Lecture Notes for The Odyssey

Lecture Notes for The Odyssey
Homer and The Odyssey
A. Homer was an old, blind wandering man. He had The Odyssey composed
in oral verse not written verse. The story is based on history, legend,
myth, and fairly tale.
B. Homer influenced by Plato, Socrates, and Aristole
Epic Hero
A. Definition: The Greek ideal of “Strong mind in a strong body.”
B. Recall the birthplace of the Olympics and the stereotype of what a hero is
(Athletic hero)
Figurative Language
A. Allusions-reference to history, literature, sports, science, and pop culture.
For example the song “1985” by Bowling For Soup, or sport legends like
the “Ice Bowl” or “Pistol Pete.”
B. Similes-comparison using like or as
C. Imagery-words that paint a picture or image in the reader’s mind
D. Homeric Simile- an extended comparison between something the audience
cannot have seen (such as the god Hermes skimming the waves in Book
V) and something ordinary and domestic (like seagulls diving for food in
the ocean or the campus quad during lunch).
A. Definition- a long narrative poem about the deeds of a hero-based on
truths which blends legend with the tale.
B. Oral tradition-intended to be read orally-ALOUD. This was how stories
were passed on from one generation to another and from one village to
A. Loyality, devotion, and fortitude
B. Greek ideal of a strong body and a strong intellect
C. The wandering hero
D. Triumph of good over evil
E. Obedience to the laws of the Greek gods.
A. Books 1-4 – The adventures of Telemachus
B. Books 5-8 – Odysseus leaves Calypso and arrives in Phaeacia
C. Books 9-12 – A FLASHBACK ( define this) in which Odysseus tells the
Phaesians of his adventures
D. Books 13-24 – Odysseus’ landing on Ithaca, the battle with the suitors, the
final recognition, and the reunion with Penelope and Laertes
Celebrate the three “R’s”
A. Recovery
B. Recognition
C. Reunion
The Iliad
A. Overview- Set in 10th and final year of Trojan War. The Greeks were
eventually victorious as they burned Troy to the ground. Achilles was the
greatest of the Greek warriors. Odysseus thought of the Trojan Horse idea.
War about Helen of Troy, “The face that launched a 1000 ships.”