What Are Some of the Epithets Used for Odysseus?

“Man of twists and turns,” “much suffering” and “master mariner” are all epithets of Odysseus found in the “Odyssey” by Homer. In this epic Greek poem, Homer recounts numerous epithets for Odysseus as well as for the other major Greek characters in the poem. Using epithets such as the “great Odysseus,” “wise Odysseus” and “embattled Odysseus,” Homer finds ways to embellish his Greek character.

“The storm-tossed great Odysseus” is a very appropriate epithet since it describes Odysseus’ long journey on the sea towards home. The epithets tell about an ingrained trait of Odysseus himself or of his life in general. Not only do they describe the character they represent, but epithets also add a layer of meaning to the character. They deepen a character. For instance, Odysseus endures a storm-tossed journey home, as well as undergoing personal, internal storms with wanting to rush and see his wife when he first returns. Just as he has to face the storm on the sea that rages outside him with a calm and patient attitude, he quells his desire to see his wife until he is sure she is loyal to him. In addition to describing characters, epithets help poets maintain the meter of the poem and keep it within the form’s heroic hexameter requirements.