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Word Count: 1,091
Throughout the Odyssey Homers main character Odysseus undergoes various changes with himself and his surroundings He partakes in many adventures that usually have a symbolic meaning to them In book IX X and XI of the Odyssey Odysseus experiences a symbolic death and rebirth There are other scenes in this poem which also contribute to this theme The reoccurring motif is used by Homer to show the growth and maturation of Odysseus within the poem Odysseus journeys far and wide to be able to see his beautiful wife and son again He has lost touch with his homeland and has not seen his home friends or family in ten years His entire journey is symbolic of death and rebirth First Homer depicts this motif through Telemakhos Odysseus son In the first book of the poem Athena addresses Telemahkos in disguise By speaking to him the reader is shown that Telemakhos feels symbolically dead inside Speaking of the suitors he says Meanwhile they eat their way through all we have and when they will they can demolish me I 289-90 He feels lost and dead inside without any knowledge of his father but is reborn through obtaining that knowledge Athena convinces Telemahkos to gather himself together and take on Odysseus role Telemahkos is truly reborn by being reunited with him father at the end of the poem Odysseus also undergoes the cycle of death and rebirth With every adventure Odysseus encounters some form of this motif In Book IX Odysseus encounters the great and barbaric Kyklopes Polyphemos Odysseus and his men are captured by this brute and enslaved in his cave The darkness of the cave along with the cannibalism of Polyphemos is symbolic of death To further emphasize this motif Odysseus clevely tricks the kyklopes into calling him Nohbdy When mortals died and went into the underground they became nobody at all By Polyphemos calling Odysseus that it enhances the idea of death
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