The Odyssey is an ancient Greek epic poem written by Homer, most likely in the 8th century BC. It’s very popular with schoolteachers and university lecturers alike, so chances are you’ll need to write a paper about it at least once. The following are the ten most interesting essay topics about the Odyssey for you to choose from.
Odysseus doesn’t change that much throughout the whole poem. How does Odysseus change? Can you perhaps argue that he does not change at all?
Reciprocity is a major theme throughout the epic. How is this reflected in the poem? How is it reflected in each of the main characters, such as Odysseus and Penelope?
The Odyssey is set in a world that is largely governed by the gods. Does human will play any part in people’s destinies in the epic? Does human will influence the will of the gods at all?
Family appears to be an important theme in the poem. What is the role of family in the poem? How is the relationship between fathers and sons portrayed throughout the work?
Odysseus displays many positive and negative characteristics in the poem. What positive characteristics does he show? What negative characteristics does he show? Are any of these at odds with each other?
Characters in the epic spend a lot of time boasting, but they also warn against being full of pride. Is there any difference between boasting and pride? Does their boasting sometimes land them in trouble?
Women such as Penelope and Calypso appear in the poem. What are their roles and how are they portrayed throughout the epic? Could this be a reflection of women’s roles in Homer’s society?
Hospitality is an important theme throughout the epic. What constitutes hospitality in the work? What does this say about hospitality as a value during Homer’s lifetime?
Homer used various literary devices common to primary epics in the Odyssey. What are these literary devices? What are their purposes?
Revenge plays a strong role in the Odyssey. Who seeks revenge in the poem? Do they get their revenge? How does it affect them?
Hopefully this list of ten excellent essay topics about the Odyssey have helped spark your interest in this great epic. Now you can go on to write an outstanding paper on the poem.