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The Odyssey

The Odyssey

by Homer

The Odyssey Analysis

Literary Devices in The Odyssey

Symbolism, Imagery, Allegory

Setting

Much of the action in the Odyssey takes place on the sea, where Odysseus must battle against the storms of the sea god, Poseidon, but the last third of the story is set in the town and countryside...

Narrator Point of View

Our poet (might as well call him Homer) shows us everything that happens in the Odyssey—gods and mortals; good guys and bad guys; father and son. There's a reason they call it epic. There is the...

Genre

Along with Homer's Iliad, The Odyssey is one of ancient Greece's two great epics. (Actually, they sort of defined what an epic was in the first place.) Both poems feature a larger than life hero, d...

Tone

Homer writes with all the gravity that you'd pretty much expect when reading about epic heroes and their long dangerous journeys. Odysseus's suffering is endless; Telemachos risks his life to find...

Writing Style

Fair enough: at first, the Odyssey feels a lot more murky than clear. But if you look at learning Homeric style like learning a new dialect, it won't take you long to get the hang of it. Once you g...

What’s Up With the Title?

Pretty straightforward: "The Odyssey" is a form of the hero (Odysseus's) name and basically means "the story of Odysseus." One neat fast: The Odyssey is so famous that the word "odyssey" has come t...

What’s Up With the Ending?

For a long time, some readers have felt that the ending of the Odyssey smells a little fishy. In fact, two scholars from ancient Alexandria claimed that the "ending" of the Odyssey came in line 296...

Tough-o-Meter

For the first-time reader, probably the hardest thing about Homer's Odyssey is its language. (And we're not even asking you to read it in Ancient Greek.) If you're really struggling, you could chec...

Plot Analysis

Slave 4 UTen years after the Trojan War ended, the residents of Odysseus's great hall are being eaten out of house and home by parasitic suitors who won't take Penelope's no for an answer . Telemac...

Booker's Seven Basic Plots Analysis

[Not in the book]Booker pretty much built the "Quest" plot around The Odyssey, so this should be easy. "The Call" is Odysseus's yearning to go home from Troy once the city has been destroyed and th...

Three Act Plot Analysis

O Father, Where Art ThouThe suitors are annoying Penelope in Ithaka and Telemachos, fed up, finally begins to speak out against them. He goes to the Grecian mainland to get news of his father from...

Trivia

The first four books of the Odyssey are sometimes known as the "Telemachy" because they revolve around (guess who) Telemachos. Somehow, that name never caught on to describe a story about an ineffe...

Steaminess Rating

Hate the game, not the player: Odysseus is a serious ladies man. Seven whole years with Kalypso? It's distinctly possible that Odysseus spent more years with her than he did with his wife Penelope...

Allusions

Homer's Iliad. Like most sequels, Odyssey is full events and people detailed in Homer's earlier poem, like Achilleus (3.114), the Trojan horse (8.533-558), Helen (23.246-252), and Agamemnon (24.16-...
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