Odyssey Essay Topics

Odyssey Essay Topics

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Most students try to avoid poetry. Unlike the straightforward prose which is written in everyday language, poetry is compressed, metaphorical, highly imagistic, and often times, it is written in a high-sounding language. Poetry talks in riddles, and uncovering the real connotations of the poet can be a tad difficult. As a result, most students complain of a sense of disconnection from poetry. However, when committed to, poetry can be one of the most interesting genres of literature. Besides, poetry is a must for all literature classes, so you can’t avoid it. Now, your teacher has given you a task to write an essay centered on the Odyssey by Homer, and you have to come up with an impressive essay topic. Don’t start panicking.

The Poem – Odyssey

The Odyssey just like the Iliad is an epic poem, one of the oldest literature still available in modern times. The Odyssey is not a poem that you get bored of as there are various interesting themes for you to explore. The Odyssey is still a page-turner till today rife with adventures, and it manages to get the reader caught up with each activity, such that the reader is elated with each progress and put off by the setbacks.

What’s not to like about this incredible epic poem? So, you see, poetry doesn’t have to be the boring, hard to decode, string of words and phrases that you have in your mind. Poetry can be a whole lot more and the Odyssey proves this perfectly. So, sit back and relax, you should be able to develop an outstanding Odyssey essay topic after reading this.

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Literary Analysis Essay Topics for the Odyssey

With the numerous themes ranging from loyalty, perseverance, hospitality, spiritual growth to vengeance and disguises, getting an impressive essay topic for the Odyssey shouldn’t pose much of a problem for you. If not on the explored themes, you can base your topic on any of the other literary techniques such as the characterization and figures of speech like the symbolisms in the poem. Here is a compiled list of the literary analysis Odyssey essay topics.

  1. In the development of the character of Odysseus throughout his journey, what roles do women play?

  2. Which of the characters in the poem depict the essence of loyalty the most and how?

  3. What traits make the characters of Telemachus and Odyssey appear identic? Are they really?

  4. Consider the symbols of – the island of Ithaca, the shroud weaved for Laertes by Penelope, the sea and Odysseus’s might bow. What is their symbolic significance to the story?

  5. From the points of view of Odysseus, Poseidon and Telemachus, how is the theme of vengeance relevant to the epic?

  6. Explain how the theme of reciprocity impacts on the main characters: Odysseus, Antinous, Penelope, and Telemachus.

  7. What characters explicitly express the traits of perseverance and loyalty, and how are they treated by the author?

  8. Analyze the interconnections between Athena, Poseidon and Odysseus

  9. Considering the characters and examples of Telemachus and Odyssey, Poseidon and Polyphemus, what is the significance of fatherhood in the Odyssey?

  10. Why is the theme of disguise important in Odyssey?

  11. Odysseus is passionate about the subject of guest treatment and generosity. What is the significance of this in the poem?

  12. The epic poem – Odyssey was written in iambic pentameter, what effects does this form have in the shaping of the epic story (this topic is only advisable if you have an in-depth knowledge of the forms of poetry and their connotations).

Argumentative Essay Topics for the Odyssey

Numerous discussions have been held, books and journals written, but arguments still persist on different notions of the Odyssey. You can always form an essay topic based on some of the arguments that already persists or that you formed from reading the poem. However, it is important that your argumentative Odyssey essay topic is one that you’ll be able to back up adequately. Here is a list of some of the impressive argumentative Odyssey essay topics.

  1. Odyssey should be read as a tragedy due to all the sufferings of the protagonist, Odysseus. Argue against this claim?

  2. What do you perceive as Odyssey’s worst mistakes during his journey? Support your answers with reason and evidence

  3. Public order or personal choice, which is represented as more importance and do you agree with this representation?

  4. Is Odysseus a just or an unjust man? Provide evidence to back your claim

  5. In discussing the fidelity in the poem, was the household of Odyssey faithful to him, and was he to them? Support your views with evidence

  6. Odysseus is not a hero. Argue against this claim

  7. What are your views on the importance of Odysseus journeying to the Underworld?

  8. Why is Odyssey still a popular piece till today?

Odyssey Essay Topics on the Ancient Culture of Greece

The Odyssey is able to still enthrall its audience because of its time-defying stories of the Greek culture including folklores, myths, legends, monsters, gods and goddesses. Hence, you can also form a mind-turning essay topic for the Odyssey based on the ancient Greek culture. Here are some of the creative odyssey essay topics on the ancient Greek culture.

  1. How is Athena portrayed to showcase exemplary gender roles in the Odyssey?

  2. Discuss the main archetypes of the ancient Greek culture as portrayed in the Odyssey

  3. According to the Odyssey, what are the main qualities of a hero?

  4. What are the pertinent social and political issues prevalent in Ancient Greek that were illustrated in the Odyssey?

  5. Discuss the social order of the Odyssey as being identic to that of the Ancient Greek culture.

  6. The Odyssey provides insights into the beliefs and customs of the ancient culture that produced it. Describe a custom or a belief in the Odyssey that is seen to be relevant in ancient Greece.

  7. What are the roles of the gods in the story, and why are they portrayed in this manner by the poet? Why are they included in the poem and how different is their behavior from that of humans?

Odyssey Discussion Essay Topics

Poetry can be a whole lot of fun. To increase the fun, you can form a group discussion based on this project where you all read from lines of the book, after all, poetry is best understood when it is read aloud. You all can brainstorm on and evaluate Odyssey essay topics together till you each come up with an ideal topic. These are some noteworthy discussion topics that can always come up within your group.

  1. What were the wonderful personal qualities that enabled the survival of Odysseus in his adventures, and helped him surmount his obstacles, safely return home, and regain his status?

  2. What are the aspects of political and social life in the times of Homer that are portrayed in the Odyssey?

  3. Was the choice of Odysseus to raid the lands of the Ismaerus and Cicones a bad one? What makes it so? What perceptions did you all (in the group) gain from this single action?

  4. What attributes make everyone to fall in love and look to Odysseus as a mighty replica of the mythical hero?

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Odyssey Essay Topic Frameworks

There is a myriad of possible Odyssey essay topics. While the topic you finally decide on might not be included in the above lists, these should help set place you on the course of getting an impressive essay topic. You can learn the best ways to frame your own topic from the frameworks of the topics listed before:

  • The framework of characterization, focusing on the minor and major characters. For instance, as the character of Odyssey systematically develops as he goes through his journey, what are the roles of women in this development focusing particularly on Penelope, Anticleia, and Calypso?

  • Qualities of the Aristotelian hero as depicted in Odysseus as a framework.

  • Compare and contrast the social and political order of Ancient Greece as portrayed by the Odyssey against what obtains in the present day.

  • Compare and contrast the journeys of both Odysseus and Telemachus


It is quite common for student to search up essay topics for Odyssey online. If you’re doing this, don’t consider it weird or out-of-the-books. It is normal. However, it can be frustrating to no end to surf the Internet through and through without coming up with an ideal Odyssey essay topic. Hence, the importance of this guide.

This guide has not only provided a background information on the Odyssey, but also provides specific topic materials with which you can come up with ideal Odyssey essay topic. Remember that getting a topic is only the first step to writing an essay, albeit an important one. So, evaluate any topic you finally decide on to guarantee that you can write an essay on it.