Skip to comments.The Metaphor of the Dawn in The Odyssey
Posted on 03/20/2011 8:50:21 PM PDT by bronxville
The Metaphor of the Dawn in The Odyssey
Throughout Odysseus' journey, the metaphor of the dawn symbolizes his odyssey from immaturity, maturity, and fulfillment. The progression of Odysseus' development of strength is like the development of day, from dawn to dusk. The epithet, "rosy-fingered dawn" marks the beginning of Odysseus' odyssey. After his journey, the epithets "gold-throned dawn" and "bright-throned dawn" replace the "rosy-fingered dawn" however, after Odysseus returns home from his journey, he plans to rid his house of suitors, and the "rosy-fingered dawn" returns. After accomplishing the destruction of the suitors, finally, the "gold-throned dawn" replaces the "rosy-fingered dawn"
In the beginning of Odysseus' journey, the "rosy-fingered dawn" (10) is referred to as a fresh and young beginning of whatever is to come. It also resembles the hardships of a journey in the future, symbolizing his state of immaturity and lack of experience. This shows how the development of day is like Odysseus' development of strength, by addressing the symbolism of "rosy-fingered dawn," possibly symbolizing Odysseus' present state of youth and immaturity.
The "rosy-fingered dawn" returns once again, as a new obstacle is introduced. When the "rosy-fingered dawn" (162) returns, another obstacle of Odysseus' is sure to come. For example, right before Odysseus attempts to rid his home of suitors, the day is begun with the "rosy-fingered dawn." In a way, this foreshadows obstacles to come. This example introduces the relation between Odysseus' strength and the metaphor of the dawn.
Odysseus, during the beginning of his odyssey, is known as a young leader with educational experiences yet to come. Odysseus is referred to as this when "...none remember[ed] princely Odysseus among the people who he ruled..." (14). He is presented here as an inexperienced leader, which supports the theory of the "rosy-fingered dawn" This shows how young Odysseus is related to the "rosy-fingered dawn," and how "old" Odysseus, at the end of his odyssey, is related to the "gold" and "bright-throned dawn". These similes foreshadow another obstacle, now that this idea has come up, supporting the element of strength is like the development of day, as stated in the thesis statement.
When Odysseus returns home from his long journey, the "rosy-fingered dawn" is replaced by the "bright-throned dawn" (151). This symbolizes the accomplishments of his numerous obstacles because the term "bright" symbolizes and accomplished tasks, such as Odysseus' return home. The "gold-throned dawn" represents Odysseus in a way of maturity, knowledge, experience, and strength, again, supporting the theory that Odysseus' development of strength symbolizes the development of the dawns.
"Gold" in general symbolizes wealth, maturity, strength, and power. The "gold-throned dawn" (147) and the "bright-throned dawn" (151) reflect on Odysseus himself after an accomplishment of his. Odysseus is referred to as golden throughout his adventures, relating him to the metaphor of the dawns.The "gold" and "bright-throned dawns" are proven to relate to Odysseus as he is referred to as "...long-tried royal Odysseus..." (62) often throughout the story. "Long-tried" and "royal" relate to "gold-throned" because these both symbolize Odysseus' present strength, wealth, experience, and success. This supports the theory that the dawns relate to Odysseus in various ways, such as his accomplishments and fulfillment.
Odysseus' accomplishments throughout his journey fulfill his odyssey. Fulfillment is shown when "So saying, royal Odysseus crossed the threshold..." (124). This quotation is a sign of the end of Odysseus' odyssey. This relates Odysseus' fulfillment to the metaphor of the dawns because the "gold-throned dawn" is present when this epithet is addressed in the story.
Throughout his journey, Odysseus is related to the sun. When "the sun sank" (124), this symbolized the end of Odysseus' journey. The sinking of the sun represents the final conclusion of his odyssey. The end of a day is perceived as an old accomplished obstacle, while the beginning of a day is perceived as a fresh, new start, full of unpredictable possibilities, relating Odysseus again, to the dawns. This is the mark of the end, and possibly the beginning of another odyssey, possibly foreshadowing another switch of the metaphoric dawns.
Odysseus seems as if he can control the sun in the epic simile, "As a man longs for supper whose pair of tawny oxen all day long have dragged the jointed plough through the fresh field; gladly for him the sunlight sinks and sends him home to supper; stiff are his knees for walking; so gladly for Odysseus sank the sun," (124). Odysseus, like the exhausted farmer, is pleased that the end of the day is near, representing fulfillment of the Odyssey and also representing the symbolic relationship between the metaphor of the dawns and the progression Odysseus' strength and fulfillment.
In conclusion, the metaphor of the dawn symbolizes Odysseus, throughout his odyssey. The stages of immaturity, maturity, and fulfillment portray the different dawns. All of this progression shows how Odysseus gains his strength after accomplishing his obstacles. In terms, this also shows how the metaphor of the dawns progress, showing symbolism between Odysseus and the dawn.
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Eos rhododactylos. Rosey fingered dawn. You're Greek, aren't you, Captain? Did you ever read Homer? We read Homer at the Point. In Greek . . . Nick Nolte as Lt. Col. Tall in The Thin Red Line
I took note of this because I had only recently apprised myself of the greek phrase. I was also led to ruminations on the lack of any similar rhapsodical descriptions of sunset. It occured to me that this is a more modern development as the later evening became a time for continued social activity.
There is a mythical representation of the sunset though, in the Garden of the Hesperides, beyond the Ocean in the west, where the eponymous nymphs guard an orchard of golden apples. Surely this is Eden!
“There is a mythical representation of the sunset though, in the Garden of the Hesperides, beyond the Ocean in the west, where the eponymous nymphs guard an orchard of golden apples. Surely this is Eden!”
I was hoping someone would comment w/ something to end my frustration. You’ve just done it and more. The Garden of the Hesperides aka Eden is exactly it. Thanks!
I didn’t see the movie but love the term “Rosey fingered dawn” - it was in both the Odyssey and the Iliad so he must have like it as well. Amazingly descriptive of an early dawn when we can sometimes see rosy red streaks in the sky, reminiscent of extended fingers.
>>>Ulysses lost all his colleagues in the process
Didn’t Odysseus find out that he’d lose all of his crew (and ship) and that he himself MIGHT make it back if he was lucky?
He lied to his crew that Tiresias’ foretold little problems, that it was mostly clear sailing.
This was the modern day version of “TRUST ME”.
Oh, Wiley Odysseus!
Graves comments that, "Eos's constant love affairs with young mortals are also allegories: dawn brings midnight lovers a renewal of erotic passion ..."
And we might add, not only midnight lovers. We recognize this phenomenon not so much as a renewal of passion, but a mere inconvenience. Oh, to be young again!
Who does pick these names?
Sounds more 1st Earth Battalion to me http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/First_Earth_Battalion
...and of course Obama got approval from the international community, instead on Congress.
Gayest Military Operation Name, ever.
Boy, that's a good question. I remember eight years ago (Iraqi invasion) when the name of the operation had to be changed because the initials of the original name were OIL. I think the original name was Operation Iraqi Liberation or something similar.
lol I think we’ve just found a new name for the big “O” - Odysseus!
Palamedes went to Ithaca to enroll O into the Greek army. O decided to play like a crazy man so he put on torn clothes, started sowing the land with salt using a goat and ox as the plough but Palamedes put baby Telemachus in front of it and O had to stop ploughing thus revealing his sanity.
O was pissed, bided his time, and eventually got Palamedes killed for something he didn’t do. It took a while but O got his own back.
Wiley for sure - there are similarities.
No, you wouldn’t...not really.
The “Do what thou wilt” Aleister Crowley was one very unhappy man and ended up in a boarding house crazy as a kook. He was a literal man.
No I wouldn’t what? Want to be young again? Well, I really agree, but isn’t yearning itself a quality of youth?
No, I remember it correctly. From Wikipedia:
"The 2003 invasion of Iraq, led by U.S. army General Tommy Franks, began under the codename "Operation Iraqi Liberation", later renamed "Operation Iraqi Freedom", the UK codename Operation Telic, and the Australian codename Operation Falconer."
K'Daffy was not Muslim enough for Obama...and he wasn't threatening Israel every other day, hence the need for enforced change and a new red dawn for the desert country.
Obuma devised this liberal-speak, faggy name for the Libya war operation, there's no doubt about it in my mind.
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