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The Odyssey a very brief overview. Mrs. Blaber Grade 9 English. Introduction. 800 – 600 BC by Homer Best known, stupendously awesome works of ancient literature Ancient epic delivered first in oral tradition Sequel to the Iliad About Odysseus on his way back from the war in Troy

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the odyssey a very brief overview

The Odysseya very brief overview

Mrs. Blaber

Grade 9 English

  • 800 – 600 BC by Homer
  • Best known, stupendously awesome works of ancient literature
  • Ancient epic delivered first in oral tradition
  • Sequel to the Iliad
  • About Odysseus on his way back from the war in Troy
  • Hundreds of allusions to this epic poem
epic poetry
Epic Poetry
  • Along with Homer’s Iliad, the Odyssey is one of the two great epics of ancient Greece.
  • Both poems display many of the epic’s characteristics, featuring a larger than life hero, deeds of great valor, and the interference of the gods in human affairs.
more on epic poems
More on Epic Poems
  • literary devices typical of epics: opening with an invocation to the muse; beginning the story in medias res (basically, “in the middle of things”);providing long lists of people, genealogies, and places significant to mythological history; and using epithets, or repeated nicknames, for various characters, major and minor.
  • For the Ancient Greeks, an epic was written in poetic meter of “dactylic hexameter”
why should you care
Why should you care?
  • Western literature first adventure story, almost fantasy genre
  • Has profound reflections on heroism, love, and human life
  • Odysseus uses his wits and strength to overcome
  • Also has strong female characters almost everywhere, unlike the Iliad
  • Odysseus should’ve already returned home from the Trojan War; he hasn’t
  • His wife, Penelope, waits for him (for 20 years)
  • His son, Telemachus, waits for him; he hasn’t seen his father since he was a young boy
  • Odysseus must overcome different obstacle to get home
odysseus protagonist
Odysseus (protagonist)
  • Greek Hero
  • Husband to Penelope
  • Father to Telemachus
  • King of Ithaca
  • Wiliest of all Greek Heroes
  • Enormous strength
  • Protected by Athena
  • Downfall: hubris – excessive pride
  • Son of Odysseus and Penelope
  • Prudent and clear headed
  • Has innate strength
  • Protected by Athena, goddess of wisdom and battle
  • Wife to Odysseus; Mom to Telemachus
  • Queen of Ithaca
  • Suitors want to marry her, as they believe Odysseus is dead; she waits
  • Fortitude and determination
athena guide mentor
Athena (guide/mentor)
  • Daughter of Zeus
  • Goddess of wisdom and warfare
  • Helps Odysseus
  • Disguises herself throughout epic
antinoos antagonist
Antinoos (Antagonist)
  • angry suitor for Penelope
  • Greedy and lazy
poseidon antagonist
Poseidon (Antagonist)
  • God of the sea; uncle to Athena
  • Forces Odysseus to wander the seas for twenty years
helen reason for war
Helen (reason for war)
  • Menelaos’s wife and instigator of the entire Trojan war
  • Helen was the most beautiful woman ever - married to a Greek king Menelaos, until Paris, the most handsome Trojan guy ever, decided he wanted her…
  • So he stole Helen.
  • The Greeks launched a war against Troy; Menelaos got his wife back.
  • From Troy in Asia Minor across the islands of the Mediterranean Sea (near Italy) and back to Ithaka, Greece, sometime in the Bronze Age.
symbolism allegory imagery
Symbolism, allegory, imagery
  • Symbol – something that represents something else
  • Imagery – words that create vivid images in our heads
  • Allegory - work in which the characters and events are to be understood as representing other things and symbolically expressing a deeper, often spiritual, moral, or political meaning
works cited
Works Cited
  • "The Odyssey." Shmoop: Homework Help, Teacher Resources, Test Prep. Web. 13 Aug. 2011. <>.