. lived around 1200 B.C.E.. was a poet. is traditionally thought to be blind, but describes events as a seeing person. Homer. Composed the . Iliad. and the . Odyssey, . . epic. poems about the war between the Trojans and the Greeks set in 900-700 . ID: 692383
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lived around 1200 B.C.E.
was a poetis traditionally thought to be blind, but describes events as a seeing personSlide3
and the Odyssey, epic poems about the war between the Trojans and the Greeks set in 900-700
and the aftermath of that possibly historic war.Slide4
What is an epic?
An epic is :
poem concerning a serious subject containing details of heroic deed and events significant to a culture or nation.
story of the hero’s travels and fights with powerful figures, sometimes other humans but also gods and monsters.Slide5
in medias res
Is written in elevated, formal language
Begins with an invocation to a muse,Slide6
mousai), nine daughters of Zeus and Mnemosyne (memory) were said to give inspiration to poets and artists. They are:
(epic poetry); Clio (history);
(love poetry and mimicry);
, mime); Terpsichore (dancing);
muses are typically invoked at or near the beginning of an epic poem or classical Greek hymn.Slide8
Includes supernatural elements,
an epic hero
originally sung, often to a harp or lyre
was composed for live performance in a pre-literate societySlide9
clues to the ideas of the poet and his
did not understand, such as natural disasters, death, storms, the heavens,
the culture that created them: religion, dress, homes, weapons and war, roles of men and women, values and moral
What makes an epic hero?
An epic hero…
“larger than life” qualities, possibly supernatural powers or skills so extraordinary that they seem
gifts of the gods
Performs brave deeds and faces many dangers, even defeating monsters and/or
An epic hero…
Is intelligent and solves difficult, even life-threatening
Is a natural leader of men, strong and responsible.
Is a skilled fighter who often stands prominently or alone in battle,Slide12
An epic hero…
Makes long journeys, travels to find adventure or to fulfill a desire or quest
Is human, and has a weakness (or human failing) that destroys him or inadvertently endangers others.
favored by the gods.Slide13
Homer is credited with composing two great epics, The Iliad and the Odyssey.Slide14
The Iliad is a narrative poem about the tenth and last year of the Trojan War
the wrath of Achilles, emphasizes arete, honor earned in battle, and
Arete is honor earned in battle.Slide16
“If the Greeks regarded the Trojan War as the defining moment of their culture, they did so because of the poetry of Homer. It would not be unfair to regard the Homeric poems as the single most important texts in Greek culture.”
Richard Hooker, “Bureaucrats and Barbarians, The Greek Dark Ages.”Slide17
The Trojan War ended when the Greeks tricked the Trojans into bringing a wooden horse filled with Greek soldiers into the city of Troy.
This clever stratagem was Odysseus’ idea.Slide18
The Odyssey begins after the fall of Troy.
This epic poem of more than 12,000 lines is divided into 24 books
It tells the story of Odysseus’ journey as he and his men try to return home from the Trojan War.Slide19
Must you have battle in your heart forever?
The bloody toil of combat? Old contender; will you not yield to the immortal gods?
Odyssey, Book 12Slide20
Main characters in the Odyssey:
Odysseus, the king of
“the man of many turnings” for his inventive intelligence,
Penelope, Odysseus’ faithful wife
, Odysseus’ son, now twenty years old, and
Athena, the goddess of wisdom, war, and justice.Slide21
Narrative Structure of the Odyssey,Books 1 through 4:
Odysseus has been away from his home,
, for twenty years. His
, angry about the greedy suitors who have taken over his home, seeks news of his father from those who might have heard about him.
The suitors, who hope that Odysseus is dead, want to force his wife
to marry one of them.Slide22
Led by Athena,
posing as Mentor,
travels to neighboring kingdoms, trying to find what has happened to his father.
While he is gone, the suitors plot to kill
when he returns.Slide23
Narrative Structure of the Odyssey, Books 5 through 8:
the same time, far away on
Kalypso’s island of Ogygia, Odysseus is depressed and homesick. He has been kept there for seven years.
finally leaves the goddess and journeys to
, land of the
Narrative Structure of the Odyssey, Books 9-12:
landing naked and exhausted on the island, Odysseus carefully approaches the maiden
Nausikaa, daughter of king
, and she takes him to her father’s court. With the
as his audience, Odysseus narrates his travels from Troy chronologically, ending with his appearance on
This episode is occurring at the same time as
’ travels in Books 1-4.Slide25
Narrative Structure of the Odyssey: Book 13-End
and the narrative returns to a straightforward chronology.
by Athena, he explores the island and learns about the desperate situation of his wife and reveals himself to his son,
, they plan to kill the vicious suitors and save
and their kingdom.Slide26
Odysseus retakes his home from the suitorsSlide27
, Mary Beth. “Inspired by the Muses, Graces, and Fates."
. The Kennedy Center. 6 Jan 2009 <http://artsedge.kennedycenter. org/content/3605/>.Hooker, Richard. “Bureaucrats and Barbarians, The Greek Dark Ages.” Pullman, WA: Washington State U P, 1999.Slide28
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