Once Upon A Time... Homer told a great story about Odysseus. The Odyssey
What is an epic? • An epic is a story-poem about a great hero who performs daring deeds that require superhuman courage • Told orally; not written. • In Greek epics the gods either help or hinder the hero.
The Hero’s Journey • Call to Adventure - • Wise and Helpful Guides – • Dangerous Trials - • Meeting the Monster - • Enchanted Forest - • The Sacrifice - • The Hero’s Return -
The Odyssey is part 2 of one of the greatest stories ever told. In order to REALLY understand the Odyssey, one must know some background information
Homer was a blind poet and storyteller who lived around the time of 720 B.C. Homer is considered the inventor of the long or extended simile. He specialized in using flashback, cliffhangers and fully developed characters. Aristotle called The Iliad the first great tragedy.
Long long ago, there was a mortal named Peleus. The gods loved him so much that they decided to allow him to marry a beautiful goddess named Thetis. These two will have a son named Achilles. He becomes one of the great heroes in Greek legend. In fact, he plays a huge role in the Trojan war (The Iliad).
After these two get married, they have a son, Achilles. In order to protect him, Thetis dips him in the River Styx making in invulnerable. One little problem…
Eris, evil goddess of discord, was MAD because she was not invited to the wedding. She plotted her revenge…
Eris threw a golden apple into the reception. It bounced right into the middle of all the guests. The tag on the golden apple read… “For the fairest”
Athena, Hera and Aphrodite all claimed thegolden apple Hera Aphrodite Athena
Hera is the queen of the gods, Zeus’ wife and protector of married women Athena is goddess of wisdom and just wars. She is daughter of Zeus and one of the 3 virgin goddesses Aphrodite is goddess of love and beauty.
They decided that the only way to settle the argument was to have a beauty contest. Can you imagine?
Zeus said, “NO WAY!!!!!!!!” How can you vote against the goddess of love and beauty in a beauty contest? How much trouble do you think Zeus would be in if he voted against his own wife? How could Zeus vote against his favorite child? No Win Situation for Zeus
Zeus was smart. He refused to judge the contest. He didn’t want any of the goddesses mad at him. Zeus said let Paris do it. Paris was a lowly shepherd who had amazing taste in beauty.
Three amazingly beautiful goddesses appeared to Paris. He was shocked and amazed. All he could do was stare.
Aphrodite offered Paris the most beautiful woman in the world Hera offered him power and cities. Athena offered him glory and victory in battle.
Paris considered himself more of a lover than a fighter. As a result, Paris awarded Aphrodite the winner of the golden apple.
Paris was awarded the most beautiful woman in the world. Aphrodite neglected to mention that Helen, the most beautiful woman in the world, was already married. Oh well, minor details for a goddess. Paris hopped in his boat and headed off to Sparta to get Helen.
TROJANS (Paris, Hector) Aphrodite Ares, God of War Apollo Artemis Zeus (favored, but stayed neutral to please Hera) GREEKS (Achilles, Odysseus) Hera Athena Poseidon, God of the Sea The Gods Take Sides
The Greeks and the Trojans were enemies. They were both rich city-states with mighty rulers. Helen Paris Greeks Trojans
Helen was married to one of the Greek rulers. He was the king of Sparta. Menelaus was a mighty ruler who loved to wage war. He was not the brightest man in the world but he was very rich. Helen
How did Helen end up with Menelaus? There were so many men who wanted to marry Helen that her father made each man swear an oath to protect Helen and whomever she would marry. Once Menelaus was chosen as Helen’s husband, the rest of the men of Greece were obligated to protect the marriage. Helen
When Paris arrived in Sparta he told Menelaous that he was there on a mission of peace. Menelaous believed him and invited Paris to stay in his home. Soon after, Menelaous was called away on business. He left his wife, the most beautiful woman in the world, alone at home with a young good-looking stranger from a far off land. Obviously, Menelaous was not the brightest man alive.
Two sides to Every Story #1 #2 Helen ran off with Paris because he was young, good-looking and smarter than her husband. Helen was an innocent victim who was kidnapped by Paris
Regardless, Helen went home with Paris. Paris lived in Troy with his family. Speaking of Paris’ family… There is a whole other story that needs to be told about Paris and his homeland
When Paris and Helen reached Troy, they were met with grumbles. King Priam and all of Paris’ brothers complained that Paris had made a great big mistake by bringing Helen home to Troy. They were right!
When Menelaus got home… Duh, What happened? • No Paris • No Wife • No Treasure • Empty House
He Remembered The Oath
Meneleus called all the Greeks together who had taken the oath to protect Helen’s marriage. Many of the Greeks didn’t want to go to war. But, then Meneleus reminded the men of how much money $$$$$ and treasure could be theirs if they conquered Troy. Not to mention all the gorgeous women…
All the best of the best heroes and warriors gathered together. They were ready for WAR. Agamemnon and Meneleus were the leaders of the army.
Before the all the Greeks could gather and leave for Troy a tragedy happened. One of the Greeks, who was waiting to leave for Troy, shot a pregnant bunny. This made Artemis really, really mad. She is the goddess of the moon, the hunt and protector of animals.
Artemis stopped the wind. The men waited and waited and waited and waited and waited and waited and waited and waited and waited and waited…
She would not allow any Greek to leave for Troy until they sacrificed to her. No wind No War
Artemis required Agamemnon to sacrifice one of his daughters, Iphigenia. Unless, Agamemnon complied, Artemis would prevent the war by stopping the wind.
Agamemnon sent word to his wife Clytemnestra. Send our daughter, Iphigenia, to the Greek camp. Achilles, the greatest warrior, wants to marry her before he leaves for Troy.
Clytemnestra and her daughter, Iphigenia, were very excited. They got all dressed up and rushed to the Greek camp.
When she got there… • No wedding • No flowers • No happy day Agamemnon sacrificed his daughter to Artemis.
The Greeks sailed for Troy Clytemnestra cried, mourned and hated her husband. But that’s another story…
The Greeks went to war. • They pillaged. • They burned towns. • They stole treasure. • They stole women (war prizes). • And this was all just on the way to Troy. • They weren’t even serious yet.
The Iliad is the story of the last few months of the Trojan War Did I mention, the war lasted 10 very long years?
The Iliad is the story of the last few months of the Trojan War. The Odyssey is the story of Odysseus’ journey home from the war. It takes poor Odysseus 20 years to get home.
Poor Odysseus, that is 20 long years away from home and family. Ithaca- Odysseus’ beloved island home Penelope, Odysseus’ faithful wife
Did we mention that Odysseus faked insanity trying to get out of going away to the Trojan war? When the Greeks arrived to pick up Odysseus to go to war, he was acting crazy. In fact, he was plowing a field and planting rocks. In order to test his sanity, the Greeks laid Odysseus’ son in front of the plow. When he swerved around the baby, they knew it was a trick.
Why on earth would a macho Greek leader want to stay home from war? Paradise home, beautiful young wife and a new baby (Telemachus)
Bye bye… Odysseus bids farewell to his wife Penelope and infant son Telemachus, as his faithful dog Argos lies nearby.
Clever Tricky Smart Witty God-like wisdom Odysseus
Quick Review Greeks Trojans King Priam ruled Troy. Troy was under attack because of Paris “stealing” Helen. The biggest, baddest warrior was Hector. Agamemnon and Meneleous (Helen’s angry husband) were the leaders of the army. Their biggest, baddest warrior was Achilles.
On the way to Troy the Greeks did a lot of damage. They gathered many goodies. The Greeks had a weird tradition that they called “war prizes.” They would capture a town and steal its beautiful women. The women would be handed out as war prizes to the leaders and great heroes.
Agamemnon was awarded a very beautiful girl. She was Apollo’s priest’s daughter. Agamemnon was a happy man. He thought his war prize was more beautiful and that he would love her more than his very own wife (Clytemnestra). She is already mad about the death of her daughter. Can you imagine how mad she would be if she heard this?
The priest begged Agamemnon to release his daughter. He even offered many gifts.