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The Odyssey

The Odyssey

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The Odyssey

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  1. The Odyssey Survey English 9

  2. Odysseus • Relies on cunning, intelligence, and prudence as opposed to physical strength • King of Ithaca • Thinks of Trojan Horse idea • Called the “man of twists and turns” • Can be a boastful liar

  3. More on Odysseus • He’s all human– he even turns down an offer to be made immortal • Gets help from Athena, goddess of wisdom and war • Married to Penelope • Father of Telemachus

  4. Good Guys • Odysseus • Penelope • Telemachus • Circe: Originally imprisons Odysseus and his men, but then helps them • Alcinous: King of Phaeacia • Nausicaa: Princess of Phaeacia

  5. Good Guys • Athena: helps Odysseus in battle • Eumaeus: Odysseus’ swineheard, helps him battle the suitors when he returns • Euriclea: Odysseus’ nurse– recognizes him by his scar • Argos: Odysseus’ dog

  6. Bad Guys • Poseidon: Odysseus wounds his son, so they become enemies • Calypso: holds Odysseus prisoner for seven years • Polyphemus: one eyed giant, Poseidon’s son • Sirens: half woman, half eagle– lure sailors to their deaths with beautiful sining voices

  7. More Bad Guys • Antinous: leads the suitors • Eurymachus: another suitor • Suitors: About 100 men camped out in Odysseus’ house, waiting for his wife to pick one for marriage

  8. Facts about the Odyssey • Contains 12,110 lines • Story takes 40 days; recounts Odysseus’ 10 year journey home from the Trojan War • Themes: • “Importance of home” ”reunion with family” • in medias res (Latin) • --starts in the middle

  9. More Facts about the Odyssey • Most of the story is told by Odysseus– is he a reliable narrator? • Told in flashback • Large setting– Odysseus wanders through the Mediterranean • Odysseus goes to the Underworld

  10. More Facts about the Odyssey • Has more female characters, but for the most part women are still represented as fickle objects • Gods are portrayed as being envious of men • Family values are important– establishes contrast between a good family and a bad family

  11. Hubris: overwhelming pride; considered a sin and great offense to the gods Homeric Simile: an extended simile elaborated in great detail– Homer usually compared violence with peaceful nature Invocation: a prayer; The Iliad and Odyssey both begin with an invocation to the muse of Epic Poetry Epithet: a descriptive word or phrase that has become a fixed formula Muse: one of the nine patrons of fine arts Important Terms