The Odyssey

Ryker McPhail

The Adventure

The Ciconians

After Odysseus and his men leave Troy, they land on the island of Ismarus. Here they met the Ciconians and began to sack and pillage their kindgom. The Ciconians began to fight back and Odysseus suffered great losses of six men from each ship.


The Land of the Lotus-Eaters

Odysseus's next stop was at the Land of the Lotus-Eaters. Odysseus's crew was offered the food of the Lotus-Eaters, the Lotus flowers. Odysseus's crew ate the flowers and no longer wanted to continue on their journey, but Odysseus dragged them one by one back onto the boat to continue on their journey home.


The Land of the Cyclops

The next stop the crew made was on Polyphemus's island. They encountered the cyclops Polyphemus. Polyphemus attacked and murdered a few of the crew members and then was blinded my Odysseus. Odysseus told Polyphemus that his name was Nobody which made Odysseus uncatchable. But in the end, Odysseus revealed his true identity which made him known to Polyphemus and Poseidon, which was the cause of his next ten years of suffering.


Circe's Island

Their next stop was on the land of Aeaea, Circe's island. He stays there with her for almost a year. She gives him the advice to go to the Underworld, the Land of Hades, and talk to the spirit of the prophet Tiresias.


The Land of the Dead

Odysseus and his crew take Circe's advice and visit the Underworld. After Odysseus gives libations out to the dead he brings forth the spirit of the prophet Tiresias. Tiresias cautions Odysseus about Helios's cattle, Scylla, and Charybdis.


Scylla and Charybdis

The next venture that Odysseus makes is through Scylla and Charybdis. Odysseus and his men safely make it through the channel and land of the island of Helios.

The Island of The Sun God

Odysseus and his men get stranded on the island of the sun god where Helios's cattle lived. After being stranded on the island for a month, Odysseus's crew take advantage of Odysseus's slumber and kill the cattle. This enrages the sun god who plots Zeus against them, who kills all of Odysseus's men and washes Odysseus back to Ogygia, the home of Calypso. He is stranded there for seven years.


The Journey Home

After Odysseus leaves Ogygia, he shipwrecks on Alcinous's island and meets the Phaeacians. They offer to give him a ride back to Ithaca which he accepts, thus ending his long and arduous journey, twenty years later.


Characters of the Odyssey

Odysseus

Odysseus is the male protagonist of the story and is the reason behind the name of the story. He is a typical Homeric leader in the fact that he is strong, brave, courageous, noble, and has a thirst for glory. But one thing that sets him apart from other heroes is that he is smart and quick-thinking. He is able to manipulate those around him into thinking his way and use his mind to solve problems rather than physically deal with them.


Telemachus

Telemachus is Odysseus's son and grew up without Odysseus in his life. And all through the story Telemachus is striving to be more like his father and to become a man and mature for the sake of his mother and his household. Through the story Telemachus becomes more assertive and becomes a man with the help of Athena disguised as Mentes. In the end, Telemachus is reunited with his father and together they drive out the suitors from their halls.


Penelope

Penelope is the wife of Odysseus and the mother of Telemachus. She is a strong female character in the story. She is berated by the suitors that roam through the halls of her house and stalls them as much as she can. She is clearly very faithful to Odysseus and holds off until they are reunited in the end.


Antinous

Antinous is the main suitor that is trying to court Penelope. He wants to kill Telemachus after he is starting to become a threat. In the end, he is killed by Odysseus with the rest of the suitors.


Athena

Athena plays big part in the maturing and journey to manhood for Telemachus. She disguises herself as Mentes, an old friend of Odysseus's, and leads him in the path to find out what happened to his father and on his path to manhood.


Themes of the Odyssey

Marriage Fidelity

The main aspect of the story that demonstrates the theme of marriage fidelity is when Penelope is waiting for Odysseus to return. She stalls the suitors for three years, telling them that she has to finish a shroud for Odysseus's coffin. She holds them off until Odysseus finally returns and she and him are united.


Father and Son Relationship

Although Odysseus and Telemachus did not see each other except for the last part of the story, when they hugged and began to cry, you could tell that they had been longing to be with one another since the beginning. Through Telemachus's quest to find his father and Odysseus's journey back to his family in Ithaca, the knowledge of their strong love for one another is very clear.


Literary Devices

Epic Similes

Homer uses a lot of epic similes to describe a lot of things throughout The Odyssey. He used an epic simile to describe the relationship between Odysseus and Telemachus. Homer also uses epic similes to describe the island of the Cyclops among other things throughout the story.


Epithets

An epithet is like a simile and it is a widely used literary device of The Odyssey. It compares something to another thing that is not unlike the object being described. It would be like saying that "the ocean is the highway of the whales". The thing that is being describe and the object being used to describe it are both mentioned.


Kenning

A kenning is also kind of like a simile and also like a metaphor. It is saying that one thing is like another thing without out mentioning what is trying to be described. It would be saying "that you were sailing on the highway of the whales". You are talking about the ocean but you would not mention the ocean, but you would infer it.