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The Odyssey Background

Gives a brief background on Homer, The Odyssey, and literary terms

Melissa Lowrance

on 9 November 2011

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Transcript of The Odyssey Background




Free write:

How would you personally characterize a
hero? What makes this person heroic?

Can a hero lose hero status? How?

Why does every culture have some form of a hero?

What's the difference between heroes and idols?

How might a culture's heroes reflect a culture's values?
Epic Heroes:
Excel in skill, strength, and courage
Succeed in war and in adventure
Value honor and glory
Usually have a guide
Battle demons and monsters
Are generous to followers but ruthless to enemies

What heroes do you know that have some of these same traits?
Epic Heroes also..
Are men of action
Accept challenges and sometimes invite problems
Sometimes make rash decisions and take unnecessary risks
Meet monsters and temptations
Encounter women who tempt them
Descend into darkness—most often the underworld
And ultimately achieve their goals
Wrote The Odyssey and
The Iliad.

Some say he was blind

Famous poet who lived around the 8th century B.C.
Not this guy...
Odysseus came up with
the idea of the Trojan Horse
He's known for his
wisdom and bravery.
How the Trojan War Began:
Eris throws out a golden apple: “For the fairest.”
Hera, Athena, and Aphrodite fight for the apple.
The goddesses make promises to Paris: Athena will make him wise, Hera will give him power to rule the world, Aphrodite promises him the love of the world’s most beautiful woman.
The Greeks launch 1000 ships against Troy.
The war lasts ten years.
Troy is destroyed; Helen is returned to Greece.
Odysseus begins his way home...but it doesn't go smoothly...
Invocation of the Muse
In media res
Homeric Similes
From the clip...
What do the Greeks seem to value?
How does the scene give you insight into Odysseus' character?
prayer to the Muse
at the beginning of
an epic
In the middle
of things
Long similes
short, descriptive phrases
"blazing-eyed Athena"
Final Thoughts:
Are heroes perfect? Can heroes mess up and still be heroes? How much can they mess up? Think of some real-life examples....or examples from books and movies.
Do you know how the
Greeks won the Trojan
Who would you have picked?
Paris chooses Aphrodite’s gift, kidnaps Helen, and takes her back to Troy, starting the Trojan War.
"Neither reply nor pity came from him,
but in one stride he clutched at my companions
and caught two in his hands like squirming puppies
to beat their brains out, spattering the floor" (Homer 989).
Oral Tradition

Free write about several stories you remember
your parents telling you when you were a child.

What values are implied in each story? Why do
you think your parents told you these stories?

What are times and places when we tell stories
orally? What's the point?
Full transcript