The Odyssey Help?
Hi, I am going into 9th grade, and i wanted to start reading The Odyssey by Homer. I started it, and things dont seem to come together for me. Is there any background information, myths, stories, and other elements that could help me understand this story? Such as like the Trojan War. I dont know much about Greek Mythology. Thanks!
- PaoloLv 44 years agoFavorite Answer
Homer's Odyssey is at the same time a poem and a novel. It is written in a language which may seem difficult and obscure; it is full with myths, which were popular in the ancient greek world.
I suggest to you to buy the book of Robert Graves "Greek myths" and use it as a reference. This masterwork is useful also for understanding other important texts of the classical Greek-Latin literature, like The Argonauts of Apollonius Rodius or the Metamorphosis of Apuleius.
Then you should compile a small dictionary, in alphabetical order, of all remarkable common and personal words you encounter during the reading of Odyssey. At the beginning it may seem confusing, but it is a good procedure to understand the work (and the world) of Homer.
- Anonymous4 years ago
- 4 years ago
The Odyssey is a story about how a Greek king of Ithaca and warrior named Odysseus tried to journey home to Greece after the Trojan War,but he was prevented by Poseidon after blinding his son, the Cyclops, and therefore was estranged on an island by the nymph Calypso for several years . Athena, Odysseus's aide (and his on Telemachus' aide too) helped him make his way home to slaughter the treacherous suitors of his ever faithful wife Penelope who sought to murder Telamachus, Odysseus's, son, and steal the kingdom.
The backstory: Paris was the son of King Priam and Queen Hecuba of Troy. Before Paris's birth, Hecuba dreamed that her son would bring ruin to the walled city of Troy and consequently the baby was ordered to be abandoned on Mount Ida by a shepherd to die. The shepherd returned a few days later, and finding the baby to be well, raised him as his own, naming him Paris, who grew up to be strong, handsome, and athletic. He married and was living a good life until the day there was a wedding feast. Many gods and goddesses were invited except for Eris, the goddess of discord who was purposefully not invited. Eager for revenge, she threw a golden apple labled "For the Fairest" onto the table.
Many goddesses claimed it, but the vote came to three: Athena, goddess of wisdom and benefactor of the Greeks; Venus, goddess of love and beauty; and Hera, the jealous Queen of the gods and wife of Zeus. Zeus passed along the buck to Paris. After each goddess promised him gifts, Paris, not thinking of his wife at home, selected Venus, who had promised him the most beautiful wife in the world. From then on, Athena and Hera hated Troy.
Venus restored Paris as Prince of Troy after he gained wide acclaim by winning all the athletic competitions with his prowess,awarded by Venus. Paris became reunited with his parents,who forgot about the prophesy. He then traveled to the home of Greek King Menelaus, who welcomed him. While he was out on a hunt, however, Paris stole Helen, Menelaus' beautiful wife, with the aid of Venus, and tons of riches besides. Some in Troy disaproved greatly, including Prince Hector, another son of Priam and a wise one at that. But Helen remained.
Menelaus called upon the other Greek kings to bring back Helen, for they had all once courted Helen, and once rejected, Helen's father made them all swear under oath to bring her back as one should she be abducted. Some of the warriors were Achilles, King Agamemnon, King Odysseus and Ajax. Thus began the bloody Trojan War.
The gods and goddesses chose sides and aided their side. Apollo, Venus,Zeus, and Neptune were on the Trojan side. Hera, Athena, and Mars aided the Greeks. There were many more minor deities that chose sides too.
Hector was killed by the war-loving Achilles, who was later moved by the gods to be given proper burial and returned to Priam. Paris killed Achilles by shooting him in his heel with an arrow, because his nymph mother Thetis had dipped him as a baby into the magical River Styx (the river that leads to the Underworld, where the souls of the dead dwell eternally) to give him invincibility, Since she had held his heel, however, Achilles' Heel was the only vulnerable part of his body and his weakness(hence the term). Paris fell by the hand of Philoctetes, a Greek archer.
Eventually, Troy fell to its knees, fulfilling the prophecy of Hecuba's dream. The Greeks destroyed Troy by luring the Trojans to bring in a huge wooden horse (the Trojan Horse, the idea of Odysseus), presumably a gift to the gods, into the walls. The horse was hollow, containing many Greek warriors who burst out and decimated the city.
Sorry for the long essay! Hope it clears everything up!
If I have any mistakes, let me know.
(P.S. Got a lot of the info from "What Your Sixth Grader Needs to Know:Fundamentals of a Good Sixth Grade Education", The lliad of Homer, The Odyssey of Homer.)Source(s): What Your Sixth Grader Needs to Know:Fundamentals of a Good Sixth Grade Education, The lliad of Homer, The Odyssey of Homer.