Epic Similes in The Odyssey

Throughout The Odyssey, Homer uses epic similes to intensify the heroic nature of a certain event to create an aesthetically pleasing image to relay the story as well as to give insights to the nature of characters. This can be seen through an example in Book V, “An octopus, when you drag one from his chamber, comes up with suckers full of tiny stones: Odysseus left the skin of his great hands torn on the rock-ledge as the wave submerged him.” (Book V, Line 443-457) Instead of simply stating Odysseus tore his hands on the rocks, Homer romanticizes the event by comparing the incident to dragging an octopus off a surface. One can almost hear the sound of flesh against rock and see the blood being mixed in the water. Along with this idealized image, Homer subliminally reminds his audience of Odysseus’ problems with the sea; by comparing him to an octopus, a natural sea creature, he proves Odysseus to be not welcome in the ocean. Through his poetic similes, Homer conveys a deeper and more picturesque nature of his characters.