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Homer's Odyssey

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Elle Rich

on 18 October 2012

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Transcript of Homer's Odyssey

Intro to the Epic: Homer's Odyssey Epic Notes Miss Rich What is an epic (or epic poem)?
"In literature, an epic is a long narrative poem. It recounts the adventures of an epic hero, a larger-than-life figure who undertakes great journeys and performs deeds requiring remarkable strength and cunning." An epic hero is "a larger-than-life figure who undertakes great journeys and performs deeds requiring remarkable strength and cunning." embodies ideals and values that a culture considers admirable emerges victorious from perilous situations is helped and harmed by interfering gods possesses superhuman strength, craftiness, and confidence Epic Hero Characteristics Continued (NOT IN TEXTBOOK)... 1. The epic hero is a great leader. 6. The epic hero experiences typical human emotions/feelings, yet is able to master and control these human traits to a greater degree than a typical person. 5. The epic hero overcomes obstacles/opponents but maintains humanity. 2. The epic hero is on a quest/journey to achieve something of great value to themselves or society. 3. The epic hero achieves a type of immortality: he/she lives on after death by being forever remembered by those who live after them. 4. The epic hero does not have magical powers, but is a "regular" human whose aspirations and accomplishments set him/her apart. 7. The epic hero often connects/makes contact with "lesser" humans in order to succeed. 8. Also...the epic hero is an archetypal character (or archetype). What is an archetype?

An archetype is a pattern that appears in literature across cultures and is repeated through the ages.

An archetype can be a character, a plot, an image, or a setting. So far...
we've defined an epic, an epic hero, have looked at some of the characteristics of an epic hero, and have defined an archetype. Now, let's look at some of the elements of the epic. 2. Epic Plot:
Involves a long journey, full of complications, such as... a. strange creatures b. large-scale events c. divine intervention 1. Epic Hero:
Which we've already defined. d. treacherous weather 3. Epic setting includes... a. fantastic or exotic lands b. involves more than one nation 4. Archetypes: characters, situations, and images that are recognizable in many times and cultures, such as... a. sea monsters b. buried treasure c. epic hero d. wicked temptress e. suitor's contest f. loyal servant 5. Epic Themes: reflect universal concerns such as... b. courage a. loyalty d. beauty c. life and death f. a homecoming e. a nation's fate g. eternal human problems such as the conflict between good and evil 6. Epic Language: the story is told in heightened language and exhibits... i. Invocation: a formal plea for aid/help usually to a deity or some other spiritual power. ii. In media res: the action begins "in the middle of things" iii. Flashback: the epic begins in media res and then flashes back to events that took place before the narrator's current time setting iv. Epic similes: comparison between two unlike things, using the word "like" or "as," developed at great length, so that the epic simile goes on for several lines. Elaborately extended comparisons relating heroic events to simple, everyday events.


"...he himself rocked, rolling from side to side,
as a cook turns a sausage, big with blood
and fat, at a scorching blaze..." (compares Odysseus' rage to a roasting sausage) v. Epithet: a brief descriptive phrase used to characterize a particular person or thing. vi. Allusion: a reference to a famous person, place, event, or artwork/piece of literature. EPIC DEFINITION Epic Hero Definition Epic Hero Characteristics Epic Hero Characteristics "Now I may be an idiot, but there is one thing I am not, sir, and that, sir, is an idiot." - Peter Griffin Epic Hero Characteristics Epic Hero Characteristics Epic Hero Characteristics Epic Hero Characteristics Epic Hero Characteristics Epic Hero Characteristics Epic Hero Characteristics Epic Hero Characteristics Who/what is an epic hero? Epic Hero Characteristics Epic Hero Characteristics Archetype Definition Recap :) examples of archetypes in elements of the epic section Elements of the Epic Elements of the Epic Elements of the Epic: Epic Plot Elements of the Epic: Epic Plot Elements of the Epic: Epic Plot Elements of the Epic: Epic Plot Elements of the Epic Elements of the Epic:
Epic Setting Elements of the Epic:
Epic Setting Elements of the Epic Elements of the Epic: Archetypes Elements of the Epic: Archetypes Elements of the Epic: Archetypes Elements of the Epic: Archetypes Elements of the Epic: Archetypes Elements of the Epic: Archetypes Elements of the Epic Elements of the Epic:
Epic Themes Elements of the Epic:
Epic Themes Elements of the Epic:
Epic Themes Elements of the Epic:
Epic Themes Elements of the Epic:
Epic Themes Elements of the Epic:
Epic Themes Elements of the Epic:
Epic Themes Elements of the Epic a. Epic Conventions: shared
characteristics of epics. Epics were originally told orally (they were not written down, they had to be remembered) so bards/scops (professional poets) used epic conventions to remember the stories as they retold them. Examples of epic conventions are... Elements of the Epic:
Epic Language Elements of the Epic:
Epic Language: Epic Conventions Example: First line Book 1 "Sing in me, Muse, and through me tell the story..." (What is a muse? An inspirational goddess/deity of literature, science, arts, knowledge...) Elements of the Epic:
Epic Language: Epic Conventions Elements of the Epic:
Epic Language: Epic Conventions Example from Book 20: Elements of the Epic:
Epic Language: Epic Conventions Elements of the Epic:
Epic Language: Epic Conventions Example: Odysseus "son of Laertes" and "raider of cities" Example: When Odysseus' son first sees the palace of Menelaus, he says, "This is the way the court of Zeus must be."

Other examples: “I thought the software would be useful, but it was a Trojan Horse.” “Chocolate was her Achilles’ heel.” Elements of the Epic:
Epic Language: Epic Conventions Epic hero characteristics... Background to Homer's Odyssey Odyssey
epic poem
written around 750-725 B.C.
in Greece
oldest written record of ancient Greece
by Homer
about Odysseus
and his adventures Odyssey
First told orally, perhaps even sung, and it may not have been until several generations later that it was set down in writing. Review from last class...

The professional poets who recited epic poetry from memory were called_________________________. Homer
author of the Odyssey
scholars debate whether Homer really existed
there are many theories about who Homer was and when and where he lived
most likely lived sometime between 900 and 700 B.C.
believed to have been blind
most modern scholars agree that Homeric poetry is the work of one or two talented poets Trojan War
the Odyssey is about Odysseus' long journey home after the Trojan War
perhaps legendary, perhaps factual war
occurred sometime around 1200 B.C.
between the Greeks and the Trojans
took place in Ancient Troy began after Paris, a Trojan prince, kidnapped the beautiful Helen from her husband, Menelaus, the king of Sparta (in Greece). Background to Homer's Odyssey: The Poem Background to Homer's Odyssey: The Author Background to Homer's Odyssey: The War Background to Homer's Odyssey: More Info on the War (Paris, Trojan) (Helen, Greek) Menelaus recruited kings and soldiers from all over Greece to help him recover his wife. (Menelaus, Greek) Background to Homer's Odyssey: More Info on the War Background to Homer's Odyssey: More Info on the War the Greeks sailed to Troy and held Troy under siege for ten years Odysseus
perhaps legendary, perhaps factual person
Epic Hero
Greek king of Ithaca, Greece
husband of Penelope
father of Telemachus
son of Laertes and Anticlea Background to Homer's Odyssey: The Main Character Background to Homer's Odyssey: More Info on the War Odysseus' idea
a giant wooden horse that the Greeks left at the gate of Troy
the Trojans thought the horse was a peace treaty and brought the horse into their city
little did they know, Greek soldiers were hiding inside the horse and when nightfall came, the Greeks emerged from the horse and took over the city
ended the Trojan War Background to Homer's Odyssey: The Gods and Goddesses Gods and goddesses
were an essential component of ancient Greek culture.
in Homer's accounts of the Trojan War and Odysseus' journey home from the Trojan War, the gods and goddesses played influential roles in the outcome of events Zeus
king of the gods
ruler of Mount Olympus
god of the sky, weather, thunder, lightning, law, order, and fate Background to Homer's Odyssey: The Gods and Goddesses Poseidon
god of the sea, rivers, floods, droughts, and earthquakes
brother of Zeus Background to Homer's Odyssey: The Gods and Goddesses Athena
goddess of wisdom, warfare, battle strategy, heroic endeavor, handicrafts, and reason.
born fully formed from Zeus' head Background to Homer's Odyssey: The Gods and Goddesses Trojan Horse
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