The Odyssey

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  • Audio Script: Sing in me, Muse, and through me tell the story of that man skilled in all ways of contending, the wanderer, harried for years on end, after he plundered the stronghold on the proud height of Troy. He saw the townlands and learned the minds of many distant men, and weathered many bitters nights and days in his deep heart at sea, while he fought only to save his life, to bring his shipmates home. But not by will nor valor could he save them, for their own recklessness destroyed them all—
  • The Odyssey

    1. 1. An Introduction to the Odyssey <ul><li>An Introduction to the Odyssey </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The War-Story Background </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Odysseus: A Hero in Trouble </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The Wooden-Horse Trick </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The Ancient World and Ours </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>A Search for Their Places in Life </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Relationships with Gods </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Epic and Values </li></ul><ul><li>The Telling of Epics </li></ul><ul><li>Homer </li></ul>Feature Menu
    2. 2. An Introduction to the Odyssey “ Sing in me, Muse, and through me tell the story of that man skilled in all ways of contending, . . .”
    3. 3. An Introduction to the Odyssey [End of Section] The Odyssey is a tale of a hero’s long and perilous journey home. But, it is also the story of a son in need of his father and of a faithful wife waiting for her husband’s return.
    4. 4. The War-Story Background The Iliad provides the background for Odysseus’s story and tells the tale of a ten-year war fought outside the walls of Troy . In Homer’s Iliad <ul><ul><li>the Trojan War is in its tenth and final year </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>the people of Troy are fighting an alliance of Greek kings because the world’s most beautiful woman, Helen, abandoned her husband, Menelaus (a Greek king) and ran off with Paris, a prince of Troy </li></ul></ul>
    5. 5. The War-Story Background The Iliad provides the background for Odysseus’s story and tells the tale of a ten-year war fought outside the walls of Troy. In Homer’s Iliad <ul><ul><li>the Greeks won the war, reduced the city of Troy to smoldering ruins, and butchered all the inhabitants, except for those they took as slaves back to Greece </li></ul></ul>[End of Section]
    6. 6. Odysseus: A Hero in Trouble Odysseus is not a typical epic hero . He is faced with <ul><ul><li>difficult choices </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>post-war disillusionment </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>disrespect from the people of his homeland </li></ul></ul>
    7. 7. Odysseus: A Hero in Trouble Before the Trojan War, Odysseus <ul><ul><li>married the beautiful and faithful Penelope </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>had one son, Telemachus </li></ul></ul>
    8. 8. Odysseus: A Hero in Trouble [End of Section] When called to serve in the Trojan War, Odysseus <ul><ul><li>pretended to be insane so he wouldn’t have to go (he dressed as a peasant, plowed his field, and sowed it with salt) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>revealed his sanity to save his son’s life (who was placed in front of the plow) </li></ul></ul>
    9. 9. The Wooden-Horse Trick During the Trojan War, Odysseus <ul><ul><li>performed extremely well as a soldier and commander </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>thought of the famous wooden-horse trick that lead to the defeat of Troy </li></ul></ul>
    10. 10. The Wooden-Horse Trick <ul><ul><li>Odysseus’s plan was to build an enormous wooden horse and hide Greek soldiers inside. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The horse was left outside the gates of Troy, and the Greeks “abandoned” their camp. </li></ul></ul>
    11. 11. The Wooden-Horse Trick [End of Section] <ul><ul><li>The Trojans thought the horse was a peace offering and brought it into the walled city. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>At night, the men hidden in the horse came out and opened the gates to the entire Greek army. </li></ul></ul>
    12. 12. The Ancient World and Ours [End of Section] <ul><ul><li>Odysseus’s world is harsh, violent, and primitive. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The “palaces” that he and his men raid might have been nothing more than mud and stone farmhouses. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The “worldly goods” they carry off from town might have been only pots and pans, cattle and sheep. </li></ul></ul>
    13. 13. A Search for Their Places in Life The Theme of the Odyssey Odysseus and his family are searching for <ul><ul><li>the right relationships with one another and the people around them </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>their proper places in life </li></ul></ul>
    14. 14. A Search for Their Places in Life The Structure of the Odyssey The story begins with Telemachus, Odysseus’s son. Telemachus is searching for his father because he <ul><ul><li>is being threatened by rude, powerful men who want to marry his mother and rob Telemachus of his inheritance </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>needs his father to return home and restore order </li></ul></ul>
    15. 15. A Search for Their Places in Life [End of Section] The Structure of the Odyssey Readers learn that Odysseus <ul><ul><li>is stranded on an island, longing to get home </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>has been gone for twenty years—he has spent ten years at war and ten years trying to get home </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>is in the middle of a midlife crisis and searching for inner peace </li></ul></ul>
    16. 16. Relationships with Gods In Homer’s stories, a god can be an alter ego —a reflection of a hero’s best or worst qualities. <ul><ul><li>Odysseus is known for his mental abilities, so he receives aid from Athena, the goddess of wisdom. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Odysseus can also be cruel and violent. Odysseus’s nemesis is Poseidon, the god of the sea, who is known for arrogance and brutishness. </li></ul></ul>
    17. 17. Relationships with Gods [End of Section] Myths in the Odyssey Greek myths plays an important role in the Odyssey. <ul><ul><li>Homer is concerned with the relationship between human and gods. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>For Homer, the gods control all things, including Odysseus’s fate. </li></ul></ul>
    18. 18. Epics and Values Epics are long narrative poems that tell of the adventures of heroes who in some way embody the values of their civilization. More about Epics <ul><ul><li>The Greeks used Homer’s epics, the Iliad and the Odyssey, to teach Greek virtues. </li></ul></ul>
    19. 19. Epics and Values [End of Section] The Epic Tradition All epic poems in the western world owe something to the basic patterns established in Homer’s epics. <ul><ul><li>The Iliad is the primary model for an epic of war. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The Odyssey is the model for an epic of the long journey . </li></ul></ul>
    20. 20. The Telling of Epics Epics and other tales were probably told by wandering bards or minstrels called rhapsodes. Rhapsodes were <ul><ul><li>the historians, entertainers, and mythmakers of their time </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>responsible for spreading news about recent events or the doings of heroes, gods, and goddesses </li></ul></ul>
    21. 21. The Telling of Epics Epics were originally told aloud. <ul><ul><li>They followed basic story lines and incorporated formulaic descriptions . </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Most of the words were improvised to fit a particular rhythm or meter. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Epics included Homeric, or epic, similes that compare heroic events to easily understandable everyday events. </li></ul></ul>
    22. 22. The Telling of Epics Epics such as the Iliad and Odyssey were probably told over a period of several days. <ul><ul><li>Singers might have summarized part of the tales, depending on how long they stayed in one community. </li></ul></ul>[End of Section]
    23. 23. Homer No one knows for sure who Homer was. <ul><ul><li>Later Greeks believed he was a blind minstrel, or singer, from the island of Chios. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>One scholar suggests Homer was a woman because home and hearth played such an important role in his stories. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Some scholar think there were two Homers. Some think he was just a legend. </li></ul></ul>[End of Section]
    24. 24. The End
    25. 25. The War-Story Background Troy was located in what is now Turkey.
    26. 26. Odysseus: A Hero in Trouble Epic Hero In Homer’s time, epic heroes <ul><ul><li>were placed somewhere the gods and ordinary human beings </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>experienced pain and death </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>were always true to themselves </li></ul></ul>
    27. 27. Relationships with Gods Myths are traditional stories, rooted in a particular culture, that usually explain a belief, a ritual, or a mysterious natural phenomenon. <ul><ul><li>Myths are essentially religious because they are concerned with the relationship between human beings and the unknown or spiritual realm. </li></ul></ul>
    28. 28. Epics and Values More About Epics Epics use elevated language and a serious tone and often include elements of myth, legend, folk tale, and history.
    29. 29. Epics and Values Journey The theme of the journey is found in many stories in western literature, including <ul><ul><li>fairy tales </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>novels, such as The Incredible Journey, Moby-Dick, and The Hobbit </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>movies, such as The Wizard of Oz and Star Wars </li></ul></ul>
    30. 30. The Telling of Epics Formulaic Descriptions Formulaic descriptions gave the singer time to think ahead to the next part of the story. The oral storyteller had formulas for <ul><ul><li>the arrival and greeting of guests, eating of meals, and taking of baths </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>describing the sea (“wine-dark”) and Athena (“gray-eyed Athena”) </li></ul></ul>
    31. 31. The Telling of Epics <ul><li>Homeric, or Epic, Similes </li></ul><ul><ul><li>In the Iliad, the singer uses a Homeric simile to describe how Athena prevents an arrow from striking Menelaus. </li></ul></ul>She brushed it away from his skin as lightly as when a mother Brushes a fly away from her child who is lying in sweet sleep.

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