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.