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The Odyssey. An Epic Poem. Notes on Homer and The Odyssey. Homer-Blind Greek poet/storyteller who composed and recited poems more than 2,700-3,000 years ago (8 th century B.C.) The Odyssey-an epic poem-contains references to Greek ways of life and mythology. The Epic and the Epic Hero.

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the odyssey

The Odyssey

An Epic Poem

notes on homer and the odyssey
Notes on Homer and The Odyssey
  • Homer-Blind Greek poet/storyteller who composed and recited poems more than 2,700-3,000 years ago (8th century B.C.)
  • The Odyssey-an epic poem-contains references to Greek ways of life and mythology
the epic and the epic hero
The Epic and the Epic Hero
  • Long, narrative poem that centers on the actions of a heroic figure
  • Hero struggles for values and ideas that are important to the culture or society
  • Hero fights against values and ideas that culture or society rejects
  • Hero is helped (and sometimes hurt) by divine beings
  • Hero seeks revenge in the end for injustices committed against him, his family, and his society
the epic hero
The Epic Hero
  • Excels in skill, strength and courage
  • Succeeds in war and adventure
  • Values honor and glory
  • Usually has a guide
  • Battles demons or monsters
  • Is generous to followers, ruthless to enemies
  • Is a man of action
  • Accepts challenges and sometimes invites problems
the epic hero cont d
The Epic Hero (Cont’d)
  • Sometimes makes rash decisions and takes unnecessary risks
  • Meets monsters and temptations
  • Encounters women who tempt him
  • Descends into darkness (often the underworld)
  • Achieves his goal
slide6
Invocation-an appeal or prayer for help or inspiration
  • Trojan war-a ten-year war by the Achaeans (Greeks) under the command of Agamemnon. The Greeks won because of the Trojan horse that contained Greek warriors and was brought into Troy at night. The Greeks came out of the horse and overtook the city of Troy
  • The Iliad-story that comes before The Odyssey (also by Homer)-tells the story of the Trojan War
slide7
When The Odyssey begins, Troy has been burnt, and the Greeks are returning home. Odysseus is on his way home to his wife, Penelope and son, Telemachus. He offends Poseidon, however and the sea god throws him off his course toward his home in Ithaca into many adventures.
  • Epithet-adjective used to point out a characteristic of person-helps the audience better visualize characters (Ex. “Wise Odysseus,” “Bright-eyed Athena”)
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