answers - Madison Public Schools

Study Guide for the Introduction to the Odyssey
The Odyssey (trip home from the war for Odysseus) is a sequel to the Iliad
(story of the Trojan War)
Written: 800 B.C.
Author: Homer (gets credit)
How told: Out loud orally or sung
Epic: long, narrative poem about the adventures of a hero whose actions
reflect ideals or values of a nation/race
Characteristics of an epic:
 Supernatural events
 Many locations of action
 Hero pitted against overwhelming odds
 Hero is legendary – prince, king, noble
 Language is formal, grand – clear
The Odyssey is a story about Odysseus who is trying to go home to see
Penelope (his wife). On the way, he encounters monsters who try to stop
him. Luckily, he has 720 men on 12 ships.
Two (maybe three) characteristics possessed by Odysseus:
 Strength
 Courage
 Ingenuity (cleverness)
Also instrumental in his journey: gods/goddesses who either help or hamper
Odysseus in his effort to reach his home of Ithaca.