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Transcript of The Odyssey
a long narrative poem about a legendary national hero who usually embarks on a journey.
Epic Poems typically represent a culture's
values and traditions.
Every epic has an
larger than life
character possess the cultural values and traits a country deems important.
a comparison of two unlike things
using "like" or "as":
ex: Mr. Staber is like a god.
just like a
simile, only EPIC! Seems like
the speaker is on a tangent. An epic simile is also called a
Homeric simile. Phrases that indicate an epic simlie include:
ex: "Sometimes in farmyards when the cows return / well-fed from pasture to the barn, one sees / the pens give way before the calves in tumult, / breaking through to cluster about their mothers, / bumping together, bawling.
Just that way
/ my crew poured round me when they saw me..."
(Homer 9. 118-123).
so, just as, just so, even so,
just that way.
ex. "The trees wept,"or "The ocean roared," or "The rain clawed at the window."
giving inanimate objects
life-like qualities (can include human
traits or even animal like traits).
ex. "Fleet-footed Achilles"
"Odysseus, son of Laertes"
a short description about a
character that helps to provide more
insight about that character.
Called a Bard
Odysseus' long journey home from the Trojan War.
, a ten year war, introduces Odysseus, the mastermind behind the Trojan Horse which
leads to Greek victory.
a continuation of another
: concerns the
Trojan War (war over a
Central character changes.
Troy vs. Greeks (Achiens)
Achilles is the main character
glory, honor, pride, homecoming, and
Basically, I'm a stud.
Not this one...
The gift of
foresight (the ability to see the future)
"Sing in me, Muse,and through me tell the story
of that man skilled in all ways of contending..."
The poem is 12,000 lines long (which is partly what makes it so epic)! For our purposes, we'll be reading a shorter version. The poem is essentially broken up into twenty-four books, but for us, we'll concentrate on the
The Great Wanderings
of Odysseus. The tale is fraught with adventure both on land and on the high seas (the Mediterranean, to be specific),
Greek gods and goddesses
, betrayal, and
So why do we read
There's no way
this could be a trap!
A giant wooden
horse?! This is so
is about a journey. In fact, the very definition of the word is "a long and eventful journey." And what is life, but a journey that we all take. This by itself is reason enough (I think, anyway) to read this epic. But it doesn't stop there. Greek culture itself has paved the way for much of modern society.
is, in itself, a history lesson seen through the eyes of a larger than life hero; and who doesn't like a good hero? But what makes Odysseus so interesting is that he's flawed, just like the rest of us. Thus, he's human (just like the rest of us), so he shares with us what it's like to navigate through a world fraught with evil and temptation. Sometimes he wins, sometimes he loses. We can all relate to that.
Even with all that being said,
is a foundational piece of literature, paving the way for many of the great epics. Without Homer's
setting the ground work, we might not have other epics like Star Wars or The Lord of the Rings. The Odyssey is one that helped to start it all.
But even with all this being said,
deals with fundamental questions concerning man's mortality, the struggle between good and evil, defending one's home and honor, and even pondering what the heck happens to us after we die. Those are heavy ideas to think about on our own. But with a little help from Homer, we just might be able to do it.
Ahhhhh!!!! That monster is so mythical it should be in an epic poem!
Is Odysseus a hero? How do we define a hero?
Why read classical literature?
What values did the ancient cultures possess or claim to be worthy?
How did ancient societies view gender?
Just like Shakespeare's poetry, which was written in blank verse using iambic pentameter, epic poetry follows a distinct pattern called
every line contains six units, or feet
each foot contains three syllables or two syllables
each foot is called a
: one of more words that create a single stressed or long syllable, followed by two unstressed or short syllables
Téll mé,/ Múse, of the / mán versa/tíle and re/soúrceful, who/ wándered