Comparison Of Homer’s Odyssey And Joyce’s Ulysses

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Homer’s Odyssey, Joyce’s Ulysses defines an exploration of consciousness or of inner life, this entails a preference for an anti-hero, or at any rate a hero that doesn’t recognise a heroes of earlier novels, in addition of a length exploration and venture into a wide-scope of subject matter that, while a part of normative and ideal consciousness, is often taboo in art, such as defecation and masturbation. As a notable experiment in the rendering of time, Ulysses displays modernist scepticism about the linear or sequential arrangement of events into traditional plots. In contrast with the earlier tendency to make the prose of novels generally referential, Joyce was particularly self-conscious about the literary quality or style of novelistic language he used; experimenting with a wide-range of narrative and literary devices that combined the realist presentation of the world in-contract with esoteric symbolism. Finally, Ulysses drew primal attention to its status and reputation with its fictitious relationship between fiction and history, and the manifesting and altering question of the novel and or narrative as a modern form of epic.

Ulysses interaction with the Odyssey is best defined as a manifestation and or an appropriation. Joyce makes use of the Odyssey which was much regarded by the Greeks as a Bible, the Odyssey enjoyed a tremendous and prominent uproar in the Edwardian and Victorian Eras more, more so than the tragic Iliad, an epic sustained in violence whilst its companion poem the Odyssey presents a more comic stimulus, an epic which has its foundations and in accepting and enduring life –and having the capacity to comprehend the possibility of a satisfactory ending. In Ulysses, Joyce not only traverses the original Homeric ideals and virtues but insistently alters the context of the Odyssey in which Joyce offers some of the most elaborate examples of intertextuality as it manifests, appropriates and modifies Homer’s Odyssey over a diverse span of contexts ad cultures.

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In exploring the centralised theme of hospitality Homer makes sure to give us a clear idea of what hospitality is before we begin determining the quality of the hospitality shown towards Telemachus on his journey. Telemachus is made to be the standard by which we can judge the following instances of hospitality or lack thereof. He is rewarded for his kindness too. In this way, Homer can subtly teach us the virtues that he believes define a man’s character by giving them good fortune. Athena gives Telemachus hope of his father returning and tells him how to find out more from Pylos and Sparta. They set off together to gain knowledge of his father and to give us a dose of good hospitality.

In exploring the centralised theme of the changing roles of women over time, Homer’s Odysseus offers discussion on the complexity of female characters, as such, Penelope, the wife of Odysseus. From one perspective, she portrays the motherly-type or good wife characteristics, but from another, she is defined by feminine characteristics and or qualities that expose her as being a type of seductress, a much-exemplified archetype as evidenced in the way Homer exemplifies sexual promiscuity in femineity. I attempted to explore this theme by providing complementary illustrations that depict the changing roles of women over time, where the first of three illustrations portrays a women caring for a baby –often depicted as a mother. The second shows how goddesses are exemplified in accordance with the standard mortal man –portraying Athena, the daughter of Zeus and goddess of wisdom, who strives in helping Odysseus in his journey by overseeing his overall safety and wellbeing on his way home. “Athena’s avowed purpose in visiting Odysseus’ home is to see to it that Telemachus wins his fair share of renown…in order to oust the suitors from his house” (Olsen, 61)

The vast majority of women in the Odyssey attempt to help Odysseus during his lengthy expedition, whereas there are some seductresses who try to restrain his freedom and keep him as both a physical and psychological prisoner. Calypso and Circe, for example, both use seduction to extort Odysseus. However, the islands belonging to Circe and Calypso are examples of female liberation and empowerment, a characteristic not common of the Homeric Context. It’s clear that Homer wanted to show that it is virtually impossible to comprehend or retain the thought of a woman running a household and nothing more.

In this research inquiry into Odyssey and its Manifestation, Ulysses. I have gained further knowledge in the centralised themes of women and their changing roles –and how they are depicted in varying contexts across time. In Studying the Odyssey and Ulysses as post-war epics I have discovered more about the epic than what I initially understood –learning about the form and structure and how James Joyce modernised this form to achieve a modern narrative. In conducting research into the themes of Hospitality –delving into societal and culture standards of the Homeric context in which individuals were fearful of divine justice and or the wrath of the gods and treated others with acts of kindness despite whether initial good intentions were in place or fabricated.


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