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An Introduction to Homer’s Odyssey. Who was HOMER? Homer was a blind minstrel (he told stories to entertain and to make his living); audiences had to.

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Presentation on theme: "An Introduction to Homer’s Odyssey. Who was HOMER? Homer was a blind minstrel (he told stories to entertain and to make his living); audiences had to."— Presentation transcript:

1 An Introduction to Homer’s Odyssey

2 Who was HOMER? Homer was a blind minstrel (he told stories to entertain and to make his living); audiences had to listen carefully (this is “oral tradition” so there was a lot of repetition and improvisation used)

3 Other traveling poets (called rhapsodes) memorized and recited these epics in the banquet halls of kings and noble families

4 History is vague on Homer’s identity; some say he is just a legend, others say that a whole series of rhapsodes composed various parts of the epics The epics were not originally written-- the Greek alphabet didn’t appear until 725 BC

5 GREEK VALUES Important to understand some of the main Greek values of the time because…. These values help explain characters’ motivations

6 Greek Values (explains characters’ motivations) Reciprocity: Mutual exchange between two people You give to me, I give to you You help me, later I have to help you

7 Greek Values (explains characters’ motivations) Hospitality: Treat all guests with respect Be nice first, ask questions later A stranger could be a god in disguise! Be our guest, be our guest, put our service to the test...

8 Greek Values (explains characters’ motivations) Greek idea of excellence Intelligence (be smart and cunning) Strength Courage Duty

9 Greek Values (explains characters’ motivations) Religion: Actions should please the gods Fate controlled by the god Humans need the gods (man, without the gods, is nothing) [Odysseus’ revelation] Humans should honor gods through sacrifices, asking gods for help, and giving credit to gods

10 Epics and Heroes What is Hubris? Hubris is extreme arrogance or self-pride. Often in Greek tragedies, hubris would be the fatal flaw of the main character, often resulting in their downfall. In Mythology, humans sometimes demonstrated hubris, which angered the gods. Tony Stark (Iron Man)

11 MYTH “Myth” is a story that uses fantasy to express ideas about life not easily done in realistic terms (it also stresses the relationship of human beings to a higher, spiritual realm and depicts the world- view of a culture)

12 The Epic

13 Characteristics of the Epic: 1. Long, narrative poem 2. Reflects values of a nation or race 3. Addresses universal concerns 4. Focuses on the adventures of a historical or legendary hero

14 5. The supernatural plays an important role 6. Story is set in many locations 7. Hero against the odds – strong and courageous 8. Story is simple and written in formal language

15 EPICS Things you will discover once you have read an Epic: Classical Allusions: references to mythology Example: She had the face that launched a thousand ships—Refers to Helen of Troy from The Illiad. You will find these allusions in other literature, movies, everyday conversations, and even in modern day advertising. Example: Percy Jackson series, Honda Odyssey van, Venus razors, Good Year tires with Hermes wings, etc.

16 Things you will discover once you have read an Epic: The Hero’s Journey Pattern: Most epic heroes go on some sort of quest. Look for examples of the Separation, Transformation, and Return. Be able to chart Odysseus’ Hero’s Journey through the 8 stages and apply the HJ concepts to his journey. How does Odysseus change? EPICS

17 Conventions of the Epic

18 Epithet A brief descriptive phrase Characterizes a person, place or thing Gives story-teller a “breather” Helps with rhyming or meter Examples: rosy-fingered dawn gray-eyed Athena The blue-maned god who makes the islands tremble Son of Laertes and gods of old, master mariner and soldier

19 Homeric Simile Compares epic events to everyday events “…in one stride he clutched at my companions and caught two in his hands like squirming puppies to beat their brains out, spattering the floor.”

20 Homer’s Epics (composed between 900 & 700 BC!) First there was… The Iliad

21 After The Iliad (Aneid by Virgil )Aneid by Virgil ) Odysseus’ wooden horse trick Greeks defeat the Trojans Odysseus heads for home

22 The Odyssey Tales of Odysseus

23 The Odyssey Involves 3 Sets of Characters: 1.The Greek GODS 2.Humans 3.Supernatural monsters and creatures

24 Post War Trauma Long, exhausting, brutal war (10 years) Odysseus heads for home with nothing but ships and crew

25 The Odyssey A story told in 3 stages

26 PART ONE A story of what happens in Ithaca to Odysseus’ wife (Penelope) and son (Telemachus) as they await his return

27 PART TWO A story of Odysseus’ wanderings after the Trojan War (the war lasted 10 years and his wanderings lasted another 10 years!)

28 PART THREE A story of how Odysseus returns home to Ithaca and joins forces with his son to destroy his enemies

29 Why does it take Odysseus 10 years to get home? Read and find out!

30 Meanwhile…there’s trouble at home! In Ithaca, Odysseus is suspected to be dead Suitors have invaded the palace Penelope, Odysseus’ wife, is in an awkward position and must trick the men into leaving her alone Telemachus, Odysseus’ son, resents the imposing situation And so the epic begins…


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