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In the Heroic Tradition. The Odyssey by Homer. Homer. Approx. 1000 – 700 B.C.? Recited these poems over 2,700 years ago (700 B.C.) Blind Composed orally as songs Traveled throughout Greece Two epics were the basis of Greek & Roman education. The Epic.

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In the heroic tradition

In the Heroic Tradition

The Odyssey

by Homer


  • Approx. 1000 – 700 B.C.?

  • Recited these poems over 2,700 years ago (700 B.C.)

  • Blind

  • Composed orally as songs

  • Traveled throughout Greece

  • Two epics were the basis of Greek & Roman education

The epic
The Epic

Long, narrative poem that tells the adventures of a hero whose actions help decide the fate of a nation or a group of people

In the heroic tradition

In fact . . .

The Odyssey is 24 books long!!!

Before the odyssey
Before the Odyssey . . .

  • The Odyssey is a sequel to the

    epic poem The Iliad.

  • The Iliad is about the Trojan War.

  • Thewar was between the Trojans and the Greeks around 1200 B.C.

  • The Trojan War lasted ten years.

  • Odysseus, Greek king of Ithaca, helped the Greeks win.

  • The gods were divided over who should win the war and interfered often.

  • Several gods were mad at Odysseus.

The gods were angry
The Gods Were Angry

  • Odysseus was the man who came up with the idea for the Trojan Horse which allowed the Greeks to win the war.

  • Athena, goddess of wisdom and warfare, typically supported Odysseus.

The history of the odyssey
The History of The Odyssey

  • Tells of Odysseus’ struggle to get home after the Trojan War.

  • Odysseus needs to get home to Penelope, his wife, before she weds another and loses the kingdom.

  • Takes Odysseus ten years to get home because he angers the gods.

  • He loses all 720 men and 12 ships during his attempts to get home.


  • He is the epic hero of The Odyssey.

  • He is mortal which means he can die.

  • His home is Ithaca which is an island off of Greece.

What is an epic hero
What is an Epic Hero?

  • A well-known character of a high social position (Odysseus is King of Ithaca.)

  • A respected leader who portrays the goals and values of society

  • A strong, brave, and intelligent person

  • BUT, he is human and likely to have weaknesses called tragic flaws.

Odysseus hamartia
Odysseus’ Hamartia

  • Hamartia- a tragic flaw

  • Odysseus’ flaw – his hubris

  • Hubris – arrogance, overbearing pride

Important gods and goddesses
Important Gods and Goddesses

  • Zeus - king of the gods

  • Poseidon - god of the sea, Zeus’ brother, father of Polyphemos

  • Polyphemos – Half-mortal Cyclops who fights Odysseus (mortals can die; gods can’t)

  • Athena - goddess of wisdom, skills, and war; protector of Odysseus

Concepts and themes
Concepts and Themes

  • Loyalty, devotion, and fortitude

  • Greek ideal of arete, which translates into “excellence”; or reaching your highest human potential

  • Strive to succeed against great odds

  • Triumph of good over evil

  • Obedience to the gods and laws

Some literary devices used
Some Literary Devices Used

Help me spot…

  • Hyperbole – exaggeration

  • Figurative language – writing or speech that is not meant to be interpreted literally

  • Similes/metaphors

  • Irony – expect one thing but get another

  • Personification – nonhuman subjects given human qualities

In the heroic tradition

Today . . .

We’ll join Odysseus on his journey.