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The Odyssey

The Odyssey

by Homer

The Odyssey Symbolism, Imagery & Allegory

Sometimes, there’s more to Lit than meets the eye.

The Sea

Frankly, if we were Odysseus, we'd never get in a boat again. (If fact, we suspect he won't: Teiresias tells him that he's actually going to live out his days inland, so far ashore that no one will...

Odysseus's Bow

Sometimes a bow is just a bow—and sometimes it's a symbol of kingship and virility, like when Penelope sets up a content so that the man who can string the bow and shoot an arrow through twelve a...


Odysseus's old dog becomes a tear-jerking symbol of loyalty. He's lying in a dung heap covered in ticks, when he perceived that Odysseus had come close to him, he wagged his tail, and laid both his...

Food and Banqueting

What isn't an occasion for a feast in the Odyssey? Whether they're feasting on poisoned witch-food, Helios's cattle, or lotus fruit, Odysseus's men are constantly eating; and Telemachos has to lite...


If you can't just go to Target to pick up some 30% off extra-long sheets for your dorm room bed, cloth takes on whole new meaning. When you're carding, spinning, and weaving every inch of it yourse...


All Odysseus wants it to go home. Sure, the goddess-sex is nice; yeah, Nausikaa is kind of cute; but he really just wants to go home. He tells us that "what I want and all my days I pine for is to...

The Bed

Odysseus and Penelope don't just sleep on some compressed particle board from Ikea. Nope. Not this ancient Greek power couple. They sleep on a bed carved into an honest-to-Zeus olive tree. Listen t...


It's a good thing that we don't put much stock in augury anymore, or we'd be freaking out every time we saw a pigeon. In ancient Greece, anything could have meaning—but especially some things, li...

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