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The Odyssey-The Epic Unit
Transcript of The Odyssey-The Epic Unit
Written in epic form - long narrative poem about a hero's adventures.
Originally these epics were told orally, perhaps sung by a bard who is a poet who traditionally sings the poems/epics
a poet, traditionally one reciting epics and associated with a particular oral tradition..
Plot includes: Trojan War, heroism of Odysseus, interference of the gods.
The story revolves around the Trojan War, which occurred around 1200 BC and Odysseus' roll
The Iliad Continued
The story of the last year of the Trojan War.
The war lasted 10 years.
Troy was defeated when Odysseus and his men were able to get inside the walls of Troy, concealed within the body of the Trojan horse.
Thus begins the second part of Homer's story.
Odysseus and his men are trying to get home after their win in the Trojan War.
It will take Odysseus 10 years to make it back home to his wife and son.
It is considered an epic about humans on the journey of life overcoming temptations along the way.
What is an Epic?
A long narrative poem that relates the great deeds of a larger-than-life hero who embodies the values of a particular society
They often concern timeless human problems such as the conflict between Good and Evil
Credited with composing the
By ancient accounts, he lived sometime between 900 and 700 BC
Lived on an island in the eastern Aegean Seas
Characteristics of an Epic
Hero is a great leader who is identified strongly with a particular people or society.
The setting is far-reaching and often includes supernatural realms, especially the land of the dead
Epic Conventions-the ancient Greek stories put
together with certain conventions, or "expectations."
This called the Hero's Journey
1. Invocation - formal plea for aid/help; usually to a deity or some other spiritual power
2. In Media Res - where the action begins is "in the middle of things"
3. It then flashes back to events that took place before the narrator's current time setting
4. Use of epic similes (a.k.a. Homeric similes) - extended comparisons relating heroic events to simple, everyday events using like, as, so, and just so.
5. Epithet - a descriptive phrase that presents a particular trait of a person or thing.
Characteristics of an Epic Hero
1. Considered "larger-than-life" - He stands for all of the valued traits of his culture and time period
2. Usually undertakes a quest/ journey to achieve something of great value to themselves and/or society.
3. "Live on After Death" - they are forever remembered achieving a type of immortality
4. Not a "superman" with magical powers, but a "regular" human whose ambitions and accomplishments set him/her apart
5. Overcomes great obstacles/opponents, but maintains humanity
6. He experiences typical human emotions/feelings, yet is able to master and control them to a greater degree than typical person
7. It is often necessary for the epic hero to connect/make contact with "lesser" humans to order to succeed
8. The epic hero is an archetypal character - an archetype is a pattern that appears in literature across cultures and is repeated through the ages (example: the underdog who becomes the hero)
9. The epic hero has an epic flaw - An epic flaw is a literary term that refers to a personality trait of a main character that leads to his or her downfall.(example: the hero's lust for power leads to the destruction of his marriage and his people)
Characteristics of an Epic Hero Continued
Characteristics of an Epic Continued
Hero does great deeds in battle or undertakes an extraordinary journey or quest
Sometimes god or other supernatural beings take part in the action
The story is told in heightened language
THE HERO'S JOURNEY