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The Odyssey by Homer is a classical piece of Greek literature Throughout The Odyssey Homer makes use of many literary techniques in order to give meaning to the poem beyond its significance as a work of historic fiction and help his readers in the comprehension of the story One of these techniques is the use of motifs In The Odyssey perhaps the most important of Homers motifs is the symbolic death and rebirth theme This motif is used throughout The Odyssey to emphasize the growth and maturation of the charactersThe first example of this motif occurs with Telemachus early in the book Telemachus in book I is visited by the goddess Athena in disguise In their conversation Telemachus reveals the pain and suffering that he is experiencing as a result of living without knowing the status of his father fearing that he is dead and he left pain and lamentation to me Nor is it for him alone that I grieve in my pain now The Odyssey Latimore I 242-3 Symbolically at this point in the text Telemachus is dead He is willing to take no action to save his home from the suitors or take any initiative to determine the status of his missing father However his symbolic death is not without a rebirth Athena disguised as Mentes brings Telemachus back to life She convinces him that he must take action to preserve the household and determine the fate of his father This prompts Telemachus to take over his fathers role in the household and journey forward to gather information about his missing father His rebirth is further carried out in the story when he is reunited with his father together the two act to regain control of their household from the suitorsThe next example of the death and rebirth motif occurs with our introduction to the storys main character and hero Odysseus Homer introduces Odysseus on the Kalypsos island Odysseuss
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