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50 Essay Topics for the Most SparkNoted Books

The Odyssey by Homer

31. Consider Penelope. Does her character exist purely as a love interest? To what extent is she the driving force behind the entire plot?

32. What does the narrative suggest about hospitality? Analyze the notion of hospitality (or xenia) codified by the Ancient Greeks. Consider those who follow this code (ex. the Phaeacians), as well as those who do not (ex. the Cyclopes).

33. Juxtapose the character development of Odysseus against that of his son, Telemachus. The latter’s story is a coming-of-age-tale. Does the former develop at all?

34. Odysseus possesses many qualities that would make him a hero by Ancient Greek standards. Do these same qualities also lead him to harm? What does this say about the Homeric concept of heroism?

35. Various characters disguise themselves over the course of the story. Does the use of disguise serve only practical purposes (i.e. getting from Point A to Point B without detection)? Or do the disguises often reveal just as much as they mask?

Topics: Books
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