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The Odyssey. By Homer Translated by Robert Fitzgerald. Journal. Describe a fantastic voyage you would like to take. Where would you go? What adventures would you have? What changes would you expect to see upon you return?. The Odyssey Background. Background Info: Epics and Values

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the odyssey

The Odyssey

By Homer

Translated by Robert Fitzgerald

  • Describe a fantastic voyage you would like to take. Where would you go? What adventures would you have? What changes would you expect to see upon you return?
the odyssey background
The Odyssey Background
  • Background Info:
  • Epics and Values
    • Define Epic:
    • The Odyssey is an example of what kind of Epic?
    • The Iliad is an example of what kind of epic?
  • The War Story Background: Violence and Brutality
    • Who is Agamemnon and why is he important?
    • Achilles?
background cont
Background Cont.
  • Odysseus: A Hero in Trouble:
    • Describe his family.
    • Why did he have to go to war?
    • How are we like Odysseus?
  • The Wooden-Horse Trick:
    • Describe it.
  • The Ancient World and Ours
  • A Search for their Places in Life
    • What is the theme of this poem?
    • What are Odysseus and Telemachus searching for?
background cont1
Background Cont.
  • Relationships with the Gods
    • Define Myth.
    • Define Alter Ego.
    • Who are Odysseus’ Alter Egos and why?
  • Who was Homer?
    • Define Rhapsodes.
  • How were the Epics Told?
    • What is the purpose of formulas?
    • Define Homeric or epic Simile.
    • Write down an example of a Homeric.
calypso the sweet nymph
Calypso the Sweet Nymph

From Book One: The Wanderings

  • OUTLINE your answer to the following question.

What makes a hero? What traits do they have?

literary elements
Literary Elements
  • Motif
    • Reoccurring subject or theme
  • Epic
    • Long poem or story describing heroic deeds
  • Theme
    • The central subject of a work of literature
literary elements cont
Literary Elements Cont.
  • Homeric Simile
    • The typical Homeric simile makes a comparison to some kind of event, in the form "like a ____ when it ______.“
    • The object of the comparison is usually something strange or unfamiliar to something ordinary and familiar.

Write down the Homeric Similes found in lines

40 to 45 and 120-124.

  • Adversity
  • Formidable
  • Ravage
  • Profusion
  • Adversary
  • Rancor
  • Abominably
  • Ardor
  • Tumult
  • Restitution
  • Make a Vocab Block for each word
    • Definition
    • Sentence from the book
    • Your own sentence
    • Picture
lines 1 32 activity
Lines 1-32 Activity
  • Read this prayer to the Muse aloud. (You and a partner could read it as a chorus, or you could alternate with single voices.)
  • What does Homer tell you about the hero and about what is going to happen to him?
lines 33 66 activity
Lines 33-66 Activity
  • There is a great deal of nature imagery in this episode.
    • Jot down some of the images that help you see Calypso’s cave.
    • What images describing Calypso’s island appeal to your sense of sight, hearing, and smell?
    • How does the natural beauty of Calypso’s island compare with the reality of Odysseus’s situation?
lines 88 91 activity
Lines 88-91 Activity
  • Zeus ordered Calypso to free Odysseus, but the nymph claims that the idea is her own.
    • Why do you think she does this?
    • What is your opinion of her deception?
mythology human behavior
Mythology: HumanBehavior
  • Unlike deities in many other religions, Greek Gods and goddesses often behave as capriciously as humans.
  • They even display unsavory qualities as possessiveness, jealousy, pride, anger, and vindictiveness.
  • This plays an important part in the Odyssey since it is the actions of gods, that keep Odysseus from returning home to Ithaca.

How has Calypso exhibited human behavior?


Considering their similarity in appearance and emotions, what do you think distinguishes humans from gods?

lines 101 118
Lines 101-118
  • According to Calypso, what would Odysseus gain by staying with her?
  • What does Odysseus’s response tell you about his feelings for his wife?
  • How has Odysseus managed to say no to Calypso and still not offend her?
newspaper god article
Newspaper: God Article
  • Write a news story about one of the Greek Gods and Goddesses
  • It should be…
    • ½ page in length
    • Single Space
    • 12 pt. Arial Narrow
check test true false
Check Test: (True-False)
  • Odysseus is trying to return to his home in Ithaca after fighting in Troy.
  • Zeus sends Hermes to deliver a message to Calypso
  • Odysseus, content in Calypso’s care, has no desire to return home.
  • Calypso promises Odysseus that he will become immortal if he remains with her.
  • With the aid of the sea god, Poseidon, Odysseus is able to escape from Calypso.
i am laertes son
I am Laertes’ Son

From Book One: The Wanderings

October 17

  • Lines 126-130
    • What impression of Odysseus do you get from his description of himself?
  • Lines 143-146
    • What central idea of the poem does Odysseus express in this passage?
lines 152 160
Lines 152-160
  • What do you think of the way Odysseus and his men behave toward the Cicones?
  • Do armies behave like this in modern times?
    • Here Odysseus, who considers himself a great leader, blames his unruly crew for the Cicone’s attack. Does their insubordination reflect unfavorably on Odysseus?
newspaper article 2
Newspaper Article #2
  • Odysseus could be considered a superhero or action hero, much like Superman or James Bond.
  • Write an article about one of his heroic endeavors.
  • It should be…
    • ½ page in length
    • Single Space
    • 12 pt. Arial Narrow


the lotus eaters
The Lotus Eaters

From Book One: The Wanderings

October 17

lines 204 215
Lines 204-215
  • Why does Odysseus tie down the three men?
  • What does this action tell you about him?
the cyclops
The Cyclops

From Book One: The Wanderings

October 21

questions pages 260 261
Questions (Pages 260-261)
  • Line 219
    • Why do you think Odysseus and his men make an offering to the gods?
  • Lines 228-233
    • How does Homer make it clear that Odysseus faces a formidable opponent in the Cyclops?
  • Lines 243-245
    • What does the phrase “fair traffic” mean?
    • What does the Cyclops mean by these questions?
  • Lines 255-260
    • What did I learn in an earlier episode that explains why Odysseus gives the Cyclops this warning?
questions page 263
Questions (Page 263)
  • Lines 271-272
    • What is happening at this point?
    • What does Odysseus’s remark suggest about his character?
  • Lines 277-288
    • Why does Homer include such gruesome details?
  • Lines 289-295
    • Why doesn’t Odysseus kill the Cyclops at this moment?
    • What factors must Odysseus consider in devising a successful plan of escape?
questions page 264
Questions (Page 264)
  • Lines 311-323
    • What do you think Odysseus plans to do with the pointed staff?
  • Lines 226-229
    • As the captain, Odysseus could have simply chosen the men he wanted for the job rather than drawing lots. Is it wise of him to let the men “toss” for this job, or is he foolishly risking the future of the whole group by not appointing the men best suited to help him?
  • Lines 330-334
    • Odysseus says that the rams may have entered the cave at “a god’s bidding.” What does this mean, and what does it suggest about the role the rams will play?
question page 265
Question (Page 265)
  • Lines 362-363
    • What is ironic about the Cyclop’s saying he will eat Nohbdy last?
    • The cyclops thinks he is going to eat Nohbdy when he is really going to eat nobody.
mythology symbols
Mythology: Symbols
  • Olive Pole
    • Used as a weapon
    • Associated with Athena
  • Comes from the Story of Athena vs. Poseiden.
    • They competed for sovereignty over Attica by offering gifts
    • Poseidon produced water in barren Acropolis.
    • Athena gave an olive tree. (WINNER)
  • Odysseus’s victory over Polyphemus, Poseidon’s son is another triumph for Athena.
questions pages 766 and 767
Questions (Pages 766 and 767)
  • Lines 385-391
    • What is the blinding of the Cyclops compared to?
  • Lines 397-409
    • Explain the irony of these lines.
  • Lines 409-410
    • Do you think it is wise for Odysseus to LAUGH, considering that he and his men are obviously not yet out of danger?
  • Lines 416-420
    • How would you characterize Odysseus here?
  • Lines 423-432
    • What steps does Odysseus take to prepare for their escape?
  • 433-441
    • What figure of speech is this?
questions 768 769
Questions 768-769
  • Lines 421-442
    • Explain Odysseus’s trick.
  • Line 454
    • What is ironic about this statement?
  • Lines 466-469
    • Why are the ‘fellows’ faces full of joy and then grief?
    • Why does Odysseus hush his men?
  • Lines 486-489
    • What is ironic about the order that POLYPHEMUS gives?
  • Work with a partner to create a chronology of the main events in Part One.
  • You may do this as a paragraph or a timeline.
check test true or false
Check Test: True or False
  • Odysseus refuses King Alcinous’s request to identify himself.
  • Odysseus and his sailors are welcomed by the Cicones.
  • Odysseus is forced to leave three men behind with the Lotus Eaters.
  • The Cyclops Polyphemus is the one of the god Poseidon’s children.
  • Fellow Cyclopes come to Polyphemus’s aid after he is wounded.
the enchantress circe
The Enchantress Circe

From Book One: The Wanderings

October 25

questions pg 773
Questions Pg. 773
  • Prologue:
    • What does the sailors’ opening of the bull’s-hide bag suggest about their relationship with Odysseus?
  • Lines 543-547
    • SIMILE: What comparison does Odysseus make to emphasize the strange gentleness of the wild beasts’ behavior?
  • Lines 549-555
    • MAKING INFERENCES: Circe, like Calypso, is first seen at her loom, singing and weaving. What inference could you make about women in ancient Greece from this fact?
questions pages 774 775
Questions Pages 774-775
  • Lines 565-569
    • At what other point in the epic have some of Odysseus’s men eat something that made them lose their desire for home?
  • Lines 570-576
    • What has happened to the men? Will Eurylochus somehow rescue them?
  • Lines 579-583
    • What have the men done to deserve being turned into pigs? How does Circe violate the laws of hospitality?
  • Prologue:
    • What other role has Hermes played in The Odyssey?
greek mythology persephone
Greek Mythology: Persephone
  • Background
    • The queen of the underworld
    • Daughter of Demeter, the goddess of crops and fertility.
  • Myth
    • Abducted by Hades, god of the underworld (bro of Zeus and Poseidon), who has fallen in love with her.
    • Demeter neglects her duties and allows a blight to descend on the earth.
    • Zeus intervenes: Persephone will remain in the underworld for a part of each year. During this time, nothing grows.
    • Explains changing of the seasons.
the land of the dead
The Land of the Dead

Part One

October 31

  • Definition: Words that sound alike but have different meanings and spellings.
  • “…You need grieve no more; you need not feel / your life consumed hear…”
  • “…Eurylochus came running/to cry alarm, fowl magic doomed his men!”
  • Line 603
    • INFERENCES: Whom is Odysseus referring to when he use the term sovereign Death?
  • Lines 604-606
    • What is the name of one of the surging phantoms? How does Odysseus know her?
  • So far everything Teiresias says has already been recounted by the poet in Book I. Provide one example of it.
  • Lines 618-658
    • What prophecy does Odysseus receive?
questions pages 778 and 779
Questions: Pages 778 and 779
  • Line 663
    • What is the meaning of the word innocent?
  • Lines 673-678
    • From what you know of Odysseus, do you think he will take the risk of listening to the Sirens’ Song? Explain.
  • Lines 695-702
    • IDIOMS: People sometimes use the expression caught between Sylla and Charybdis. What does it mean?
  • Lines 704-706
    • Do you agree with Circe that it is better to sacrifice six men than to risk losing them all? Explain.
  • Is it best to know about dangers you may face? Explain.
  • When finished, partner up. You will take turns reading each other your journals.
questions 780 and 781
Questions 780 and 781
  • Lines 659-716
    • According to Circe, what dangers lie ahead for Odysseus and his crew? List the dangers in order from least severe to most severe, and give your reasons for placing the threats in this order.
  • 745-746
    • Why does Odysseus put wax in his men’s ears?
  • Lines 758-759
    • What does “the Sirens dropped under the sea rim” mean?
question page 782
Question page 782
  • Lines 770-773
    • Is it necessary for great leaders like Odysseus to inspire their followers? Explain.
  • Line 788
    • IDIOM: What does by hook or crook mean?
  • 770-793
    • Think about what kind of leader Odysseus is. What does he tell his men, to reassure them? What does he decide to not tell them? Why?
  • Lines 793-798
    • What does Odysseus’s failure to remember Circe’s warning against using weapons reveal about his self-image?
question page 783
Question page 783
  • Lines 822-827
    • Explain the Homeric Simile in this passage.
  • Lines 831-832
    • Is this the worst scene yet? Explain.
the cattle of the son god
The Cattle of the Son God

Part One November 6

nautical terminology
Nautical Terminology



  • Aft G
  • Bow B
  • Deck D
  • Foredeck C
  • Mast A
  • Port J
  • Rudder F
  • Starboard I
  • Tiller E
  • Stern H
  • Part of a ship that supports the sail.
  • Front part of a ship
  • Front part of a ship’s main deck
  • Floor of a ship that covers the lower portion
  • A Bar or handle for turning a boat’s rudder
  • Flat piece of wood or metal used for steering
  • At, near, or toward the stern of a ship
  • Rear end of a ship
  • Right-hand side of a ship
  • Left-hand side of a ship
  • Describe the look in the eyes of the animal in the foreground.
  • What does the soldier in the foreground seem to be signaling?
questions page 784
Questions Page 784
  • Prologue
    • Since Odysseus is the captain, shouldn’t he have just ordered his men to bypass Thrinakia. Explain.
  • Line 858
    • What does Odysseus mean when he says that no man can avoid the eye of Helios?
  • Line 889
    • Who is the “Lord of Noon”?
  • Lines 878-894
    • What is Eurylochus’s “insidious plea”?
    • If you were a member of the crew, would you be swayed by this argument, or would you head Odysseus’s warning? Explain.
    • Do you think murdering the cattle is justified, or is it an offense against the god Helios?
questions page 786
Questions Page 786
  • Line 914-919
    • In the Odyssey, Odysseus constantly takes credit when things go well. Now, when a tragedy occurs, he blames the gods for making him fall asleep. What does this reveal about his character?
  • Line 921-930
    • What exactly has happened to cause the god’s fury?
part two

Coming Home November 19

  • Candor
  • Disdainful
  • Adorn
  • Revelry
  • Glowered
  • Avails
  • Lavished
  • Aloof
  • Pliant
  • Tremulous

Make a Vocabulary Block for each Word.

Definitions on Page 789.

what we already know
What we already know…
  • Write a few phrases or sentences describing what you already know about…
      • The situation in Odysseus’s home
      • Penelope
      • Telemachus
      • The Suitors
  • Imagine that someone has been absent from home for many years. What might that person think or feel upon returning home? Make a list of possible reactions.
questions page 792
Questions Page 792
  • Lines 974-990
    • Who is still in disguise in this scene?
    • How does the ancient Greeks’ regard for hospitality affect the way the other characters treat him?
    • What do you think each character is feeling and thinking as he eats?
  • Lines 991-1005
    • What happens to Odysseus and why?
questions page 793 and 794
Questions Page 793 and 794
  • Line 1005
    • What EPITHETS are used to characterize Odysseus here?
  • Lines 1005-1035
    • Which part of this recognition scene between father and son do you find most moving or most dramatic?
    • Sum up the problems that now face father and son in the palace at Ithaca.
  • Lines 1029-1033
    • HOMERIC SIMILE: To what are Odysseus’s and Telemachus’s cries compared?
newspaper article 4
Newspaper Article: 4
  • Write an article about the reunion between Odysseus and Telemachus.
    • What happened?
    • Where did it happen?
    • What did Odysseus say?
    • What was Telemachus’ reaction?
questions 794 795
Questions 794-795
  • Lines 1036-1041
    • Why would a great epic concern itself with an old dog?
  • Lines 1053-1055
    • What does this scene revel about Odysseus’s character?
  • Lines 1063-1067
    • Why is this scene IRONIC?
  • Lines 1044-1071
    • In showing us how the old dog is treated, what is Homer telling us about conditions in Ithaca?
epic continues
Epic Continues
  • Describe Penelope.
  • Judging from what you know about Odysseus, how do you predict he will deal with the suitors?
  • Why does Odysseus continue to conceal his identity from Penelope?
  • What has life been like for Penelope?
questions pg 799
Questions pg 799
  • 1083-1096
    • What images does Homer use to help his audience imagine even something as ordinary as this scene in the storeroom?
  • 1096-1099
    • INFER: Why is Penelope crying?
  • 1227-1129
    • What internal conflict is Odysseus experiencing here?
questions pg 800 801
Questions Pg 800-801
  • 1122-1140
    • How does Odysseus test the loyalty of the swineherd and cowherd? How do they prove that they can be trusted?
  • 1164-1174
    • How does Odysseus plan to vanquish the suitors?
    • IRONY: Why is Penelope’s acceptance of the beggar as a suitor ironic?
  • 1185
    • EPITHET:
      • What epithet is used for Odysseus here?
      • Where else did Homer use this Epithet?
question pg 802
Question Pg. 802
  • 1220
    • Predict what will happen next? Look for clues in what Odysseus says and does.
death at the palace
Death at the Palace

Part Two Dec. 2nd

  • Summary
    • PLOT: What is the main question you expect the climax to answer?
  • 1228-1235
    • Describe Antinous’s death.
  • 1250-1253
    • What does Homer mean when he says the suitors “imagined as they wished?”
  • 1285-1287
    • What two things has Odysseus done to make it impossible for the suitors to fight their way out or run for it?
  • 1293-1300
    • Identify the HOMERIC SIMILE:
overall question
Overall Question
  • How does this bloody episode relate to the epic’s theme about the value of hospitality and about what happens to people who mock divine laws?
news article 5
News Article: # 5
  • Write about how Odysseus rids the palace of the suitors. Tell the 5 W’s and H of the event.
odysseus and penelope
Odysseus and Penelope

Part Two Dec. 4

  • ALL
    • Find a Homeric Simile.
  • Prologue
    • PREDICT how Odysseus will react to Penelope’s testing?
  • 1304
    • What might she be thinking?
  • 1309-1314
    • INFER why Penelope has so much trouble recognizing Odysseus.
  • 1356-1357
    • What is she implying in these lines?
  • 1374-1384
    • PARAPHRASE Odysseus’s description of the bed. What characteristics of the bed suggest the strength and endurance of their love?
  • 1406-1407
    • INTERPRET what she means when she refers to her “stiff heart”
  • 1408-1418
    • The journey ends with an embrace. What SIMILE helps you understand the joy Odysseus feels in the arms of his wife?
check test 3
Check Test #3
  • Why doesn’t Telemachus recognize his father right away?
  • Who is Antinous?
  • What is Odysseus able to do that the suitors cannot do?
  • What signs of approval do the gods give Odysseus?
  • Who aids Odysseus in his battle with the suitors?
  • What is the secret of the marriage bed of Odysseus and Penelope?
newspaper article 6
Newspaper Article #6

How does the story end? Describe Penelope and Odysseus reuniting after 20 years.