The odyssey


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The odyssey

  1. 1. The Odyssey What is it besides being a Rollicking Great Story?
  2. 2. Double Negatives • Revise these sentences: Example: Many scholars cannot hardly believe that the Odyssey was written by Homer. Many scholars can hardly believe tat the Odyssey was written by Homer 1. These scholars cannot help not thinking that many poets contributed to the epic. 2. Scholars have no historical facts about Homer’s life; they have not but a few legends.
  3. 3. Journal ¾ page • What trials must a hero go through to achieve their goal? What can happen on their journey to derail them? • Alternately, What should the returning hero’s homecoming look like? What would you do to welcome home a hero?
  4. 4. T h e J o u r n e y
  5. 5. What is this Odyssey you speak of? • ―Written down sometime between 800 and 600 BCE, the Odyssey is of the best known and most stupendously awesome works of ancient literature—make that any literature. Composed (maybe) by a poet named Homer (maybe), it tells the story of a man trying to make his way home from war. But not just any man, and not just any war. Its hero is Odysseus, who is basically the James Franco of Ancient Greece: smart, strong, attractive, brave, beloved by the gods, and way cooler than you are‖ ( • BTW – Odysseus is NOT cooler than you are, because you rock! But, he was pretty epic.
  6. 6. The Odyssey’s Construction • The Odyssey begins in medias res – the action begins in the middle of the plot – prior events are described through flashbacks or storytelling. • Nearly all modern editions and translations of the Odyssey are divided into 24 books. – This division is handy but it is not original; it was developed by Alexandrian editors of the 3rd century BC. • We will excerpts from the Odyssey, but not the entire work
  7. 7. Themes, Motifs & Symbols Themes • The Power of Cunning over Strength – If the Iliad (which tells the story of the Trojan War) is about strength, the Odyssey is about cunning. – Odysseus relies much more on mind than muscle. . .He knows that he cannot overpower some of his foes. Instead, he schemes around his disadvantage in strength by tricking and exploiting stupidity. – Penelope, Odysseus’s wife, is clever as well. She tricks the men back home, while waiting for her husband’s return. Themes are the fundamental and often universal ideas explored in a literary work.
  8. 8. Themes • The Pitfalls of Temptation – many of the pitfalls that Odysseus and his men face are obstacles that come from mortal weakness and the inability to control it. – The submission to temptation or recklessness either angers the gods or distracts Odysseus and the members of his crew from their journey: • they by tempted by hunger to slaughter sacred animals • they are tempted by the lotus eaters • they are tempted by the Sirens – How will they fare, do you think? Themes are the fundamental and often universal ideas explored in a literary work.
  9. 9. Motifs • Storytelling: – Delivery of the plot is often in this form – places the epic in its proper cultural context (bards) • Disguises: – From the first line of the epic, Homer explains that his story is about a ―man of twists and turns‖ (1.1). – Quick, clever, and calculating, Odysseus is a natural master of disguise, – the plot of the epic often turns on his deception. • Seductresses: – Women are very important figures – These women gain power through their charm – They are ultimately all subject to divine whim, forced to wait and pine for love when it is absent. Motifs are recurring structures, contrasts, or literary devices that can help to develop and inform the text’s major themes.
  10. 10. Symbols • Food: – Hospitality – welcome and eat! – Feasts are often the scenes for storytelling – Negative association: excessive eating represents not just lack of selfcontrol, but also the total absence of humanity and civility. • Wedding Bed: – the constancy of Penelope and Odysseus’s marriage Symbols are objects, characters, figures, or colors used to represent abstract ideas or concepts.
  11. 11. Parallel Structure • Revise these sentences: Example: Of all the writings of ancient Greece, the Odyssey was probably the most popular, imaginative, and exerted the most influence. Of all the writings of ancient Greece, the Odyssey was probably the most popular, imaginative, and influential. 1. The story begins with Odysseus’ imprisonment by Calypso, switches back to the scene at his palace in Ithaca, finally returning to his adventure-filled wanderings. 2. The story combines realistic accounts of life in ancient Greece, fairy tales about imaginary lands, and includes elements of historical events.
  12. 12. Myth, Folktale and Fable • Fable :short tale to teach a moral lesson, often with animal s or inanimate objects as characters – The Tortoise and the Hare; Aesop's fables. • Myth: a traditional story, esp. one concerning the early history of a people or explaining some natural phenomenon, and typically involving supernatural beings or events. – Echo and Narcissus; Greek Myth • Folk Tale: a tale or legend originating and traditional among a people or folk, especially one forming part of the oral tradition of the common people – Paul Bunyan; American Folk Tale
  13. 13. Plot • Freytag’s Pyramid  • Foreshadowing: an advance sign or warning of what is to come in the future • Flashback: a scene set in a time earlier than the main story
  14. 14. Foreshadowing or Flashback?
  15. 15. Foreshadowing or Flashback?
  16. 16. Foreshadowing or Flashback?
  17. 17. Foreshadowing or Flashback?
  18. 18. Foreshadowing or Flashback?
  19. 19. The Sirens Odysseus’ Journey
  20. 20. Think/Pair/Share: – Compare the setting in the Odyssey to today’s setting. What is Odysseus’s world like? Compare it to the American South. What are some similarities and differences? – What are modern equivalencies for the Lotus Eaters?
  21. 21. Odysseus’ Return
  22. 22. Penelope Odysseus’ Faithful Wife
  23. 23. Argus Odysseus’ Faithful Dog
  24. 24. Argos and Odysseus
  25. 25. Themes in More Depth Hospitality, Reputation, Revenge, Power
  26. 26. Sites Cited • Farrington, Crystal. The Odyssey. 9 Oct. 2007 < ml> • Phillips, Brian and Hunter, James. SparkNote on The Odyssey. 9 Oct. 2007 <>. • The Trojan War—An Illustrated Companion. 9 Oct. 2007. < m>
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