Iliad or Odyssey Homer's Work Thesis

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The two lovers are trapped by Hephaestus' chains and the gods are debating their fates. They contemplate the issue of whether being trapped in the chains is sufficient punishment, to which Hermes quips "...although I might be held by chains that are three times more numerous, more tight, than these then - even if the gods should watch the sight and all the goddesses - I'd find delight in lying with the golden Aphrodite." This tale illustrates a few things about the ancient Greeks.

The first is that humor was indeed a part of their lives. The bards brought them song and laughter during their feasts. Additionally, such humor speaks to the Greek relationship with the gods. The gods may have held sway over much of the lives of the ancient Greeks, but they were not above being the source of humor, even for mortals. The absurdity of the gods' lives was a mirror for the absurdity of the lives of mortals, and was thus fair game for a laugh. The Odyssey was intended as a swashbuckling heroic tale, a contrast to the weightiness of the Iliad.
Homer shows us the ancient Greek sense of humor throughout. He uses it to keep the tone much lighter in the Odyssey. Humor is therefore an important storytelling device, used to help carry the tale through its darker moments. It is also used with the intent of bringing more emotional lift to the story. The heroes are more relatable to the audience because the audience can derive greater joy from their exploits on account of the humorous elements. This same sense of humor can be seen in modern action movies as well, where heroes enjoy dispatching the villains. The task is not grim in the Odyssey. This illustrates a shift in context from the Iliad. Whereas that poem is a dark, brooding, moral study, the Odyssey is populist entertainment. In such entertainment, laughter is an effective tool, and one that Homer wields effectively.

Works Cited

Mandelbaum, Allen. (1990). The Odyssey of Homer. University of California….....

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