Presentation on theme: "The Literature of Antiquity The Odyssey. Learning Goals: To understand the differences between the Iliad and the Odyssey, tragedy and comedy. To identify."— Presentation transcript:
The Literature of Antiquity The Odyssey
Learning Goals: To understand the differences between the Iliad and the Odyssey, tragedy and comedy. To identify the major literary devices, structure, and techniques used in the work. To identify and discuss major themes of the work. To learn Greek vocabulary essential to a better understanding of the text.
The Odyssey Recounts the 10-year journey of Odysseus to return to Ithaca after the end of the Trojan War Odyssey= song of Odysseus Begins in medias res (in the middle of things), but most of the story is told in flashback. Begins with Odysseus being stuck on Ogygia with Calypso and his grown son, Telemachus, looking for him. A COMIC work Odysseus is an “everyman.”
The Odyssey: A Story About… 1.Identity Revelation, falsification, investigation, recognition Who ARE we really? 2.Experience Tests of temptation Tests of wit, wisdom, cleverness 3.Community Xenia and Xeinos Testing “alternative” societies Restore social order
Some Greek Vocabulary… Metis – widsom, cleverness Hubris – over-reaching pride Atë – foolish action by hero that leads to downfall Oikos – the family unit / noble household Xeinos – guest/host relationship Nostos – homecoming Katabasis – journey to the underworld Kleos – glory/fame
Themes and Motifs The guest/host relationship is sacred; failure to observe xenia and xeinos can result in disruption of the social order. Hubris can get a person into big trouble with the gods and should be avoided. Man has the divine gift of wit and cleverness—and he should use it to get himself out of problems where strength cannot prevail. Without the family or oikos, a man has no identity. Temptation should be avoided—remaining steadfast and loyal is most important. Disguises, storytellers, temptation, gifts, food, etc.
Comparing the Iliad and the Odyssey Iliad Tragedy Many Heroes Ares/Aphrodite Courage and Justice Eros causes strife Lion (War) Straight lines Disguise is fatal Self-assertion Righteous indignation Daylight Plains Political and legalistic Pain suffered by all Destruction of social order Odyssey Comedy One Hero Athena and Hermes Wisdom and Moderation Eros as natural and sacred Dog (peace) Serpentine lines Disguise is curative Self-abnegation Subtlety and deception Darkness Caves Broadly philosophic and poetic Pain suffered by one Restoration of social order