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Literary Analysis Essay: The Odyssey (Essay Sample)

1. Instructions: Analyze and interpret a theme, character, passage, or concept found in one of the literary works on the course syllabus. First, choose a work that you enjoyed or found thought-provoking. Next, develop an argument/thesis about your topic based upon your interests.(Literary works: The Epic of Gilgamesh,Genesis,The Odyssey,Sophocles Oedipus the King,Confucius from Analects,Beowulf Norton, Medieval Lyrics,Letter Concerning the First Voyage,Hamlet Act,) Be specific in your focus here. Do not simply summarize or restate ideas covered in lecture, discussions, or otherwise found elsewhere. Rather, use in-class examples and materials as a framework for developing your own argument. For example, if we did not discuss women characters at length in a particular work, a paper analyzing a female character might be an option. Try to choose a topic that we have not examined in great detail but which you believe serves an important role or function in your chosen work. Be creative! Feel free to write an essay that complements or revises standard interpretations. Support your argument with relevant textual evidence (in the form of short quotes) from the work. Use class notes and/or outside sources only as a starting point. 2. Mandatory requirements: I. Essay must have a clear thesis statement in its initial paragraph. This thesis statement should express an arguable proposition. Weak: “Oedipus Rex is work filled with irony.” Yes, indeed. However, there is not much debate possible here. It states the obvious in a vague fashion. This is not a passable thesis statement for this assignment. Strong: “Sophocles uses irony in Oedipus Rex to serve the larger message of the play: Fate is inescapable, and there is ultimately no free will.” Much more substantial. There is original analysis present here, with a clearly stated thesis that makes the reader wonder how you will prove this stance. II. Brief, direct quotes are recommended. III. No block quotes and/or excessive summary. IV. Do not reference sources other than the course texts (i.e. Norton). V. Use appropriate literary terminology. For example, note who is speaking to whom. Summarize events using the present tense, and etc. We will cover these conventions in class. VI. The essay must be at least 800 words and no longer than 1000 words. This is equivalent to three to four typed pages. VII. No work will be accepted past the due date listed above. NO EXCEPTIONS. If circumstances prevent you from attending class on the due date, you must arrange for the essay to be delivered electronically and otherwise. Likewise, if you are late the essay will not be accepted. Revision 1 3.21.13 3. Formatting and content guidelines Format: MLA 7 [consult online reference or class notes] Including Margins: One inch on all sides, left justified Spacing: Double-spaced, with no spaces between paragraphs Page Numbering: Upper right corner: last name plus page number Identification: Top left of first page only: i.e.: Name Pr. Velez Course Name and Section Date Submitted Title: Centered, first letters of main words capitalized; do not underline, bold face, italicize, or put title in quotes. [Body of essay commences directly below title in MLA 7] Font: 12-point, preferably Times New Roman, including title 4. Papers with the following issues will not be accepted and given a zero score:  Final draft does not meet the length requirement. 800 words is the minimum. I will not read essays that do not meet this requirement.  Any portion of the essay is verified as plagiarized. Please do not reference other interpretations here. I am interested in your ideas, your choice of quotes, your analysis- all in your own words. In the event that I find any portion of your essay is plagiarized, you will be provided with proof. This is grounds for course failure. If in doubt, ask beforehand! 5. Submission Essays must be submitted 1) electronically via the WebCampus email link and 2) in class as a printed copy. Identical versions of your essay must be submitted no later than the beginning of class on the due date. NOTE: If you have any questions regarding this assignment or its deadlines, it is your responsibility to discuss such issues before the final due date. For my part, I read each essay at least twice and will provide commentary and a clear rationale for the grade assigned. I invite you to send me drafts in progress. I will read them as a peer reviewer and offer feedback. 6. Essays will be graded in reference to the following criteria:  A clear and controlling overall idea and specific thesis is present  Sufficient evidence via supporting details is present  Effective organization of material, with transitions as needed  Proper grammar and style (sentence skills), correct spelling and word usage, and appropriate vocabulary  Proper use of the MLA (version 7) format throughout: see above  Thoroughness of analysis and in following directions. source..
The Odyssey
The narration in Odyssey is mainly centered on the protagonist Odysseus. The story is narrated after 10 years since the Trojan War. After the war, all the heroes in Greece returns home except Odysseus. Odysseus is in Ogygia, which is an island in which he lives with goddess Calypso who is in love with him. Calypso prevents him from going back to Ithaca where his estate is. The wife of Odysseus, Queen Penelope and his son Prince Telemachus lives are in Ithaca. Most of the people in Ithaca are convinced that Odysseus is dead and therefore many suitors are expressing their intensions to marry Queen Penelope. Although Telemachus is against the idea, he cannot stop the suitors since he is very young. Suitors are expressing their intensions to marry Penelope since they want to dominate her kingdom in Ithaca. However, they do not succeed because Odysseus is able to stop them through his supernatural powers. The mysterious powers of Odysseus are the centre of curvature through which the interests of the Greeks revolves both in the physical and spiritual worlds.
Analysis of Odysseus’s character in Odyssey
In Odyssey, the narrator focuses most of the attention on the mysterious powers of Odysseus. He was married to Queen Penelope and they had a son, prince Telemachus, "My mother certainly says I am  HYPERLINK "/GML/Odysseus.html" Odysseus' son; but for myself I cannot tell. It's a wise child that knows its own father" (Homer 214). This shows that Odysseus is a powerful warrior highly respected and honored by the Greeks in Ithaca. Marrying a queen makes a person noble in the society. Ten years after the Trojan War, most of the Greek warriors have returned home but Odysseus is yet to be seen. Most of the people in Ithaca are convinced that he is dead but there are those who believe that he is still alive. For example, his son is against the suitors who propose to marry Queen Penelope. In addition, the queen has not yet expressed willingness to be married to another man even after the departure of his husband. She is still faithful to him. This shows that people in Ithaca are confident that Odysseus is a strong warrior who cannot just...
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