The Odyssey

Greek Mythology,
Epic Poetry,
The Odyssey
Greek Mythology
• Mythology is the study of myths
• Myths are stories involving gods,
goddesses, and heroes.
Why did myths begin?
• To entertain
• To explain natural phenomena
• To explain the relationship of god to man
• To teach lessons and morals
Homer’s The Odyssey
The Odyssey is an epic poem based on
Greek mythology
What is an Epic Poem?
A long narrative poem about a national or
legendary hero.
Characteristics of an
Epic Poem:
• Incorporate myth, legend, folk tale, and
• Have a grand tone
• Heroes and their adventures appear
larger than life (Epic Hero)
• Many were drawn from oral tradition
The Ancient Gods of Greek
MythologyThe Family Tree
It All Started with Chaos
• The world was formed
• Uranus hated these
from a great mass called
children and sent them to
the underworld.
• Out from Chaos came • On their second try,
Gaea, the earth
Uranus and Gaea
produced seven Titans:
• She gave birth to a son,
Uranus, and together
they had six children.
Three 50 headed &
100-handed giants and
three one-eyed
The Betrayals Continue . . .
• Gaea, however, was still
upset that Uranus
banished their other
• She told the Titans what
Uranus had done and
asked them to seek
• Cronus (their son) did
seek revenge by castrating
Uranus, and becoming the
new ruler.
• But, when he saw the other
children, he agreed they
were too ugly to allow out
of the underworld.
• Cronus married Rhea.
• They had five children, but
since Gaea had warned
him that one of his kids
would overthrow him,
Cronus swallowed his own
• Rhea was tired of this, so
she hid the sixth child,
Zeus, in Crete.
• When Cronus asked for
the child, Rhea wrapped a
rock in clothes and Cronus
swallowed it.
Zeus Takes Vengeance
• Zeus grows up, Rhea tells him the story about
his siblings, and he plots revenge against
• He poisons Cronus, and his siblings pop out
of Cronus’s belly (after the rock, of course).
• After this, Zeus tries to take over, but the
other Titans wont recognize him, so they start a
• Gaea tells Zeus about her first six children,
and with their help he wins against the Titans.
Then he takes the whole family to Mt.
Olympus (Thus the name Olympian Gods).
• After overthrowing his father
Cronus, Zeus drew straws
with his brothers Poseidon
and Hades. Zeus won the
draw and became the supreme
ruler of the gods.
• He is lord of the sky, the rain
• His symbol is a thunderbolt
which he hurls at those who
anger him.
• He is married to Hera, but is
famous for his many affairs
with goddesses and mortals.
• He is also known to punish
those that lie or break oaths.
Zeus’s Wife, Lovers & Kids
• Brother of Zeus and Hades
• Lord of the sea.
• To impress Demeter,
Poseidon created the first
horse. In some accounts, his
first attempts were
unsuccessful and he created a
variety of other animals in his
• His symbol is a trident, which
can shake the earth and
shatter any object.
• He is second only to Zeus in
power among the gods.
• He has a difficult, quarrelsome
personality, is greedy, and has
many disputes with other gods.
• Brother of Zeus and Poseidon.
• He had the worst draw and was
made lord of the underworld, ruling
over the dead.
• He is a greedy god who is greatly
concerned with increasing his
subjects and doesn’t want any of
them to leave.
• God of wealth, due to the precious
metals mined from the earth.
• He has a helmet that makes him
• He rarely leaves the underworld. He
has no pity and is mean.
• His symbol is a scepter—a two
pronged staff.
• Daughter of Zeus, she sprang from
his forehead—full grown and in armor.
• The goddess of wisdom, war, the arts,
justice and skill.
• She is fierce and brave in battle.
• She invented the bridle, which
permitted man to tame horses, the
trumpet, the flute, the pot, the rake,
the plow, the yoke, the ship, and the
• She represents wisdom, reason, and
purity. She was Zeus's favorite child
and was allowed to use his weapons,
including his thunderbolt.
• Her symbols are the olive tree and the
• She is a virgin goddess.
• Hermes is the son of Zeus
and Maia.
• He is the god of messengers,
safe travel, good fortune,
trickery, and truth.
• While Hermes can never tell a
lie, he may not always tell the
whole truth.
• He is the fastest of the gods.
• He wears winged sandals, a
winged hat, and carries a magic
• He guides the dead to the
• He invented the lyre, the
pipes, the musical scale,
astronomy , weights and
measures, boxing, gymnastics,
and the care of olive trees.
• Circe, daughter of the
sun god Helios, was a
sorceress best known
for her ability to turn
men into animals with
her magic wand.
• She was jealous of
Scylla, a beautiful
young woman, and
turned Scylla into a
sea monster.
The Sirens
• The Sirens are
creatures with the head
of a female and the body
of a bird.
• They lived on three small
rocky islands, and with
the irresistible charm of
their song, they lured
sailors to their death on
the rocks surrounding
the island.
• Circe, jealous of Scylla,
poisoned the water
where Scylla bathed.
• Scylla became a monster
with twelve feet and six
heads, each with three
rows of teeth. Below the
waist her body was made
up of hideous dog-like
• She threatened passing
ships, and in the
Odyssey she ate six of
Odysseus’s companions.
• The god of the sun.
• His chariot rises in the
East and descends in
the West (like the sun).
• Warm, friendly and
compassionate, Helios
respects truth and
• Helios was keeper of
the sacred cattle.
• His symbol is the
• Calypso was a nymph, the
daughter of the Titan Atlas.
• She lived on the island of
• Calypso fell in love with
Odysseus, taking him as her
lover and promising him
immortality if he would stay with
• In Greek mythology, nymphs
are spirits of nature. They are
minor female goddesses and the
protectors of springs,
mountains, and rivers.
The Muses
• These are the 9 daughters of
Mnemosyne and Zeus
• Each is in charge of a
different art or science and
inspires those who excel at
these pursuits.
Clio = history
Urania = astronomy
Melpomene = tragedy
Thalia = comedy
Terpsichore = dance
Calliope = epic poetry
Erato = love poetry
Polyhymnia = songs
Euterpe = lyric poetry
• Author of The Iliad and
The Odyssey
• The Iliad tells the story of
the Trojan War.
• The Odyssey tells the
story of Odysseus’s long
trip home after the war.
• Scholars think Homer
lived between 1500 B.C
and 700 B.C.
• Most scholars believe he
was blind, but there is no
evidence to verify this.
Homer Continued
• Homer used the legendary
material of the Trojan war
as the basis for his poems –
adding original plot
structure, realistic
characters, dialogue and
detail, and tales of fabulous
• The study of Homer’s
epics became the basis of
Greek education.
• Homer made his characters
believable by giving them
both good and bad traits.
Who Knew an Apple Would
Start it All?
• According to Greek mythology, all the gods were
invited to a wedding, except Eris, the goddess of
strife or trouble. (Who wants trouble at a wedding?)
• She went anyway and brought a golden apple that
had "For the fairest" (the most beautiful) written on it.
• Hera (Zeus's wife), Aphrodite (Zeus's daughter),
and Athena (Zeus's daughter) all made a claim for the
apple, and they appealed to Zeus for judgment.
• He refused to decide a beauty contest between his
wife and two of his daughters, and the task of
choosing a winner fell to Paris, a male mortal.
The Judgment of Paris
• The three great goddesses
offered Paris bribes.
• Hera promised him power.
• Athena offered him wisdom.
• And Aphrodite offered him
the most beautiful mortal
woman in the world (Helen)
as his wife.
• In the famous Judgment of
Paris, Paris gave the apple to
Aphrodite. (He wanted
Helen for himself!)
They’re Fighting Over a Girl??
• Helen, a mortal daughter of
Zeus, was the most beautiful
girl in the world.
• Only there was a huge
problem—she was already
married to King Menelaus.
• Paris went to Sparta, met and
fell in love with Helen, and
they ran away together to
Troy (Paris’s home).
• Menelaus demanded that his
wife be returned, and when
Paris refused The Trojan
War began.
The Trojan War
• Due to a promise they
had made to King
Menelaus to help him
defend Helen’s honor, all
the kings of Greece went
to Troy to fight to get
Helen back.
• The Greeks fought the
Trojans for 10 years.
• Odysseus came to the
rescue with a strategy to
win the war that involved a
huge wooden horse.
The Trojan Horse
• To gain entrance into Troy, clever
Odysseus ordered a large wooden
horse to be built.
• Its insides were hollow so that
soldiers could hide within it.
• All the Greek ships sailed away and
left the Trojan horse behind. (To
make it look like they had given up.)
• The Spartans thought they had
won the war, brought the horse into
the city, and had a drunken
• While the Spartans slept,
Odysseus and his men climbed out
of the horse’s belly, let their
comrades into the city, and
slaughtered the Spartans.
The Odyssey
• It’s an 11,300 line
epic poem divided
into 24 books
• It was passed
down orally
between the
3 Parts to the Story
1. Odysseus’s wanderings for 10 years
after the Trojan War.
2. What happens in Ithaca to his wife,
Penelope, and his son, Telemachus,
while he is gone.
3. What happens when Odysseus returns
home to reclaim his throne and family.
So, how long has Odysseus been
away from home?
Themes of The Odyssey
• loyalty & devotion
• wandering hero
• triumph of good
over evil
• obedience to the
laws of the gods
• Greek ideal of a
strong body &
strong mind
• The son of Laertes and
the ruler of the island
kingdom of Ithaca.
• He was one of the most
prominent Greek leaders
in the Trojan War, and is
the epic hero of The
• He was known for his
cleverness and cunning,
and for his eloquence as
a speaker.
• Favored by Athena
Timeline of Odysseus’s Adventures
20 Years Missing!
(1 year)
Land of
the Lotus
Fights in
the Trojan
(10 years)
Island of
Land of the
Land of
Lured by Sirens,
trouble at sea
against Scylla
and Charybdis
Island of
about 1
ate cattle)
keeps O
for 7
ship. O
O washes
ashore at
• Penelope was the
daughter of Icarius and
a first cousin of Helen
of Troy.
• She was the wife of
• She was famous for
her cleverness and for
her faithfulness to her
husband for 20 years.
• Odysseus and
Penelope’s son
• Favored by Athena
• She helped him gain
self-confidence and
assertiveness when his
father was gone for so
many years. (He grew
up without a father.)
Of taking notes, anyway.