Presentation on theme: "Introduction to the Odyssey. Key Ideas: The Odyssey The Odyssey is an epic. An epic is a long narrative poem about the deeds of a hero. The epic."— Presentation transcript:
Introduction to the Odyssey
Key Ideas: The Odyssey The Odyssey is an epic. An epic is a long narrative poem about the deeds of a hero. The epic hero often portrays the goals and values of the society Epics are based in part on historical fact, blending legend with truth.
Epics at a Glance
The Epic and Epic Hero In literature, the epic is a long narrative poem about the deeds of a hero. The epic hero is a larger-than-life figure who undertakes great journeys and performs deed requiring remarkable strength and cunning.
Epic Hero: Characteristics Possesses superhuman strength, craftiness, and confidence. Is helped and harmed by interfering gods. Embodies ideals and values that a culture considers admirable. Emerges victorious from perilous situations.
Epic Plot Involves a long journey, full of complications, such as: Strange creatures Divine intervention Large-scale events Treacherous weather
Epic Themes Courage The fate of a nation A homecoming Beauty Loyalty Life and Death
There are many theories about the blind poet Homer, who is credited with writing the Iliad and the Odyssey. Homer is said to have lived between 900 and 700 B.C.
Oral History Homer’s epics are all that remains of a series of poems that told the whole story of the Trojan War. In later centuries, the Iliad and the Odyssey were memorized by professional reciters, who performed them at religious festivals throughout Greece.
The setting for the Iliad is the city of Troy.
Why does the Trojan War begin? A beauty contest. The participants were Athena, Aphrodite, and Hera.
Paris, a Prince from the city of Troy, was the judge. The prize - a golden apple inscribed “to the fairest.” The goddesses bribed Paris to choose them over the others.
Aphrodite’s offer was the best. Paris chose her. What prize did Paris receive? The world’s most beautiful woman -- Helen
She just happens to be the wife of King Menelaus of Greece.
King Agamemnon, the brother of King Menelaus, gathers all the Greeks. They sail to Troy.
Helen of Troy became the “face that launched a thousand ships.”
And the Trojan War begins. It will last for ten years.
The Iliad The Iliad takes place during the tenth year of this war. It tells the story of the Greek warrior, Achilles and his quarrel with Menelaus’ brother Agamemnon, ending with the death and funeral of Paris’ brother Hector. After Hector’s death, the Greeks brought the war to an end thanks to the cleverness of Odysseus ruler of the island of Ithaca.
To break up the ten-year war, Odysseus thought of a scheme to make the Trojans think that the Greeks had finally given up. He ordered a giant wooden horse to be left at the gates of Troy. The Trojans, not seeing any Greeks, assumed that the Greeks had fled and left the horse as a peace offering.
They took the horse inside the city, only to find that the horse was filled with Greek soldiers and that Troy was doomed.
The Odyssey is about the hero Odysseus’ long trip home to Ithaca. His trip home takes 10 years.
Odysseus’ trip home
1. Invocation of the Muse A formal plea for help to the Muse Calliope.
2. In medias res The epic plunges right into the action -- it begins “in the middle of things.” Flashbacks provide background information.
3. Epic similes Use of extended similes.
4. Metrical Structure Dactylic Hexameter six stressed syllables per line Closely resembles speech.
5. Stock epithets A descriptive phrase used in place of a noun or proper noun. “Grey-eyed Athena”