Presentation on theme: "The Odyssey A little Background. Brief Background The Odyssey was written by the great epic poet, Homer. Written in the oral tradition- passed on."— Presentation transcript:
The Odyssey A little Background
Brief Background The Odyssey was written by the great epic poet, Homer. Written in the oral tradition- passed on by word of mouth. Before he wrote The Odyssey, Homer also wrote The Iliad. In both cases, he is writing about events that happened in the PAST.
We are about to begin Homer’s Epic The Odyssey The Odyssey is the story of the great hero Odysseus’ journey home after the Trojan War. But before we can begin this epic…we need to back up a little bit, and get our facts straight.
The Trojan War You have probably heard of it before but since our story will pick up where the Trojan War left off…it is important for us to understand a little bit about this war (and naturally it’s exciting to impress people with all of your awesome Trojan War knowledge! ). Wasn’t Brad Pitt in a movie about this????
What’s a Trojan? A person from Troy One who shows the qualities of Trojan soldiers: endurance, toughness, determination
Who? Greeks Achilles Greatest Greek Warrior King Agamemnon Nestor Odysseus Patroclus Menelaus Helen’s Husband Trojans Hector Greatest Trojan Warrior King Priam Father of Hector Aeneas Paris Helen’s Abductor
The previous Slide told us about the “Humans” involved in the war…but if you know anything about Greek Mythology, the Gods were Big Too: ZEUS- King of gods and men, who mediates the disputes of the gods on Mt. Olympus. HERA- Wife of Zeus. Goddess of marriage. POSEIDON- God of the sea. HERMES- Messenger of the Gods. Also god of travelers and boundaries. ATHENA- daughter of Zeus. Goddess of wisdom, battle, and womanly arts.
The previous Slide told us about the “Humans” involved in the war…but if you know anything about Greek Mythology, the Gods were Big Too: ARTEMIS- Apollo’s twin. Goddess of the hunt. (associated with the Roman Goddess, Diana– remember the allusion to her in Romeo & Juliet?) ARES- God of war (savage warfare) APOLLO- Artemis’s twin. God of the sun, light, truth, archery, medicine & healing, the arts. APHRODITE- Goddess of love, lust, beauty.
With whom did the Gods side? Greeks Hera Poseidon Hermes Athena Trojans Artemis Ares Apollo Aphrodite Zeus tries to remain neutral
How did it start? Eris, goddess of discord, was not invited to a wedding banquet on Mt. Olympus (where the Gods live). So, to get back at them, she tossed a golden apple inscribed with “For the Fairest” into the banquet hall. Athena, Hera, and Aphrodite asked Zeus “Zeus, which of us is the Fairest (a.k.a. who’s prettier?)?” They wanted him to decide who should receive the apple! Zeus would not choose. (He’s no fool!) Zeus says Paris is an excellent judge of beauty, and refers the goddesses to him (when in doubt, always pass stuff off to other people!).
The Judgment of Paris Paris was King Priam’s son He was rather weak and cowardly. When the goddesses appeared to him, they each offered him a bribe: Athena would make him a great warrior. Hera would make him ruler of Europe and Asia. Aphrodite would give him the most beautiful woman in the world. Hmmm, which do you think he chose? WRONG ONE!
Who did he choose? Paris gave the apple to Aphrodite (are we really surprised?) She then took Paris to Helen, the most beautiful woman in the world. Hera and Athena, however, vowed revenge. Dun,dun,dun…
Helen She was the wife of Menelaus (he was the King of Sparta). Menelaus was the brother of the Greek King, Agamemnon. See the problem?
Paris takes Helen
The Greeks Respond Menelaus asks all of Greece to help. Greek armies set off across the sea to lay siege to Troy and leave it in ashes. And so begins the Trojan War. Helen is often referred to as “The Face that Launched a Thousand Ships.”
Odysseus & Achilles Join the Effort Late Odysseus didn’t want to fight for Helen. He thought her a faithless woman. He did not want to leave his home (Ithaca). Achilles was kept back by his mother. Thetis (his Mommy) was a sea nymph who knew he was fated to die in Troy. She had dipped him in the river Styx to try and give him immortality (she held him by the heel). Both of these great Greek warriors were later called (forced) into battle where they played important roles in many battles.
The Battle Rages Due to the influence of various gods and goddesses, the war went back and forth for many years.
Agamemnon Leader of all Greek forces during Trojan War Offended Achilles by taking his “prize” (a girl named Briseis) after one battle
Achilles Pouts Because Agamemnon offended him, Achilles refused to fight. Then things went badly for the Greeks, and they begged Achilles to return. Achilles allowed his friend, Patroclus, to fight in his place, wearing his armor. Patroclus is killed by Hector (who thought Patroclus was Achilles).
Achilles Returns Enraged over the death of Patroclus, Achilles returns to battle. His mother gets him some new armor (aww, what a nice mommy). Achilles kills Hector I AM ACHILLES!!!
Achilles Relents King Priam sneaks into the Greek camp and begs Achilles to give him Hector’s body so that his son may have proper funeral rites. Achilles allows Priam to take the body. After Hector’s death, Achilles does not have long to live.
The Death of Achilles Achilles was unconquerable by mortal men, but Apollo stepped in. Apollo guided Paris’s arrow into the only weak spot Achilles had: his heel (your “Achilles’ heel” is your weakness- get it?) Achilles dies from the wound. The remaining Greeks decide his divine armor should go to the bravest remaining warrior.
Odysseus Wins Odysseus makes a speech explaining why he deserves it, and he is awarded the armor of Achilles. He then devises the final plan to end the Trojan War.
The Trojan Horse The Greeks pretend to retreat, leaving behind a large wooden horse. The Trojans, in celebration, drag the horse inside their city as a war prize.
The Trojan Horse Odysseus and many other Greek warriors are hiding inside the horse.
The Fall of Troy They wait until the Trojans are asleep, and then they come out and slaughter them! The Trojan War is over! The Greeks won. The Trojans lost. Odysseus is the greatest hero remaining alive…but now he has to get home…
The Odyssey Begins… The story of The Odyssey is about Odysseus’ journey home (to Ithaca) after the Trojan War. It’s quite a journey!
The Structure The Odyssey is generally divided in 24 books (we are not going to read all of them!) It begins in medias res- in the middle of things. Written in dactylic hexameter (Lines made from six –HEXA- feet) DACTYL- stressed, unstressed, unstressed syllables - The first 4 feet are either dactyls or spondees (stressed, stressed) - The 5 th foot is almost always a dactyl - The 6 th foot is usually a spondee
What is an Epic? The epic is a long, narrative poem about a serious subject. It contains details of heroic deeds and events significant to a culturenarrative poem Epics have 6 main characteristics: The hero is of national importance The setting is vast. The action consists of deeds of great valor Supernatural forces—gods, angels, demons—interest themselves in the action. Elevated style (lofty/formal language) The poet retains a measure of objectivity. Follows the quest format