Figurative Language In Homer's The Odyssey

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Homer proved himself as a master of figurative language throughout all of his literary work. Homer’s grasp of language caused him to even have a style of simile named after him, the Homeric simile or the epic simile. He commonly used figurative language that included music, which people theorize is because Homer himself was a bard. Throughout the passage in The Odyssey from book twenty-one, Homer consistently references song, including when Odysseus strung the bow, when he plucked the bowstring, and when Odysseus told Telemachus to prepare to fight the suitors. The numerous elements of figurative language that reference the fine arts, specifically music, found within The Odyssey help the reader understand the Greek ideology of weaponry and…show more content…
If Odysseus had been unable to string his own bow, he would not have been able to fight off the suitors. Penelope used the stringing of the bow as a test to decide which suitor she would marry. If all of the suitors failed to shoot through all of the axes with Odysseus’s bow, it would show none of the suitors were able to equal Odysseus in strength or skill. Penelope would not have a reason to believe his claim that he was Odysseus, and he would, to some extent, be unfit to reclaim his house and possessions. Because of Homer’s love of music, Homer emphasized the importance of the moment by using a Homeric simile that characterized Odysseus string his bow as similar to a musician who was an expert singer and player of the lyre. The imagery makes the reader sense the ease with which Odysseus must have strung the bow. The portrayal of Odysseus is of him as strong and agile, while also as graceful and precise. The connection made between the strings of the instrument, the lyre, and the string of Odysseus’s powerful bow and the expertise of a musician compared to Odysseus’s ease with weapons explicitly showed how Ancient Greeks put significant effort into both the musical arts and the art of mastering

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