In The Odyssey, Homer makes use of elaborate similes. This use of similes is frequent in epic poems. Homer uses similes help to maintain the audience's interest, because the technique captures the imagination. Similes are also used to explain things that the reader may not be able to grasp by connecting it to something that they have already seen. Similes are a means to bring our attention to something important or to hone in upon the reader's senses. The poem reveals scores of similes. I will attempt to study several similes in The Odyssey and how Homer has used them. .
The poem opens with Zeus discussing how self-indulgence and foolishness is the downfall of mankind. Specifically, he is referring to how Aigisthos and Agamemnon's wife murdered Agamemnon. At this, Athena pleads with her father, Zeus, to allow Odysseus to reach home again. Suitors are harassing Odysseus" wife Penelope. The suitors assume that Odysseus is dead and they vie for Penelope's hand in marriage. In conversation with her father, Zeus, Athena seeks permission to visit Ithaka, Odysseus" island, to boost Telemakhos" courage. Telemakhos is Odysseus" son. Athena feels that she must alert Telemakhos to the dangerous suitors. Athena proclaims, "He must warn off that wolf pack of the suitors / who prey upon his flocks and dusky cattle." (1.117-118). This is the first of many similes used in The Odyssey that compares certain characters to animals. .
Throughout the poem, the suitors are referred to as wolves. When Penelope learns from Medon, the crier, of the suitors" plan to intercept Telemakhos at sea and murder him she also refers to them as wolves. She cries, "Each day you crowd this house like wolves / to eat away my brave son's patrimony." (4.735-736). In contrast, the suitors are also compared to fawns. An angry Menelaos expresses to Telemakhos his thoughts on the suitors: .
"Intolerable - that soft men, as those are,.