 1950 Manhattan, were, for my students, even more fantastic and alien than Homer's mythic monsters. In my 12th-grade class, many students had heard of the Cyclops and Ulysses, but experiencing the entire Odyssey was new territory for most of them. Tie yourself to the masts ...

  11. The Odyssey Critical Overview

    Critical Overview. The critical reputation of the Odyssey is perhaps best demonstrated by noting that it is generally regarded as one of the first works of true "literature" in Western culture ...

  12. Essay Questions

    Approach it from the points of view of Telemachus and Poseidon, as well as Odysseus. 4. Who is your favorite female character and why? Consider immortals as well as mortals. 5. A major theme in The Odyssey is reciprocity: people getting what they deserve. Explain how this theme affects the main characters: Odysseus, Penelope, Antinous, Telemachus.

  13. Essays on The Odyssey

    3 pages / 1155 words. The Odyssey is an epic ballad on a greek legend's experiences. The significant subjects in this lyric additionally apply to life today as a result of the manner in which it helps an individual's character by learning through the characters activities, emotions, victories, and errors.

  14. PDF Argumentative Essay

    Essay Topics: Do you agree or disagree with these statements based on your reading of the Odyssey. 1. Odysseus is a good hero. 2. Odysseus is a good man. 3. Women are portrayed fairly in the Odyssey. 4. Odysseus changes and grows throughout his journey. 5. Odysseus is a good leader. 6. All of the gods on Olympus care about the human beings on ...

  15. PDF The Odyssey Essay

    Essay Prompt: Homer explores many themes in his epic The Odyssey. Choose one and trace its development throughout the epic. Your essay will discuss a theme, NOT on a word. Arrogance: Not a theme. Distractions. Not a theme. Idea about arrogance: Arrogance is punished; humility is rewarded. Homer's The Odyssey illustrates the vice of arrogance ...