The OdysseyThe Odyssey tells of Odysseus’ journey home after the devastating war of Troy (or as Penelope calls it, Destroy.) It recounts the devastating adventures of one man yearning to return to his native land, an ache that burrows deep into his very soul. A thirst, that took ten years to quench. However, this novel speaks not only of Odysseus’ voyage but also of Telemachus, his son, through the first four books known as Telemachy.The books of Telemachy are often criticized as they deter the audience’s attention away from Odysseus. However, these four books allow the onlookers to better understand the traditions, and culture of the ancient Greeks.
Books one to four give the spectators a better knowledge of one of the major themes of the Odyssey, Xenia. This is often defined as the guest-host relationship, as in English, we do not have a word whish means the same thing. The books also give Telemachus a chance to prove his maturity and allow us, as readers to compare Agamemnon’s tale to Odysseus’. Throughout the rest of the Odyssey we are shown time and time again the superb skills he has as a rhetorician, his unbelievable ability to mold his speech to charm the addressee. These intriguing and exhilarating books can hardly be explained, as it is impossible to find the words to replace Homer’s (or the translator’s). Through Robert Fagles’ translation I was able to get a general understanding of Odysseus’ adventures, but upon further inspection I realized that the novel is filled with much deeper.