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Word Count: 545
The Odyssey and the Aeneid were composed in ancient Greek times around 30 and 700 bc The most prominent and most obvious similarity of both the Odyssey and the Aeneid is that they are both epics An epic is a long narrative poem in an elevated style that deals with the trials and achievements of a great hero or heroes There are two types of epics primary and Secondary The primary epic comes from mores legends or folk tales of a people and is initially developed in an oral tradition of storytelling The Secondary epic is mostly literary They are written from their beginning and designed to appear as whole stories The word epic comes from the Greek word epos originally meaning word but later oration or song Some of the poetic devices characteristic of epics are journeys or quests various trials or tests of the hero and divine intervention In the Odyssey and the Aeneid our heroes Odysseus and Aeneas journey over vast foreign lands and travel days upon days over sea Odysseus who has been absent from his homeland of Ithaca for about 20 years has spent the first ten fighting in the Trojan War and the last ten trying to make his way home to his wife Penelope Aeneas on the other hand travels from Troy after his loss in the Trojan War to find new land to rebuild his empire and someday take revenge on the Greeks Both travel a similar route over much of the same land and water such as Creta Thrace and the Mediterranean Sea While on their journeys both men are faced with certain trials and tribulations which thwart their hopes of ever reaching their final destinations For example Odysseus encounters Polyphemus a Cyclops or one-eyed giant who traps Odysseus and his crewmates in his cave while they were exploring the unfamiliar land Aeneas also encounters Polyphemus and his
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