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Odyssey by Homer

Odyssey by Homer

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Odyssey by Homer

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  1. Odysseyby Homer An Epic Poem

  2. Epic Poem • A long narrative poem that tells of the adventures of a single hero, who in some way embodies the values of his civilization

  3. Epic Characteristics and Conventions • The setting is vast in scope, covering great geographical distances or even visiting the underworld, other worlds or other times • There is an epic hero – a physically impressive man with superhuman qualities who is of national or historical importance; he is glorified at the end • It contains epic similes, speeches, and battles • A quest or journey is undertaken in search of something of value • The style of writing is elevated, even ceremonial • There are supernatural forces involved

  4. Epic Characteristics and Conventions • There is an opening statement of theme • There is an epic question asked • There is an invocation to a Muse, one of the nine daughters of Zeus, in order to ask for inspiration • It begins in media res (in the middle of things) • Earlier portions of the story appear later as flashbacks • There is an objective narrator • Catalogs and genealogies are given • These long lists of objects, places, and people place the finite action of the epic within a broader, universal context • Oftentimes, the poet is also paying homage to the ancestors of audience members

  5. Epic Hero The epic hero: • Is a figure of great national importance from history or legend • Has superhuman qualities – including strength, bravery, and physical stature • Is a warrior, leader, and polished speaker • Must undertake a long, perilous journey facing trials and enemies that test his endurance and courage • Not only possesses the virtues and qualities that his people value, but is the cultural ideal of those values • Must face the final task of his epic journey alone • Returns home, a leader of his people

  6. Homeric or Epic Similes • Extended comparisons that compare heroic or epic events to simple and easily understandable everyday events – events the audience would recognize instantly • They are often based on images from nature (lions, storms, deer, rivers) and everyday activities (fishing, herding) • They are lengthy and may continue for several lines • Fun fact – The Odyssey is 12, 110 lines

  7. Myths • Traditional stories, rooted in a particular culture, that usually explain a belief, a ritual, or a mysterious natural phenomenon • They are essentially religious because they are concerned with the relationship between human beings and the unknown or spiritual realm