Synopsis Exposition A mosaic depicting Odysseusfrom the villa of La OlmedaPedrosa de la VegaSpain, late 4th-5th centuries AD The Odyssey begins after the end of the ten-year Trojan War the subject of the Iliadand Odysseus has still not returned home from the war because he angered the god, Poseidon. Odysseus' son Telemachus is about 20 years old and is sharing his absent father's house on the island of Ithaca with his mother Penelope and a crowd of boisterous young men, "the Suitors", whose aim is to persuade Penelope to marry one of them, all the while reveling in Odysseus' palace and eating up his wealth.
Open up your copy of the Odyssey at the beginning of Book IV, and list the epithets given to Menelaus within the book. The choice of epithet does not depend on the narrative context, but on metrical expediency.
If you have access to a Greek text, write down and scan the Greek for each of the above epithets. You will find that they are all metrically different. The Odyssey is made up of dactylic hexameters.
What this means is that each line is made up of six feet.
Each of the first four feet may be either a spondee two long syllables or a dactyl long-short-short. The fifth foot must be a dactyl, and the final foot must be either a spondee, or a trochee long-short or long-long. The formulaic epithets allow the poet great freedom in the first few feet of a line that contains a significant noun, whether it be the name of a person or place, or even the sea or a house or a ship, since any space left over within that hexameter can be filled by a metrically appropriate epithet or combination of epithets, without any creative effort on the part of the poet.
Furthermore, the use of formulae allows the poet time to consider the composition of the next line.
Similar benefits are conveyed by the frequent repetition of entire lines, and indeed of complete speeches. Type Scenes What is a type-scene? Hospitality type-scenes appear frequently within the Odyssey.
Anyone who has read the Iliad will have noticed the great similarities between different arming and battle-scenes. In the Odyssey, the most prominent kind of type-scene is the hospitality scene, in which the guest enters the presence of the host, is given a seat, fed, and then asked to reveal his name, and tell the host of his purpose and his reasons for being in that land.
After the tale has been told, the guest is provided with bedding. In the morning, the guest, should he wish to leave, is provided with gifts. Examples of this can be found in the first Athene in Ithakathird Telemachus at Pylosfourth Telemachus at Spartaseventh through to the thirteenth Odysseus in Phaeacia and fourteenth Odysseus in the hut of Eumenes books of the Odyssey.
Much of the first half of the poem is thus given structure through these extended hospitality-scenes, providing a setting for the long stories told both by the two travellers, and by their hosts, in particular, Nestor and Menelaus. There are also many examples of non-standard hospitality scenes, featuring a bad host: Circe, the suitors, Polyphemus, and so on.
In these episodes, the contrast with the standard hospitality type-scene shows the wickedness of the host. References For further reading, try: This post is part of the series:wise or understanding, and hence many came to a bad end through the displeasure of Jove's daughter Minerva, who brought about a quarrel between the two sons of Atreus/5(3).
Odyssey, epic poem in 24 books traditionally attributed to the ancient Greek poet Homer. The poem is the story of Odysseus, king of Ithaca, who wanders for 10 years (although the action of the poem covers only the final six weeks) trying to get home after the Trojan War.
Homer (/ ˈ h oʊ m ər /; Greek: Ὅμηρος Greek pronunciation: [hómɛːros], Hómēros) is the legendary author of the Iliad and the Odyssey, two epic poems that are . Homer ’s 8th century BCE oral narrative of a warrior’s decades-long quest to return home defines epic poetry.
Together with its companion poem The Iliad, The Odyssey describes the action and aftermath of the Trojan Wars, andis the model for the heroic quest.
Read a character analysis of Odysseus, plot summary, and important quotes.
The Odyssey, Book I, Lines Homer SPEAK, MEMORY— Of the cunning hero, The wanderer, blown off course time and again After he plundered Troy's sacred heights.
Homer, name traditionally assigned to the author of the Iliad and the Odyssey, the two major epics of Greek antiquity. Nothing is known of Homer as an individual, and in fact it is a matter of controversy whether a single person can be said to have written both the Iliad and the Odyssey.