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The Odyssey

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Michael Drescher

on 13 March 2017

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Transcript of The Odyssey

The Odyssey
an overview
History
Nearly 3,000 years old, maybe older
First known copy written between 750 and 650 B.C.
Supposedly told by Homer, a blind poet, who may not have actually existed
Homer
Stories came from the oral tradition - passed down from person to person, generation to generation
Stories were sung or performed in front of an audience
Homer supposedly created two stories, 'The Illiad' and 'The Odyssey'
The Illiad
10 year battle between the Greeks and the Trojans
Greeks wanted to rescue Helen, the most beautiful woman who ever lived
Great heroes fought and died on both sides: Achilles, Agamemnon, Hector, etc...
Even the Gods got in on the action
Greeks won thanks, in part, to Odysseus and his Trojan horse ploy
The Odyssey
Sequel to 'The Illiad'
Poem - written in metre
24 Books
'In Medias Res' ('in the middle of things') narrative structure
About Odysseus' return home from the Trojan War
Odysseus
Famous for his cunning and intelligence
From the island of Ithaca
Separated from his family for 20 years
Wife: Penelope, Son: Telemachus
Start of the poem: trapped on an island by the goddess Calypso who 'forces' him to have sex with her for 8 years
Books 1-4
10 years after the end of the Trojan War
Odysseus’ home is taken over by suitors who want to marry Penelope
Telemachus is visited by Athena who gets him to go on a journey to find news of his father
He escapes assassination and hears that his father might still be alive
Books 5-8
The Gods force Calypso to let Odysseus go
After 18 days at sea, Poseidon almost kills him in a storm
Naked, Odysseus washes up on the Island of the Phaeacians, where Nausicaa finds him and takes him to her father, King Alcinous
Alcinous feeds Odysseus and gets convinces him to tell his story
The Hero's Journey
By the time 'The Odyssey' starts, Odysseus is already several stages into his hero's journey
The Call to Action
•Helen was abducted by the Trojans
•King Menelaus called on all Greeks to attack Troy in order to help rescue her
The Refusal of the Call
•Odysseus pretended to be crazy so he wouldn’t have to go to Troy
•Spent all his time plowing a field incorrectly
•A soldier disproved Odysseus’ madness by placed Telemachus in front of the plow
Crossing the Threshold
• Odysseus set off for Troy along with the rest of the Greeks
•Had to say goodbye to Penelope and his infant son, Telemachus
•Didn’t return home for 20 years
Full transcript