Homer the man the mystery
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HOMER: The Man, the Mystery. He Was Not: This Guy. He Was Not From: This Place. He Might Have Looked Like This:. Or This:. Or This:. And He May Have Inspired People Like This:. But…. Though he wrote a few of the most famous texts in our literary history, very little is know about:

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Though he wrote a few of the most famous texts in our literary history, very little is know about:

  • Who he was

  • Where he lived, and

  • How he came to write The Odyssey and The Iliad


Scholars think that he
Scholars Think That He:

  • Was blind

  • Composed The Odyssey in the late eighth or early seventh century B.C.

  • He lived in Ionia, located in eastern Aegean.

  • Wrote the poems to be sung/performed, but that he did write them down.

So what is an epic poem
So, What is an Epic poem?

  • A long narrative poem in elevated style presenting characters of high position in adventures forming an organic whole through their relation to a central heroic figure and through their development of episodes important to the history of a nation or race.


  • The Divine Comedy

  • Beowulf

  • The Iliad

  • The Odyssey

  • Epic of Gilgamesh

  • The Aeneid

In an epic poem
In An epic poem…

  • A larger than life main character (demigods, heroes, etc.) that embodies the ideals of a particular culture or nation—epic struggle/goal

  • The Gods/Goddesses intervene in the events/mortal lives

  • Setting of upheaval/change. Ex. End of Trojan War.

  • “Epic” in length. Often it is broken down into books.

  • Wide setting—travel spans countries, the time can span decades

An epic poem contains
An Epic Poem Contains:

  • Long speeches in elevated/courtly language to recount events and stories in the fashion of bards—written for performance/song

  • In-medias-res opening (often)

  • Repetition: epithets—help in both meter form and establishing character “grey eyed Athena”

  • Epic similes—extended, ornate comparisons using like or as

  • The invocation of the muses at the start

The muses

  • Zeus and Mnemosyne (goddess of Memory)

  • 9 nights=9 muses

  • Sing of the gods and their deeds—”sing” of the past deeds of a culture

  • Uphold the arts and sciences

  • Inspire and summon the memory in the arts

  • Authors call for inspiration—epic poetry

  • Homer calls “the muse” and the “muses

The muses1

  • Calliope—epic poetry

  • Clio—history

  • Erato—love poetry

  • Euterpe—music

  • Melpomen—tragedy

  • Polyhymnia—hymns

  • Terpsichore—dance

  • Thaleia—comedy

  • Urania--astronomy

The muse calliope ka lye a pee
“THE MUSE”: Calliope (ka-lye-a-pee)

  • Favorite of Homer

  • Muse of Epic Poetry

  • Eldest


  • Calls to the muse to aid the author

  • Establishes plot

  • Establishes characters

  • Establishes theme

  • Calls to culture/history

  • Employs literary devices like: epithet and epic simile