In order to bring his stories to life Homer uses amazing description of scenes and images throughout the book.
Homer often uses very detailed gruesome imagery when describing horrific events in the story. For example in book 9 home describes the Cyclops’ eye being stabbed “ we handles our pole with its red hot point and twisted it in his eye till the blood boiled up round the burning wood.The scorching heat singed his lids and brow all round, while his eyeball blazed and the very roots crackled in the flame. By using very powerful figurative writing Homer manages to engage his reader and play with his emotions. Homer also uses many metaphors and similes in order to bring his stories to life, “the Cyclops’ eye hissed round the olive stake in the same way that an axe or adze hisses when a smith plunges it into cold water in order to quench and strengthen the iron. ” The similes and metaphors help the reader to imagine what Homer is describing and that makes the story all the more exciting.
Also it helps the reader relate to what is being described as, for example, they might not know what sound would come out of an eye being stabbed with a hot wooden stick whereas they would be quite familiar with the sound of a hot axe being plunged into water, and by comparing one to the other it becomes easier for the reader to imagine this actually happening and so the story begins to come to life for them. Homer not only uses gruesome detail in his Odyssey but also description of beauty and scenery.For example when describing Calypso’s cave in book 5 Homer uses very precise detail in order to convey the image to the reader “ The cave was sheltered by a copse of alders and fragrant cypresses, which was the roosting-place of wide-winged birds, horned owls and falcons and cormorants with long tongues, birds of the coast, whose business takes them down to the sea.
” By using imagery and describing the senses Homer gets the desired effect on the reader.Homer also describes the looks of character very precisely; “the Nymph dressed herself in a long silvery mantle of a fine and elegant material, with a splendid golden belt round her waist, and a scarf over her head. ” Through such careful description of the characters the reader has a very clear image in their head and the story appears to be more realistic as it is easier to imagine everything. Throughout the Odyssey Homer continuously uses epithets in order to describe characters; for example “fresh and rosy fingered Dawn”, “enduring Odysseus”, “formidable goddess” and many, many more.The use of epithets throughout the stories helps the reader understand the most important characteristics of the characters at the point of time.
For example when Odysseus decides not to jump off the ship and kill himself, when he finds out that they nearly reached Ithaca and then got swept away miles back, but instead decides to stay and endure he is called “ever enduring Odysseus”. This helps the reader to understand the feelings and aspects of Odysseus better as he the reader is only told that he is enduring through the epithet.