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The book Essays on the Odyssey Selected Modern Criticism is a compilation of essays centered around controversial interpretations from Homers timeless epic such as characterization setting the dynamic between certain characters and literary devices Charles H Taylor Jr also included essays such as The Odyssey and the Western World Gods and Men in Homer and Calypso and Elysium The essays explore various topics that have been debated about the Odyssey for ages but the main themes most of the essays share is analyzing Odysseus on the journey he has to ordeal and the characters that influence his actions along the way Not only are these topics essential aspects of the epic but since The Odyssey is historically one of the oldest pieces of literature it could very well be the origin for many techniques when it comes to literature as a whole The essays in Essays on the Odyssey Selected Modern Criticism acknowledges how significant The Odyssey is to world literature and most of the essays are coming from a new historical literary approach In George E Dimock Jrs essay titled The Name of Odysseus Dimock primarily analyzes not only what Odysseus name means in the Greek culture and how he as a character lives up to that meaning but also how the theme of pain throughout the epic comes into play as well According to Dimock The whole problem of the Odyssey is for Odysseus to establish his identity Dimock 54 which is vague but Dimock provides ample evidence to support his argument which seems to come from a new historical approach For example he explains that in Greek to odysseus essentially means to hate or trouble 59 Dimock seems to refer to the trouble translation much more in his essay This translation is puzzling to the reader because why would Homer name his hero Odysseus when the word is so unfavorable Dimock argues that it is
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