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Life and death in Homer's Literature

Uploaded by bdogg on Apr 25, 2007

Life and death in Homer's Literature

In today’s society life and death coexist together; a life is brought into this world at the same time that one departs. Our views about life and death change according to our religion, which in term connects, to past generations. It is logical to assume that our current believes and views are a reflection of past civilizations and they have been handed down to us through time. The Odyssey portrays a wonderful and unique view to the relation between life and death in the ancient world. Even more interesting are his “life after death” views. Does it relate to our beliefs of the subject, or does it take us into a different set of mind?

Book eleven tells us through the blind prophet Teiresias, what will happen throughout the rest of Odysseus “life journey”, making it an important event his stance there. At the entrance to the “Land of Death” we see the landscape of this land and immediately we can relate to the view. The following line explains the atmosphere of the place: “the realm and region of the Men of Winter, hidden in mist and cloud” (11.404.15). This tells us that the land of death is an island in the middle of nowhere, surrounded by darkness, fog, and with an inflicted coldness by the “dead”, which is the Men of Winter that chills our bones. Is a place where the sun does not shine: “Never the flaming eye of Helios lights on those men at morning…”(11.404.16), and the vegetation consists of nothing more than rotten vegetation in a swan. It is incredible how perfect this view has been kept throughout the years. In the movie What Dreams May Come we see the boat that drives you to the land of the dead, the image given by the Odyssey is exactly the same. It is a darkness that surrounds you and sets the tone for what is coming next in the text.

He then goes on into the “land of Death” and starts the rituals that Circe commanded. In this ritual we see the first communication with death. Odysseus must sacrifice certain animals and take their blood together with some other condiments so the dead can drink from it and come to talk to him:...

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Uploaded by:   bdogg

Date:   04/25/2007

Category:   Homer

Length:   7 pages (1,573 words)

Views:   6629

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