Why read The Odyssey?. Experience the oldest literary form. Study and analyze the genre of epic. Study and analyze other elements of literature (character, theme, etc.). Look for archetypes. Enjoy a fascinating adventure tale. ID: 726353
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Introduction to …..
Why read The Odyssey?
Experience the oldest literary form
Study and analyze the genre of epic
Study and analyze other elements of literature (character, theme, etc.)
Look for archetypes
Enjoy a fascinating adventure tale
Today we will discuss three things: Greek/Roman mythology, Background of The Iliad and Odyssey, Hero CycleSlide3
What is a myth?
Definition: A traditional story rooted in primitive folk beliefs of cultures
Uses the supernatural to interpret natural events
Explains the culture’s view of the universe and the nature of humanitySlide4Slide5
Gods in The Odyssey or Iliad
FYI: The two major, influential deities that you need to be familiar with are Poseidon and Athena.Slide6
Roman Name: Jupiter (also Jove)
Supreme god of the Olympians.
Fathered many characters in mythologySlide7
Roman Name: Neptune
God of the Seas and Waters-
tempestuous, violent and cruel
The god who opposes Odysseus
Odysseus is also quick to anger, violent and cruel at times to this godSlide8
Roman Name: Minerva
Goddess of Wisdom and War
a war goddess who fights to protect the homeland.
Sprang from Zeus’s head
goddess who favors OdysseusSlide9
Roman Name: Mercury
Messenger of the Gods
Appears in more myths than any other characterSlide10
Nine daughters of Zeus and Mnemosyne
Inspired artists of all kinds
Goddesses who presided over the arts and sciences
“He is happy whom the muses love.”
Clio, Urania, Thalia, Melpomene, Erato, Calliope, Euterpe, Terpsichore, PolyhymniaSlide11
(“The disposer of lots”)
They weave, measure, and cut the thread of life for humans.Slide12
Other Mythological Creatures
One eyed monster, son of Poseidon
bladder of a creature whose face was all mouth and whose arms and legs were flippers and who swallows huge amounts of water three times a day before belching them back out again, creating whirlpools
grotesque sea monster, with six long necks equipped with grisly heads, each of which contained three rows of sharp teeth
is a minor goddess of magic, a witch and enchantress
In The OdysseySlide13
The Odyssey and Iliad
It’s good to know, during the Odyssey when we talk about dates……
3000 years ago also can mean 1000 B.C.E
B.C. = Before Christ B.C.E= Before the Common Era
A.D. = After Death A.C.E.= After the Common EraSlide14
What is an EPIC?
Definition: Long, narrative poem about the adventures of a hero
Shows values & beliefs of a culture
Includes a journey / quest
Encompasses vast setting (world)
Involves supernatural forces
Hero’s actions determine nation’s fateSlide15
Concern eternal human problems such as the conflict between
GOOD and EVIL
Written or told on a
and often in
Write this Down….
The hero is
a great leader who is identified strongly with a particular people or society.
setting is broad and often includes supernatural realms
, especially the land of the dead.
does great deeds in battle or undertakes an extraordinary journey or quest.
gods or other supernatural or fantastic beings take part in the action.
The story is
told in heightened languageSlide17
Epic Characteristics Cont’d
Write this Down….
Invocation to the muse
or other deity ("Sing, goddess, of the wrath of Achilles")
in medias res
(in the middle of things)
(a long simile where the image becomes an object of art in its own right as well as serving to clarify the subject).
Frequent use of
("Aeneas the true"; "rosy-fingered Dawn"; "tall-
Use of patronymics (calling son by father's name): "Anchises' son" Previous episodes in the story are later recountedSlide18
The epic hero is a
“LARGER THAN LIFE PERSON”
who embodies the highest ideals of his culture and embodies
LOYALTY, VALOR/ COURAGE, SENSE OF JUSTICE, DIGNITY, PERSISTENCE
, and many other traits of the Anglo-Saxon culture
The epic hero usually undertakes a
to achieve something of great value to themselves or society
“Superman” with magical powers
human whose aspirations and accomplishments set him/her apart
Overcomes great obstacles/opponents but
experiences typical HUMAN EMOTIONS/ FEELINGS
, yet is able to master and control these human traits to a greater degree than a typical person
Adjective or descriptive phrase regularly used to characterize a person, place, or thing.
We speak of “Honest Abe,” for example, and “America the Beautiful.”
Homeric Epithet: compound adjective that modifies a noun
A Homeric or heroic simile compares heroic events to everyday occurrences.
Example: “A man in a distant field, no hearth fires near, / will hide a fresh brand in his bed of embers / to keep a spark alive for the next day; / so in the leaves Odysseus hid himself, (Lines 119-122)
The way Odysseus hides himself in the leaves to sleep is compared to the way a burning coal is buried deep in the embers to preserve a spark for the next day.Slide21
the archetype of the war epic.
A story of the 10 year Trojan War
(estimated to have occurred around 1200 B.C.)
Began with Paris a Prince of Troy who took Helen, wife of King Menelaus.Slide22
the archetype of the story of a long journey; the long journey can be see as a metaphor for living one’s life.
A story of Odysseus’ long and wayward journey from the Trojan War.Slide23
Who was Homer?
No one knows for sure
around 800 BC
may have been blind, a group of poets, or even a womanSlide24
Trojan War was fought over Helen.
Although, their were underlying currents of tension as the Greeks wanted to control the trade of The Mediterranean.
Menelaus, king of Sparta, wanted his wife back.
Agamemnon, brother of Menelaus, gathered the army together.
Agamemnon got the wind to sail the ships to Troy by sacrificing his daughter to the gods.
, the Trojan horse, created by Odysseus.
Achilles, greatest Greek hero, died young in the last year of the war.
Agamemnon, killed when he returned home by his wife who had taken another lover.Slide25
The Iliad: A War story of Violence and Brutality
FYI: For many centuries it was believed that the 'Iliad' was a piece of imaginative and inventive fiction . In 1870, however, the German scholar Heinrich Schliemann began excavations at the place where Troy was believed to have stood. He satisfied himself, and eventually the rest of the world, that there had actually been a war fought there. The excavations revealed that several cities had stood on the spot before the one Homer celebrated.Slide26
Achilles’ role in the Trojan Wars
Achilles was the most important warrior in the Greek ranks
. His argument with King Agamemnon led to his brooding and isolation from the war. His friend,
, disguised in Achilles’ armor, leads the men into battle. Hector bravely fought whom he thought was Achilles and killed the youth. Achilles, in rage, reenters the battle after the funeral of
The Iliad takes place in the 10
and final year of the Trojan WarSlide27
The Greek concept of a hero
In the Homeric epics, the heroes give the reader (or listener) the impression that,
in order to be the best
, to achieve ar
an individual must sacrifice for the society
Greek heroes often had superhuman powers, though all Greek heroes and gods had a
In the Iliad, Homer uses Achilles as a central figure to illustrate the power of the gods, the role of fate in ones life and the ways man should deal with the travails of life in a way that continues tradition and protects the values of the culture.Slide28
The Wooden Horse
A hollow wooden horse the Greeks built, supposedly to honor the Trojans.
The Greeks pretended to leave and the horse was brought inside the gates of Troy.Slide29
When compared to its source material (Homer's The Iliad)...
In the movie Troy was sacked about a month after the Greeks landed, whereas in the book the siege lasted over ten years.
Menelaus was not killed by Hector but instead outlived him and went on to live with Helen until his death.
Agamemnon was not killed by
. Actually, he was, according to the story, killed by his own wife and her lover, after he returned home.
Achilles was killed long before the Greeks built the horse, by one arrow. He is killed by an arrow through his heel that was shot by Paris of Troy. Thus, by the time the Trojan Horse is built and wheeled into the city of Troy, Achilles is dead.
Hector didn't kill Ajax; Ajax committed suicide.
ends with Hector’s family mourning. The rest of the story is recounted in
Where in the WorldSlide31
Like Homer’s other epic, the
in medias re
s, or in the middle of things.
Rather than open the story with the end of the Trojan War, Homer begins midway through Odysseus’s wanderings.
This is the primary story, the first and best example, the archetype of the story of a long journey.
Because the long journey can be seen as a metaphor for living one’s life,
this story has been examined more closely.
contains the morals, themes and values of the Greek society about adventure, hardship, and life.Slide32
Odysseus, A Hero in Trouble
Odysseus is a very
. More than his strength, which was great, Odysseus was known for his clever and agile mind. It was he who thought of using the Trojan horse to gain entrance to the impregnable walls of Troy.
The story of The Odyssey follows his wayward struggle to return home to his wife, Penelope, and son,
, after The Trojan war
Odysseus, who was later called Ulysses by the Romans, was king of Ithaca, a small island on the west coast of Greece.
By the war's end he had been away from home for ten years. He filled his ships with treasure taken from the Trojans and set sail. Ordinarily the trip from Troy to Ithaca would have taken only a short time. The Greek gods, however, decided that it should take Odysseus ten years to reach his wife and son. During those years he and his men endured a series of hazardous and remarkable adventures.Slide33Slide34
Some films or works to consider…..
Batman (any of the films)
Spiderman (any of the films)
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