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Introduction to the
Odyssey
English I
Mrs. Groomer
Homer: The Epic Poet


A blind poet
Accredited with the story
telling of
The Iliad
 The Odyssey


Scholar debated his actual
existence
The Iliad & The Odyssey

Common Elements
The Trojan War
 Heroism of Odysseus
 Interference of the gods

The Trojan War



Occurred around 1200 BC
A Trojan prince kidnapped the beautiful Helen
from her husband, Menelaus, King of Sparta
The Greeks fought Troy for ten years
The Heriosm of
Odysseus
Odysseus has the Greeks build a
giant wooden horse which is left
at the gates of Troy as a peace
offering
The Trojans take the horse into the gates of the
city
At night, while the Trojans are asleep, hundred of
Greek soldiers come out of the horse to defeat
the Trojans



The Odyssey



After the war, Odysseus and his men load their
ships and make way for home.
Along the way, they encounter numerous obstacles
and adventures.
Meanwhile, Penelope (Odysseus’ wife) is at home
on Ithaca raising their son, Telemachus and trying
to elude marriage to one of the many suitors.
The Intervention of Gods

Athena



Poseidon


Curses Odysseus to be lost at sea and
return to bad things at home.
Apollo


Supported the Greeks in the Trojan War
Guardian Goddess of Odysseus
Threatened to take the sun out of the sky
Zeus

Sent a bolt of lightening to destroy Odysseus’ crew and ship as
revenge for Apollo after they ate Apollo’s cattle.
More Gods & Goddesses




Hermes
 Brings a message to Calypso
from Zeus to release Odysseus
Calypso
 Holds Odysseus captive on her
island for seven years
Aeolus
 Guardian of the wind – gives
Odysseus a bag of wind
Circe
 Goddess of Aeaea – turns
Odysseus’ men into pigs
Other Mythological Characters

Sirens


Scylla


Six-headed sea monster
who devours sailors
Charybdis


Creatures whose songs
lure sailors to their death
A dangerous personified whirlpool that sucks in ships
Polyphemus

Cyclops; son of Poseidon
Odysseus’ Journey
Terms to Know

Epic


Epic Hero


A simile that goes on for several lines
Epithet


A larger-than-life figure who undergoes a great journey and
possesses remarkable strength and cunning
Epic Simile


A long narrative poem
A brief descriptive phrase used to characterize a particular
person or thing (son of Laertes; raider of cities)
Allusion

A reference to a famous person, place, or event
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